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Essendon FC Sir Doug Nicholls Richmond FC
Bombers Victory! (Densham/AFANA)

After the prematch activities celebrated indigenous Australian culture through ceremony and dance, the Tigers won the toss and play was underway.  A big crowd was in, and the atmosphere was electric. 

Rhyan Mansell, one of those in the game with indigenous heritage, appropriately kicked the first goal of the night as he was taken over the shoulder by Redman and he kicked the resulting goal.  Sam Weideman responded, and went one better at the other end when quick kicks inside 50 saw Weideman interfered with twice in two minutes.  On both occasions his kicks for goal were on target.   Alwyn Davey Jr added a third for the Bombers

Back to back goals to Samson Ryan for the Tigers gave them the lead once again as they started to look more dangerous at the contested ball situations.  But Snelling would put the Bombers back in front late in the quarter crumbing the pack at the top of the goal square and beating the defenders with a quick kick. It was a two point lead to the Bombers at quarter time in a high intensity first quarter.

Dreamtime Pregame Ceremony (Densham/AFANA)
Dreamtime at the 'G (Densham/AFANA)

Tim Taranto kicked the first goal of the second quarter to start things off right for the Tigers.  Almost ten minutes later Richmond added another through Dustin Martin snapping across the body from 40 meters out straight in front. The Bombers let themselves down with the ball in hand, kicking five behinds for the quarter, but finally Jai Menzie marked just 15 meters out directly in front and his goal leveled up the scores.  But the seesawing match continued to deliver when Richmond put themselves five points up just before half time when Graham intercepted a rushed clearing kick from an Essendon defender and booted the kick through the Tiger's goals. 

It took until almost half way through the third quarter before Langford marked close to goal and kicked the set shot to level up the scores at 44 a piece. Shai Bolton got on the end of a bad Bombers turnover in the goal square and put his team a goal up from point blank range and a few minutes later he kicked another, this time the degree of difficulty was higher dribbling the ball along the ground and over the goal line from deep in the forward pocket.  

Both teams had multiple chances in the back half of the quarter to add more goals, including a late shot at goal by the Tigers that was touched on the line as the siren sounded and saw the Tigers lead at three quarter time by two goals. 

The Tigers quickly out of the blocks in the last hitting a leading Dustin Martin on the 50 meter arc and he went back and his kick cleared the defenders on the line to push the margin out to three goals. While the Tigers then ate up plenty of valuable time possessing the ball, finally the Bombers were able to pull a goal back when Sam Durham and then Jake Stringer kicked consecutive goals. 

Richmond pulled their lead back out to two goals when the Bombers trying to pass the ball around in the back half, had one bad kick that was spoiled and kicked goalward. Redman and Judson Clarke wrestled for the ball on the goal line, before Clarke got in a clear position to boot the ball over the line as the two wrestlers fell to ground. 

Dustin Martin Marks (Densham/AFANA)
Martin Takes Mark (Densham/AFANA)

With just over four minutes to play, the Bombers got a turnover and a had some luck with a good bounce and were able to run the ball to the goal square and Jye Menzie kicked the goal. McDonald-Tipungwuti's shot at goal then reduced the margin further to just five points. 

Richmond had one more play to try and put the result to bed and Cotchin got the ball inside 50 to Mansell who marked and used up his time on the set shot before kicking the ball out of bounds on the full, which in turn gave the Bombers one last chance.  The Bombers went all out attack from their backline, kicking short and running the ball from end to end and with a series of marks ending with Sam Durham marking at the top of the goal square.  From close range and straight in front, he kicked truly to put the Bombers one point up. 

There was just seven seconds left on the clock, and with the Tigers unable to get the ball clear, the Bombers were winners on the Dreamtime at the G match and winners over the Tigers for the first time in 13 games.  

ESSENDON: 4.1 5.7 6.10 10.11 (71)
RICHMOND: 3.5 6.6 8.10 10.10 (70) 

Essendon: Weideman 2, Durham 2, A. Davey, Snelling, Menzie, Langford, Stringer, Menzie
Richmond: Bolton 2, Mansell 2, Martin 2, Ryan, Taranto, Graham, Clarke 

Essendon: Merrett, Ridley, Redman, McGrath, Durham
Richmond: Taranto, Bolton, Martin, Ross, Rioli 

Essendon: A.Davey (shoulder)
Richmond: Nil

Essendon: Dylan Shiel (injury), replaced in selected side by Will Snelling
Richmond: Nil

Essendon: Massimo D'Ambrosio (replaced Andrew Phillips at three-quarter time)
Richmond: Judson Clarke (replaced Thomson Dow in the third quarter)

Crowd:    78,300 at the MCG

Article last changed on Sunday, May 21, 2023 - 7:47 AM EDT

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