SUNS Captain Gary Ablett has stayed cool under pressure to produce a match winner in the NAB Challenge clash against the Bombers.
With scores level and the clock winding down, Ablett took a shot from outside 50m on the right-hand boundary line to claim a behind and give the Gold Coast a 1.11.15 (90) to 0.13.11 (89) victory at Metricon Stadium last night.
The SUNS’ website reports, Essendon led by 31 early in the third quarter but ran out of legs as the hosts stormed home, kicking nine goals to five after the main break.
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SUNS’ Vice-Captain David Swallow proved a handy deputy to Ablett, with 23 disposals and a game-high six tackles.
The 21-year-old told SUNS TV the victory would give the young side plenty of confidence in their build-up to the 2014 Season.
“Yeah it was a good first hit-out for the boys, and really good to be back playing football again,” he said.
“The boys were pretty confident we had the fitness, so it was good to keep playing our strengths and get over them in the end.”
The Gold Coast will next meet Brisbane.