Round 9 – Richmond v Essendon: Bombers go down in tight contest at the G

After a scrappy yet entertaining contest at the MCG on Saturday night, the Bombers found themselves on the wrong end of the result as they went down to the Tigers by an unlucky 13 points.

Saturday night was a special occasion for the Bombers for two reasons; it was Dreamtime at the G and Dustin Fletcher’s 400th AFL game, meaning the team had plenty to play for. They were also driven by the need to fight for a spot in the 8 as well as high stakes with Richmond, with both teams going into the game on 4-4.

 It was the Bombers who dominated the first 5 minutes of play but like previous games they dominated for periods of time and were unable to capitalise on it, only getting the one behind. The Tigers were quick to respond with some nifty play that enable the ball to find the hands of Jack Riewoldt, resulting in the first goal of the game. It was then the Tigers captain Trent Cotchin who fired off the next goal, resulting in a mini break for the Tigers. It wasn’t until the 14th minute of play that the Bombers were able to score their first of the game through Jake Carlisle, and despite getting repeat inside 50’s the Bombers just couldn’t seem to convert. The first quarter siren sounded moments after a goal from Cotchin for the Tigers, extending their lead to ten and the scores at quarter time were 3.2 to 1.4. It was a fairly solid opening term from the Bombers, however their dominance in the play was lacking in results on the scoreboard.

The Second quarter got underway and boy was it scrappy, with easy misses from both teams and a lot of turnovers. Neither team was able to convert their chances, which made for an interesting, all be it, scrappy event. It wasn’t until the 20th minute of the second quarter that there was a goal score, and unfortunately for the Bombers, this was a goal to the Tigers. The Bombers would have been starting to worry when the Tigers were quick to follow up with another goal, extending the margin to 23 points. The Bombers then responded and were able to get a couple of late goals through Jackson Merrett and Joe Daniher (whose was on the siren) and got the margin back to 11 at half time, still in striking distance. It was 5.6 to 3.7.

As the Third quarter got underway the Bombers knew that they had to get off to a much better start if they didn’t want to be playing catch up footy. It was the Tigers who were able to get the first goal of the quarter and the margin was out to 17. Then cue the fight back from the Bombers who through goals to Jobe Watson, Trav Colyer and Daniher got the score to a margin of only 1 and were looking to be in good form. They would have been hoping for the next goal to see them in the lead, but were unable to achieve this with the next goal going to the Tigers. With this the Bombers momentum slightly diminished they were still able to head into the third quarter break only 8 points behind; scores at 7.10 to the Tigers and 6.8 to the Bombers.

The last quarter began and as if history were repeating itself, it was the Tigers who got the first of the quarter. However the Bombers were able to respond quickly, showing that they weren’t going down without a fight in this low scoring (yet close) game. Through some some good play and turnovers the Tigers were able to get a couple of quick goals which got the margin out to a healthy 20 points, instilling fear in the heart of the Bombers. At this point the game looked over but the Bombers started to push and then for a period of time were able to get the game on their terms. However like in most games this year they were unable to convert their dominance into multiple goals, kicking 1.3 in this period of dominance (not mentioning the many times that the Bombers got it up to the 50 metre line but were unable to follow through and convert). As the quarter continued the Bombers looked less likely to run over the top of the Tigers and to the thier credit they were able to hold their nerve and resist the Bombers’ charge. As the final siren sounded the Tigers had won by 13 points in a fumbled yet entertaining game at the G.

It was an all round disappointing night for the Bombers, as they were unable to honour Fletcher in his 400th game as well as putting them in a precarious position on the ladder. They will be hoping to head into the next two weeks strong, fighting back uncertainty and apprehension, a place they won’t want to be at the time of the bye.

RICHMOND    3.2  5.6  7.10  10.12  (72)
ESSENDON    1.4  3.7  6.8      8.11   (59)

GOALS
Richmond: Cotchin 2, Grigg 2, C.Ellis, Griffiths, Martin, McIntosh, Morris, Riewoldt
Essendon: Colyer 2, Daniher 2, Carlisle, Chapman, Merrett, Watson

BEST
Richmond: B.Ellis, Martin, Cotchin, Edwards, Deledio, Grigg
Essendon: Goddard, Heppell, Hibberd, Carlisle, Colyer, Z.Merrett

My Votes: 3 B. Ellis (Rich), 2 Hibberd (Ess), 1 Martin (Rich)

Umpires: Margetts, Rosebury, Jeffery

Official crowd: 83,804 at the MCG

About Nick Weidmann

Former Honours student in Journalism at the University of Tasmania and passionate Essendon supporter

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