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Bombers edge Cats in AFL pre-season game

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Darcy Parish has booted three third-quarter goals to help Essendon hold off Geelong by four points and end their AFL pre-season campaign undefeated.

The Bombers blew the game open with a blistering burst to begin the second half, after a scrappy second term, to eventually prevail 9.11 (65) to 9.7 (61) in Colac on Monday.

Parish caught fire after halftime, with the midfielder capitalising on the Bombers’ 20 inside-50s during the third quarter as the lead blew out to 25 points.

The lacklustre Cats came to life in the final term, but left their run too late as the Bombers added to their other pre-season victory against West Coast.

Parish wasn’t the only Essendon player to boot three majors, with former GWS and Richmond goalsneak Jacob Townsend hitting the scoreboard for the first time at his new club.

Michael Hurley was a rock in defence, while midfielders Andrew McGrath, Zach Merrett and Parish were among the Bombers’ best.

Dynamic forward Jake Stringer (personal reasons) was a late withdrawal for Essendon, while Irishman Conor McKenna lined up in the curtain-raiser VFL game.

The Cats have some work to do before their round one clash with GWS after being smashed by wooden spooners Gold Coast two weeks ago.

But a bright spot for the Cats was the appearance of former St Kilda star Jack Steven.

The four-time Saints best-and-fairest impressed in his first outing for Geelong, starting the game in the middle and finishing with 25 possessions.

Cats small forward Gryan Miers was lively and finished with three majors, while Patrick Dangerfield starred with 33 disposals.

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