Bombers storm home to down Tigers - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bombers storm home to down Tigers

By Roger Vaughan 27/05/2007 12:37:27 AM Comments (0)

"Dreamtime at the 'G" has turned into a nightmare for Richmond after suffering their ninth straight AFL defeat, an eight-point loss to Essendon at the MCG.

The Tigers should have scored their first win of the season, but the Bombers stormed home with the last four goals of the match to win 12.20 (92) to 12.12 (84).

Richmond key forward Matthew Richardson was furious when his goal late in the match was disallowed.

It would have broken the tied scores and given him his fifth goal for the game, but the umpire paid a free against Richardson for hands in the back and also awarded a 50m penalty to the Bombers.

Bombers Jason Johnson and Bachar Houli then scored behinds and their captain Matthew Lloyd goalled after the siren.

Essendon veteran James Hird was named best afield.

It was a heartbreaking result for the hapless Tigers, who led by 20 points early in the last term.

Richmond looked home 17 minutes into the last term when Richardson kicked his fourth goal to give the Tigers a three-goal break.

Tigers fans were incensed at the loss and security staff had to restrain one spectator immediately after the final siren when he tried to run onto the ground at the Punt Rd end.

The Tigers have been among several clubs to receive AFL fines for criticising umpires this season and coach Terry Wallace chose his words carefully post-match when pressed on the decision against Richardson.

The new hands-in-the-back interpretation has been controversial so far this season and clearly cost the Tigers potentially the match-winning goal.

"The game ebbs and flows, doesn't it?" Wallace said.

When pressed on being able to talk about the decision, he added: "It's like the guys who are playing the game - you play some really good footy and you play some poor footy at times.

"The umpires are no different - the umpires, in every game of football....will make some really good decisive decisions and they'll make some poor decisions.

"Unfortunately, as a coach, we're not allowed to talk on either."

Essendon coach Kevin Sheedy, who has also incurred the AFL's wrath this year for questioning the umpires, was similarly tight-lipped.

"I can't talk about decisions, so you people (journalists) work it out... that's it"

"You go and read it, talk it and write it yourselves, I'm not saying a word about it.

"Otherwise everybody gets upset and their knickers tied in a knot, so good luck."

Wallace spoke to his players on the ground immediately after the game and later was philosophical, describing the loss as "frustrating".

He said the Tigers tried to "ice" the game with a couple of minutes left, but blamed inexperience for not being to retain possession and protect the lead.

He said Essendon came into the game with a total of around 2600 matches in experience, while Richmond had about 1500.

"When it comes down to the crunch, it's probably those extra experienced guys that Essendon had," he said.

"Three minutes to go, we were two goals in front - with a little bit more poise you probably work the clock down and you win the game....but that's where we are.

"Purely and simply, the thing that cost us this game of football was our inability just to stay calm when the game was on the line - it cost us."

The Tigers were shattered at the final siren and Krakouer described the loss as "heartbreaking".

Wallace and Essendon coach Kevin Sheedy praised Richardson for his courage.

"To play in the manner that he did....the lesson that was teaching some of your younger players about wanting to get there, no matter what the circumstances....I just think that's magnificent," Wallace said.

"But then to follow it up with a performance against top-line (opponents)....I thought was outstanding."

Sheedy added: "that's a terrific effort by Matthew Richardson, it was one of the greatest efforts I'd seen by a badly-injured player, coming in and putting his hand up."

Sheedy said his players struggled to read the play or use the ball well and was concerned about their inaccuracy in front of goal.

But he praised them for their persistence.

"The one thing is, we never gave up," he said.

Richmond midfielder Brett Deledio was outstanding, particularly in the third term, as Richmond kicked four goals to two for a 13-point lead at the final change.

Deledio's teammate Andrew Krakouer reached two milestones in the match, with his first of two goals giving him 100 in his 100th senior match.

The Aboriginal forward's double milestone was timely as the clash was the second Dreamtime at the 'G match, an annual concept by Richmond and Essendon to celebrate indigenous players.

Richmond made one late change, with former Geelong forward Kent Kingsley making his Tigers debut after coming in for Dean Polo.

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