Essendon has entered the top-eight after securing a third win from four starts with a 20-point victory over Fremantle.

The Bombers showed up Freo in an impressive display after half-time to run out winners 7.8 (50) to 4.6 (30), continuing the Bombers' rise in just their second season in the competition.

It was a tight first half at Windy Hill as both sides struggled to gain ascendency, settling for two goals apiece before the half in blustery conditions. 

Essendon trailed by four points heading into the second half, but took control from then on and kicked five goals to two after the main break to push themselves into the top eight. 

Essendon co-captain Bonnie Toogood was dominant in their second-half push with two goals and a game-high 22 possessions as Jacqui Vogt also stepped up with two majors.

Fremantle was well served throughout the afternoon by defender-turned-forward Ange Stannett, who finished with 17 possessions and two goals. Defender Emma O'Driscoll continued her good run of form as well with 22 disposals and nine tackles. 


It wouldn't be enough for Fremantle as the Bombers answered Ebony Antonio's goal to open the final term, which cut the margin to single figures, with another two themselves to put the result beyond doubt. 

Essendon was comfortably the best performed of the four new teams last season, finishing with four wins and in 10th place on the ladder.

The Bombers appear on track to potentially make the top-eight for the first time near the halfway point of the season.

Fremantle however continued a hot-and-cold start to the season and now sit 2-2 having not been able to string together consecutive wins yet in 2023.

Fremantle will remain in Melbourne for a clash with Richmond at Ikon Park next Friday, while Essendon faces Collingwood at Punt Road on Saturday just hours before the AFL Grand Final.

ESSENDON     2.0    2.1    5.5    7.8 (50)
FREMANTLE   1.2    2.5    3.5    4.6 (30)

Essendon: Toogood 2, Vogt 2, Radford, Nanscawen, Doonan
Fremantle: Stannert 2, Lally, Antonio

Essendon: Toogood, Wales, Prespakis, Alexander, Cain
Fremantle: Stannert, O'Driscoll, Bowers, Cregg, Strom

Essendon: TBC
Fremantle: Bowers (knee)