Richmond have all but ended any finals aspirations the Northern Blues had with a strong 44 point win over the Blues at Ikon Park in round eighteen of the Peter Jackson VFL season. After an even first half in which both sides booted ten goals and only three points separated them, the Tigers booted clear in the second half with nine goals to three and celebrated their third win in a row winning 19.11.125 to 13.3.81.
Kane Lambert put his hand up for AFL selection, starring for the Tigers with three goals and 37 possessions while Liam McBean got going in the second half making an impact to snare four goals. Ben Lennon also figured in his side's best with 23 touches and three goals.
For the Blues, Andrejs Everitt made the most of his opportunities up forward with five goals (15 disposals, 7 marks) and he found good support in Liam Jones with two goals and five contested marks and Mark Whiley who continued his good form with 27 touches. In near perfect conditions the first half was goal-for-goal with Richmond on top in the inside fifties however the Blue's defence worked hard to restrict the Tigers influence on the scoreboard.
Richmond continued to win the ball out of the centre with the likes of Jacob Townsend and Lambert pumping the sherrin into attack. Blue’s skipper Tom Wilson (26 touches) and Tim Jones (19) were finding plenty of the footy around the middle and Jason Tutt (26) tried hard to lift them with his run and carry.
Goals late in the second quarter to first gamer, James Cousins, and then Lambert, gave the Tigers a three point lead at the main break. After the break the Tigers took charge of the match with McBean, Lennon and Todd Elton all impacting the scoreboard as the Blues season slipped away.
In an even year and with three rounds remaining, the Tigers are still a slight chance to make the top eight despite only winning three games in the first fifteen rounds. They are one of four sides, including the Box Hill Hawks, Northern Blues and Werribee, who are a game off Essendon in eighth place and separated only by percentage.
Richmond host Geelong in a Sunday night match in round nineteen and must keep winning while the Blues have an untimely bye before their final home game for the year against reigning premier Williamstown.
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