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Sun sets on VFL Tigers' season

VFL SF: Highlights Highlights of the VFL semi-final against Essendon.

Richmond has been bundled out of the 2018 VFL finals series by a brave and resilient Essendon outfit, which narrowly snuck home by an agonising five points.

Trailing for most of the day, the Tigers clutched a one-point lead at the 11-minute mark of the final term, to have their season snatched from their grasp.

Essendon controlled proceedings, and counter-attacked with sting and conviction to record a 10.9 (69) to 9.10 (64) win.

Nick Hind showed he has ice running through his veins with his slicing run through the heart of North Port Oval, which set-up Essendon’s nail-biting victory.

The Tigers were right in the match, arresting back the momentum mid-way through the final term, on the back of a sterling midfield performance by Corey Ellis.

Ellis cruises around the field like a librarian, but don’t let his persona fool you, he’s well equipped to handle the finals’ furnace.

When Ellis stalked a Bomber midfielder and drilled him into the turf of North Port Oval, he was justly rewarded a free-kick for holding the ball.

Ellis sprung to his feet and sent a laser pass into the out-stretched hands of a rising Callum Moore.

Callum Moore, as he’s done for the past two years, sensed the occasion and urgency to recapture a two-point lead for the Tigers.

This was the last joy felt by the minor premiers, and their travelling Army, as Essendon answered back with devastating effect.

Unfortunately, this year, Richmond won’t have the luxury of its AFL and VFL sides playing in parallel through to the end of the corresponding finals series.

Of those who would be eyeing off a spot at senior level, Connor Menadue showed he’s made of the right stuff when it comes to finals heat.

Menadue constantly provided run and dash, while also inflicting maximum damage on the scoreboard.

His first major came in the third term, courtesy of a well-timed forward-half intercept, of which he converted.

Menadue then tied the scores early in the final term with a superb snap from congestion.

The dashing Tiger wingman fought and scrapped until the death and should hold his head up high.

The Tigers started the day well when Tyson Stengle found Anthony Miles inside 50, and the tireless midfielder kick-started his sides semi-final plight.

Essendon recorded its first major not long after, then Stengle hit the scoreboard himself.

As has been the story for the past six weeks, Richmond couldn’t mount significant scoreboard pressure, as the Bombers continually answered Tiger goals.

To Richmond’s credit, they fought against the tide for the second and third terms, but remained in the hunt, until springing to life in the final term.

The Tigers finally got the momentum back on an even keel until Hind and Stewart drove a dagger through the hearts of the Richmond faithful.

So, the sun has set on a season that delivered a bucket full of highs and unearthed a throng of new Tiger heroes.

RICHMOND    2.1       4.3       7.6       9.10 (64)

ESSENDON    2.3       5.4       7.7       10.9 (69)

Goals

Richmond: Moore (2), Menadue (2), Thompson (2), Stengle, Miles, Markov

Essendon: Green (3), Stewart (2), Younan (2), McNeice, Merrett, Heppell