A bumper crowd turned out at Snake Valley to see the Essendon contingent represent Carngham-Linton, but it wasn't the fairy tale result Saints supporters had hoped for.
Buninyong showcased its class in a brilliant 96-point win, which has lifted the team to seventh on the Central Highlands Football League ladder.
With the services of former club junior and current Essendon VFL captain Nick O'Brien and ex-Bombers player Jason Winderlich in the side, the Saints appeared to play on adrenaline in the opening term and trailed by just six points at the first change.
But from there it proved mostly one-way traffic as Buninyong produced scintillating ball movement to run away with the victory.
Jake Dunne put on a clinic up forward for the Bombers. He took a stack of marks and booted five goals to be arguably the most dominant player on the ground. Dunne got plenty of assistance from fellow forward Jarrod Rodgers (three goals) and defender Jack Robertson, who was a dashing figure out of the backline all afternoon.
Nick O'Brien (one goal) collected plenty of possession in the Saints' midfield and proved far more influential than Winderlich, who started forward and then went back when the visitors started to gain control of the game.
Justin O'Brien began brilliantly in defence and went forward later in the match, Dean O'Brien kicked two goals in a lively performance, while Brodie Doolan, Beau Ketchen and Tom Sarah were others to find their place in the Carngham-Linton best.
As expected, Essendon great Dustin Fletcher didn't pull on the boots, but formed part of the Saints' coaching panel throughout the game.
In the blockbuster of round 10, Hepburn stretched its winning sequence with an important 12-point win over Waubra.
The Burras are now fourth, while the Roos have slipped to eighth.
Other winners on Saturday were Gordon, Daylesford, Springbank, Dunnstown and Beaufort, while Creswick and Ballan played out a draw.