Richmond's VFL team has fallen short in a spirited performance against the top of the ladder Casey at Punt Road Oval, after the Demons pulled away late in the contest to record a 24-point win.
It was the Tigers who had the hot start, courtesy of six opening quarter goals, giving them a 21-point buffer at quarter time. The Tigers extended their lead to 26 points early in the second term before Casey made its move, slamming on four consecutive goals to steal a three-point lead in the shadows of half-time.
The third quarter was a tight tussle which only saw two goals kicked, as each team's defensive structures held firm. Those in attendance would have been expecting a grandstand finish as the margin was only one point in Casey's favour at the start of the final quarter, but the Demons kicked clear with five consecutive goals to put a halt to any potential Richmond victory.
Despite the loss, Richmond had an even spread of goal kickers throughout the game but none were able to contribute massively on the scoreboard and register multiple goals bar Mykelti Lefau who kicked two, while many of their AFL listed players impressed and put their hand up for senior selection.
Despite the loss, Richmond had an even spread of goal kickers throughout the game
In the absence of Ivan Soldo, developing ruckman Samson Ryan put in a strong outing against Majak Daw and Melbourne premiership player Tom McDonald which saw him record a season high 47 hitouts, Tyler Sonsie had 23 touches with 16 of those kicks, while Sydney Stack showed his class in the midfield. The Tigers ended up going down 9.10.64 to 13.10.88.
In the VAFA Division 1 Men's, the Kew Bears Football Club was defeated by PEGS, 4.8.32 to 9.9.63.
After being unable to find the goals for most of the game, Kew added some respectability to the scoreboard, kicking four goals to two in the final quarter, but ultimately the team's inability to put scoreboard pressure on in a significant way throughout the game was one of the main factors in the loss.
In the Reserves, the Kew Bears lead from start to finish as they defeated an inaccurate PEGS outfit 32 points, 8.9.57 to 2.13.25, while in the William Bucks Premier Women's, Kew brought up its second win of the season to move into second place on the ladder after holding Melbourne University goalless in the opening half to record a comfortable 30-point win, 7.8.50 to 3.2.20.
In the VAFA Division 3 Men's, the Richmond Centrals Football Club put up a fair fight against Emmaus St Leo, but were defeated, 12.10.82 to 14.21.105.
Senior coach George Koumanatakis was proud of his team's efforts throughout the game considering the amount of personnel they had missing from the line-up, such as Dylan Hall and Joel Luis. However, he emphasised that Richmond's second quarter drop off was ultimately the difference between the two sides.
"I think in the second quarter our defensive pressure fell away a little bit which gave them that bit of momentum and they had plenty of shots, even if they were taken a bit wide," Koumanatakis said.
"In the last quarter we got within 10 points and the game was still up for grabs but we weren't able to kick consecutive goals."
Round four will see the Richmond Centrals face up against Westbourne (seventh) at Kevin Bartlett Reserve at 2pm.
"We are looking forward to welcoming three or four of our players back this week at home against Westbourne," Koumanatakis said.
"It is an opportunity for us to knuckle down and string a four-quarter effort together. If we can get through this first block of games at two and two, it is probably a good outcome, all things considered."