Round 9 – Richmond v Essendon: Dreamtime Nightmare

I’m pretty sure that everyone who follows footy can agree that the grand final is the biggest game of the year. Probable everyone can also agree that Anzac Day is the second biggest day on the footy calendar and that this round is the third most important time on the footy calendar. Indigenous Round offered a chance for every one to think about the amazing Indigenous players that have graced the competition since the beginning. Rioli, Franklin, Goodes, the Krakouer Brothers and Long are some of the many names that have, since their respective debuts, become household names among AFL families. This match is Fletcher’s 400th. I’m hoping the Bombers can make this game a fairy tale for him. I had a strange feeling heading into today’s game, I really didn’t know who was going to win. Richmond has momentum, and are favourites, but Essendon are coming off a pretty competitive two weeks. This game shaped as, quite possibly, one of the games of the year. Richmond gets the first through Jack, they get their second thanks to a dodgy free kick against Bellchambers. Carlisle kicks the Dons’ first, Deledio kicks the Tigers’ third. Essendon down by 10 at the first break. Nothing much to write about during the second term. Both sides miss gettable shots. Martin kicks the first almost 20 minutes in, Merrett finally kicks the Bombers’ second, Daniher their third. Richmond leads by 11 at the half. Richmond get the first of the third, Watson kicks an inspirational captain’s goal after the mark of the night to bring the lead back down to 11. Colyer then kicks a goal of the year contender to bring the margin back to five points. The crowd comes to life. The stalemate of goals seems to be over as Joey kicks another one of the Dons, the margin just a point. The Tigers seemed stunned. McIntosh breaks the run of five Essendon goals in a row with a goal for the Tigers. Thanks to that late goal, and some terrible umpiring, the Tigers lead by eight points despite Essendon having the run of play. Richmond kicks the first of the last, Colyer replies for the Dons. Morris gets one thanks to a bizarre 50 metres. Richmond gets another, but Chapman kicks one against the tide, and the margin is back to 11. Hope is arising. But, in the end, Richmond were cleaner when it mattered, and when the siren sang, the lead was 13 points Richmond’s way. For the Bombers Watson, Chapman, Colyer, and Carlisle were strong, while for the Tigers Jack, Ellis, and Morris were admirable. The last clip of the game on the TV was Dustin Fletcher sitting on the bench with an ice pack on his knee. It was a sad end to the massive milestone. In the end there wasn’t much to write about today about a game that was supposed to be a fairy tale and ended up being a nightmare. I look forward to the rematch later on in the year, but if the Bombers still can’t kick a winning score, Matthew Lloyd might have to pull off the coaches uniform and throw on his old number 18. At least he can kick straight, unlike the Bombers tonight.

About Caspar McLeod

Third Culture Kid at Heart. Grew up in Asia, discovered footy at age 9. AFL has since been my burning passion. Ask me who were the winners all the grand finals between 1938 and last year's decider, and I'll be happy to tell you. I'm a footy nut with a passion for writing and acting. All though I love writing and acting, during the footy season, AFL is my true passion. Waiting ever so patiently for the day when Essendon Next win the flag.

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