Richmond lost out in its opening game of the AFLW season against Geelong in a match that went down to the wire after missed opportunities in front of goal in the first half ended up costing the Tigers dearly.
The Tigers were edged out by four points, 1.5.11 to 2.3.15, at GMHBA Stadium with Cats midfielder Georgie Prespakis slotting the winning goal in the dying stages of the game, leaving Richmond ruing its misses.
After a first quarter goal from Gabby Seymour, the Tigers kicked four straight behinds from set shots in the second term - two from Courtney Wakefield. Other misses came from Sarah Hosking and a fourth from Emelia Yassir.
Acting skipper Sarah Hosking had a team-high 22 disposals while defender Eilish Sheerin showed plenty of promise in her AFLW debut, collecting 19 disposals and five marks.
The Tigers will look to bounce back against last season's premiers, the Adelaide Crows, which they will host this Saturday at Punt Road Oval, with an 11:40am start.
It was a mixed bag for the Kew Football Club across its men's and women's teams in the VAFA as finals footy returned to the local calendar.
In the Division One Seniors, Kew was outmuscled by PEGS at Piranha Park, 9.10.64 to 15.11.101, with the 37-point defeat being the third time PEGS had beaten the Bears this season.
After a promising opening quarter which saw the Bears build a 16-point lead, PEGS burst into action in the second quarter, kicking seven consecutive goals to hold a four-goal lead at half-time. as their tall forwards were too much for Kew's undersized defence.
Kew fought back in the third quarter, showing plenty of spirit and some strong patches of play, but was not able to capitalise on its forward half dominance, kicking just the two goals to PEGS three.
PEGS was deadly on the rebound and extended the deficit to 27 points at the final break. Ultimately this proved too much for Kew.
Kew Football Club president Michael Cochrane credited PEGS for its strong performance but believed Kew was not that far off in the contest. It was let down by a failure, at times, to get the fundamental things right.
"We probably didn't take our opportunities and when you are playing a good side you can't afford to not take them," Cochrane said.
Despite the defeat, Cochrane remained upbeat as Kew earnt the right for a second chance in the finals series, courtesy of its second-placed finish during the home and away season. A rematch against PEGS is possible in two weeks, provided the the Bears can get past Old Camberwell Grammarians this weekend.
"When we had the momentum, we looked good and took the game on," Cochrane said.
"We worked hard for that double chance and we'll review the game closely to see what we need to do better."
Kew's Men's Reserves booked their grand final spot after a powerful defensive performance in the second half, recording a 39-point win over the Old Camberwell Grammarians, 10.9.69 to 4.6.30, at Trevor Barker Oval last Sunday.
The minor premiers were six points down at half time, but came to life with a dominant third quarter that saw them seize control of the game with a six-goal-to-none term which proved more than enough.
Kew held the Grammarians to just three points in the second half and only the one goal across three quarters, displaying a finely-tuned defensive performance.
In the Premier Women Reserves, Kew's dream finals series has come to an end after suffering a 17-point loss (1.4.10 to 3.9.27) to St Kevin's in the preliminary final at Elsternwick Park.
Although the season finished a week earlier then Kew might have hoped, the team made plenty of progress in 2022. The achievement in making the preliminary final is a massive step in the right direction after it finished last in season 2021, with a winless campaign from 10 games.
Next week, Kew's Senior Women's team in the William Bucks Premier division will face ladder leaders St Kevins in the grand final. Kew defeated St Kevin's by eight points in a semi-final two weeks ago.