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VFL Tigers fall short

Richmond 9.14-68 def by Port Melbourne 14.14-98

The VFL Tigers suffered their first defeat of the season on Saturday, going down by 30 points to Port Melbourne in a top-of-the-table clash at North Port Oval.

After going toe-to-toe with the Borough for the opening half, the home side finished with all the momentum and pulled clear of the Tigers after a dominant third term display.

Sam Lloyd was a standout performer, finishing with four goals and 26 disposals, while Ben Lennon, Corey Ellis and Anthony Miles also put in industrious shifts.

Speaking after the defeat, Richmond VFL and Development Coach, Craig McRae, said his side showed plenty of endeavour in the loss.

“We showed spirit and didn’t give in,” McRae said.

“Credit to the opposition, their pressure around the ball was really strong.

“We’ve got some fight left in us yet - it’s only Round 3.”

The VFL Tigers started the game with plenty of attacking pressure and were rewarded for their efforts when Tyson Stengle kicked truly after receiving a pinpoint Lloyd pass.

Lloyd then took it upon himself to register the Tigers’ second major of the day with a classy snap, before wowing the Tiger faithful with a stunning second of his own.

With the ball on the deck in the forward 50, Lloyd received a handball, shook off two would-be-tacklers and finished with class to bring the travelling supporters to their feet.

Lloyd then showed determination in the goal square to mark a looping ball and bury his third only moments later, as the Tigers held off fast-finishing Port Melbourne to lead by a solitary point at the first break.

It was the Borough who began to wrestle back the ascendancy in the second stanza, as three goals and a handful of behinds saw them out to a 21-point lead midway through the quarter.

Corey Ellis continued his stunning form from his performance against Sandringham last week, showing elite ball use and decision making on the wing.

Captain Sam Darley was also a standout performer, leading his charges from the backline as the VFL Tigers withstood wave after wave of Port Melbourne attacks.

The VFL Tigers were finally rewarded for their persistence on the stroke of half time, as a measured Ben Lennon set shot sailed through the big sticks to bring Port’s lead back to 14 points.

The third term started in similar fashion to the preceding two, with both sides going goal-for-goal in a thrilling shootout.

Lennon and Jake Aarts were in fine fettle, both nailing impressive majors to keep the pressure on the home side.

However, with a sizeable home following at their backs, Port Melbourne began to take a stranglehold on the contest, and kicked four consecutive goals to finish the quarter with a five-goal lead.

Lloyd was battling hard to keep his side in the contest, getting himself up to 20 disposals for the day, while Ryan Garthwaite brought his trademark pressure to the fore with three tackles.

Ultimately, it was not to be for the VFL Tigers, as the Borough finished strongly to win the day by the same margin of that at the final change.

Lloyd was on hand to round off an impressive performance with a fourth goal, while a Miles goal on the siren helped to stem the damage.

Having now won two of their opening three games, the VFL Tigers look to their round four clash against Footscray.

The Round 4 match will be played at Etihad Stadium next Saturday at 3pm, as a curtain-raiser to the Round 7 AFL match.