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Bobby hits highlight reel and Pies skipper honours Indigenous Diggers in dramatic ANZAC Day clash

Jarred Cross -

Jade Gresham, Alwyn Davey Jr and Bobby Hill have split the honours in an ANZAC Day classic ending 12.13 (85) a piece in front of 93,000 at the MCG. 

Gresham, in his first appearance in the annual blockbuster after crossing from St Kilda at the end of 2022, was one of many showing desperation to get their side over the line. 

After involvement at the contest and a direct assist to Darcy Parish in two of Essendon’s four goals to jump out of the blocks, the 26-year-old played a key role linking his side’s rebound out of the defence as the distributor into their front fifty.

The majority of his five kicks gave his forwards every opportunity to mixed results as the game hung in the balance through the second half. 

Gresham used the ball at 81 per cent efficiency.

He finished the day with 16 touches, four inside 50s, two clearances and eight score involvements in a desperately-contested game on arguably footy’s biggest day of the home and away season. 

Bombers youngster Alwyn Davey Jnr struggled to have an influence in forward line led by match-high goalkicker Kyle Langford. 

Davey was largely restricted from the ball despite presenting at the bottom of contests and providing defensive pressure through the front half of the ground.

The 20-year-old snagged a goal after moping up a loose ball out of Peter Wright’s contested effort for an eight point lead minutes into the second half. 

For Collingwood, Bobby Hill showed glimpses of his Norm Smith-winning x factor in front of another packed house. 

He was unable to capitalise on opportunities, kicking 0.3 for the day, 

A first quarter pin-point banana allowing Jamie Elliot to stroll into an empty goalsquare and continue the Pies’ fightback into the match made a case for highlight of the match before Elliot jumped into the clouds for an all-time hanger a short time later. 

After both sides failed to snare all four points, Collingwood skipper Darcy Moore used his opportunity addressing the crowd to acknowledge Indigenous diggers to have served. 

“I want to acknowledge that Traditional Owners of the land that we played on here today - the Wurundjeri people and also extend that respect to First Nations, servicemen and women who served our country over this nation's history,” Moore said. 

The premiership skipper later made a plea for spectators to dig into their pockets for ANZAC appeal. 

In the week leading up to October’s referendum, Moore publicly backed the Voice in a largely rare move for an individual active sportspeople. 

Moore was also present at 2023’s Ngarra Jarra Noun Healing Ceremony acknowledging Nicky Winmar’s iconic stance against racism from the stands at Victoria Park to represent his club and their values and grow as a club. 

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