Tigers peppered then placed on a platter

April 29, 2022 by
Filed under: AFLM, NSW Demons 

Round 6 – Richmond V Melbourne

Liam Chambers

The three time premiers take on the the reigning premiers! Richmond have started strongly in all games this season but then struggled to maintain the rage for four quarters.

Unsurprisingly, the Tigers took an early lead when Shai Bolton’s set shot went through. Richmond continued to mark and control the ball well but Melbourne absorbed the pressure. Ben Brown had a chance from just inside 50 but his kick veered left before the ball was taken on the line by Max Gawn. The line Umpire called a behind but the reviewed ruled that the ball was marked. A surprised Gawny ran back but was unable to convert.

Due to a communication breakdown, it was Tom Lynch who kick the Tigers’ second for a ten point lead. The Dees were seeing a lot of the ball and spending some quality time in their forward half but their finishing was inaccurate.

Finally Ben Brown came to the party and slotted a set shot with less than a minute remaining on the clock. As often happens in Demonland, one goal quickly leads to another. Sam Weideman dribbled one in, just shy of the siren. There was a review as the Umpire suspected some ball on ball contact, but the goal stood.

The second quarter was an evenly matched affair with both sides going hard but creating few chances. Melbourne had the better opportunities, however the goal stubbornly refused to yield. By the half way mark, the Dees were the more dominant team yet continued to rack up only minor scores. Charlie Spargo was able to break the deadlock when he played on to advantage after Bayley Fritsch was deemed held in front of goal.

Jack Graham got one back for the Tigers with his 40m set shot but Melbourne missed a chance for a quick response when Spargo’s attempt swerved wide. Jack Riewoldt made it a three point game when his conversion from deep in the pocket hit the target. It was still a three point game but in Richmond’s favour, when Liam Baker collected the stoppage ball and snapped a goal.

Going into the second half, the Dees needed to improved their efficiency in front of goal. Unfortunately, it didn’t start well. Tom Lynch was on the receiving end of a Melbourne hand pass and duly kicked his second. Alex Neal-Bullen had a 45 degree kick from 30m out but he pushed it left. It was looking a tad ominous for Melbourne but like Tom Petty, they wouldn’t back down.

Sam Weideman helped steady the ship and some nervous fans, when he kicked straight from 35m. Unfortunately, it didn’t stem the flow of near misses from the Dees and it was fifteen behinds when Tom Sparrow opted to play on rather than go back for a set shot.

It shows the strength, depth and belief of the current Melbourne side that they were able to put those setbacks to one side and focus on overcoming the odds. There was no doubt that the Dees were on top of the game; it was just that their dominance was not being reflected on the scoreboard. Then the third quarter magic kicked in.

Ed Langdon placed one between the uprights to take back the lead and it proved to be the turning point. The Demons had basically taken up residency in their forward 50 and now they were getting the rewards. Bayley Fritsch continued the ball rolling when he snapped from 20m.

The third term has seen Melbourne play their best footy this season. Now they were pinning the Tigers down and making them pay. Fritsch got back to back majors when he marked a Kysaiah Pickett kick just outside the goal square. Then he marked again in the pocket but passed to Christian Petracca, who turned and snapped from 10m out.

Jack Riewoldt stemmed the tide momentarily with his banana kick from the pocket. Neither side could recapture the momentum before three quarter time though and it was set up for an exciting final term.

The first goal of the fourth quarter was spectacular. Clayton Oliver’s kick targeting Bayley Fritsch was tapped down and landed in Sam Weideman’s hands. Weideman struck it with his left boot sending the ball skywards while falling on his back. The ball came down between the posts and just crossed the line.

Daniel Rioli produced a beauty at the other end when his running kick from 50m never looked like missing.

With the final score at 54-76 in Melbourne’s favour, it was a good result.

Congrats to Jayden Hunt on 100th game! Next round it’s the Hawks. Should be be a blinder.

Go the Mighty Dees!!!


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