Footscray remain in the hunt for a top four spot following a come-from-behind win over Richmond in round 14 of Peter Jackson VFL at VU Whitten Oval. The Bulldogs had trailed all day before former Essendon player, Lauchlan Dalgleish, booted the final three goals of the match to inspire his side to a nine point victory 11.8.74 to 9.11.65.
The Tigers chances of playing finals are all but over and despite playing well in patches in recent games, they haven't been able to find a win they desperately needed to stay in touch with the top eight. There was a good crowd on hand with plenty of interest in both forward lines featuring Bulldogs Tom Boyd (above) and dumped Tiger Tyrone Vickery.
Boyd finished the match with a goal and spent time in the ruck, making an impact late in the match with some telling grabs. Vickery was quiet for most of the game failing to register a goal and his career now appears at the crossroads.
The Tigers began well thanks to the likes of Adam Marcon and Kane Lambert who were busy around the ground with their run. Twelve shots to four in the first quarter in favour of Richmond and they could well have been further in front at the first change.
Goals were hard to come by in the low scoring affair as both defences worked hard in the cool conditions. Out of form Tiger bigman Ivan Maric was having a good duel with counterpart Will Minson in the ruck as the visitors kept the pressure on Footscray until a late goal to the Bulldogs Shaun Wyatt reduced the Tigers lead to 18 points at half-time - 6.9.45 to 4.3.27.
Experienced Tiger Troy Chaplin was the general down back often mopping up any loose ball and he received good support from skipper Sam Darley (26 disposals). Bulldogs youngster Bailey Dale was again lively and Mitch Honeychurch worked hard to provide opportunities for teammates upfield.
Footscray lifted their intensity in the third term and two goals to Minson, resting up forward, closed the gap to just eight points at the final change as their fans in the Whitten Stand found some voice. However, the Tigers began the final quarter smartly thanks to a Jacob Townsend goal, his second for the match, but the Bulldogs rallied.
When Nicholas Ryan kicked truly after taking a fine pack mark in the pocket at the Geelong road end, the difference was only two points.Mabior Chol did his bit for the Multicultural Round when he goaled from a free kick to give Richmond breathing space; enter Dalgleish, he booted the last three goals of the game to steer the home side over the line, much to the relief of coach Ashley Hansen and their fans.
Richmond had been the better team for most of the game and the final fifteen minutes would have left coach Craig McRae puzzled as to his side's fade out. They let a few Bulldogs off the leash in the final quarter and paid for it.
Footscray's best included Honeychurch, Dale, Dalgleish and Josh Dunkley while Marcon (35 touches), Lambert (32), Chaplin and Townsend were named in Richmond's best. Footscray will host ladder leader Casey Scorpions in round fifteen while the Tigers have the bye.
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