A local Essendon fan has emerged from a cave hidden deep in Plenty Gorge Park after being reported missing late on Saturday afternoon. The unnamed Bombers fanatic insisted his disappearance had nothing to do with his AFL team’s heavy Round 1 loss, feigning ignorance to the harsh reality check served up by Geelong.

The fan said, “Oh, has the footy started already? I thought it was still practice matches, so I went for a bit of a hike and just got lost in nature. It’s beautiful up at the Gorge. Besides, isn’t it still cricket season? When does the Third Test start in Pakistan? Haha.”

Despite his version of events, worried family members are just happy to have him home. An anonymous friend told The Watsonia Bugle, “He’s been going on and on about the Bombers all summer. So I guess retreating to that cave with no phone reception was a fairly smart move. Plenty of people were keen to have a chat with him on Saturday night and yesterday morning.”