2000 Premiers: The Bombers

The 2000 AFL Grand Final was a contested between the Melbourne Football Club and the Essendon Football Club, held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Melbourne on 2 September 2000. It was the 104th annual grand final of the Australian Football League (formerly the Victorian Football League),[1] staged to determine the premiers for the 2000 AFL season. The match, attended by 96,249 spectators, was won by Essendon by a margin of 60 points, marking that club’s 16th premiership.

Melbourne captain David Neitz won the toss and chose to kick towards the City/Members end of the MCG in the opening quarter. The first score of the game went to Melbourne. Neitz, from a very tight angle near the behind post on the Members side of the goals, kicked the ball into the far goal post resulting in one point.

It was only a short time after the first score of the game that James Hird kicked the first goal of the game for Essendon. Melbourne’s first goal was kicked by Stephen Powell.

The Bombers never looked threatened from quarter time and comfortably won its record-equaling 16th premiership by 60 points, after one of the most dominant seasons in VFL/AFL history.

One downside for the Bombers was an incident in which Melbourne’s Troy Simmonds was hit high by Essendon’s Michael Long, resulting in a 25-man brawl. Simmonds was taken from the field on a stretcher; nine players were reported on ten offences by the umpires.

Hird was awarded the Norm Smith Medal for being judged the best player afield. Paul Barnard and Matthew Lloyd each kicked four goals for the Bombers.