Inner East Review
Tuesday, 5 December 2023

Richmond down, but not without a fight

By Nicholas Galea
July 5 2022 - 5:00am
Richmond's Tom Brown flies high for a mark at Punt Rd Oval in the match against Collingwood. Photo: Wayne Ludbey, Richmond Football Club
Richmond's Tom Brown flies high for a mark at Punt Rd Oval in the match against Collingwood. Photo: Wayne Ludbey, Richmond Football Club

After pulling off a memorable victory against Geelong the previous week, Richmond was brought undone in the closing stages of its VFL encounter with Collingwood last Sunday, being pipped by four points despite a string of impressive performances.

The side welcomed back crafty small forward Judson Clarke, who had a taste of AFL level over the last few weeks, tall forward Sam Tucker and Fraser Elliot, who played two games for the Tigers VFL team last season.

Richmond started off strongly, kicking the opening three goals of the game and probably felt short-changed to lead by just 18 points at the first break but the Magpies hit back with a five-goal second quarter to stay in touch at half-time, trailing by just seven points.

The third quarter was a freewheeling affair, as both teams shared stages of controlling the game, but it was the Magpies that held the lead by five points.

The lead changed on six occasions in the final quarter as both sides traded goals which left fans constantly guessing who would end up victorious.

Noah Cumberland appeared the hero after he put the Tigers in front by two points at the 22-minute mark but Trent Bianco had the last say in the game as the Magpies snuck home.

Matt Parker, Tyler Sonsie and Thomson Dow all found plenty of the football with 28, 27 and 24 disposals respectively, while Cumberland and Sam Tucker kicked two goals.

The Magpies ran out winners 12.12.84 to 11.14.80. The Tigers have a bye next week before taking on North Melbourne on July 16.


The Richmond Centrals Football Club also fell short in its Division Three VAFA match against ladder leaders South Melbourne, going down by 19-points, 8.10.58 to 11.11.77.

Despite the defeat, senior men's coach George Koumantatakis saw the game as one of Richmond's better performances of the year.

"We played a side that has lost just the one game and dispatched a couple of the higher-ranking sides quite comfortably," he said. "We gave ourselves quite a good account and were in the game right until the final siren.

"The final margin of three goals probably was the difference in the class between the two sides.

"We had a good defensive mindset and the tackling was probably the best it has been all year. We won the inside-50 count and clearances so we gave ourselves opportunities to win the game."

Missing two key forwards on the day, the Centrals had to reshuffle their forward line with a different setup which provided a unique challenge in itself.

"We did get repeat entries but we couldn't quite find that mechanism for easy avenues to goal," Koumantatakis said.

The Centrals remain one game outside the top four and sit in seventh place.

This weekend, the VAFA will have a league-wide bye.


In Division One, the Kew Bears senior team had a tricky encounter against the Whitefriars before pulling away in the final quarter to record a 46-point win, thanks to a five-goal-to-two last quarter.

Kew Football Club president Michael Cochrane had his moments but was content with how the team responded to the challenge.

"We weren't happy with letting them back in the game at three-quarter time and giving the Whitefriars a sniff," he said.

"The senior coaching group let the players have it at three-quarter time and they responded. I think probably the most pleasing thing was to see us play the Kew Football brand that we want to play."

Additionally, Cochrane was excited by the performance of the club overall.

"We are fielding the most sides we have ever had with four men's teams and two women's sides," he said.

"The club is going gangbusters on and off the field and we are very lucky as we know there are a few other clubs that are doing it tough with numbers."

Kew's Seniors remain on top of the ladder ahead of PEGS and Glen Eira.

Kew's Reserves also recorded their 10th win of the season after a 93-point victory over Whitefriars, 15.13.103 to 1.4.10. The Bears were never headed after a five-goal-to-none opening quarter.

In the William Bucks Premier Women's division, Kew defeated St Mary's Salesian by 59 points, 8.11.59, with the opposition not even scoring a behind.

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