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VFLW: Bombers eclipse Tigers

VFLW R10: Post-match VFLW Coach, Tom Hunter, speaks to Roar Vision after the Round 10 match against Essendon.

The VFLW Tigers have been outdone by Essendon in Round 9 of the VFLW, falling to the Bombers 5.4 (34) to 3.8 (26) at Windy Hill on Sunday.

Windy Hill delivered all conditions, and certainly lived up to its name, with the girls enduring rain and blistering wind before some late sunshine. 

The Bombers were vying for their first win of the season, and put the Tigers under pressure from the get-go.

Essendon took ascendancy in the opening stages of the game, hitting the scoreboard three times before Richmond’s first score. The slippery conditions made for scrappy football and the Tigers trailed by seven points at the first change.

Richmond came back roaring in the second quarter, thanks to early goals by skipper Jess Kennedy and debutant Sophie Damon. They lifted their intensity and fought forwards. Beth Lynch capitalised on a 50metre penalty and booted her first goal in the yellow and black, which cemented a five-point lead for the Tigers at halftime.

The home side returned hungry for a maiden victory, with two majors in the third term. The goals dried up for the Tigers, who were hampered by the blustery conditions, and only managed one behind. By three-quarter time the Bombers had seized an eight-point lead.

The final quarter was a tight battle. The Tigers controlled play, making the most of the advantageous wind and boosting their delivery into the forward line. But while their intensity was clear as they locked in the ball, they struggled to convert, and finished the quarter with six behinds and zero goals.  Essendon made the most of their chances and a late fourth-quarter goal sealed an eight-point win.

Coach Tom Hunter said the girls will take away some crucial lessons from the loss, which they will apply during the week.

“We give them opportunities to grow and develop on things they need to improve on. We’ll give them a clear focus on what they need to improve on to give them the best opportunity to prepare for next week against Casey.”

Murray Bushrangers young gun Sophie Damon came into the Tigers squad as their 23rd player and impressed in her yellow and black debut. She showcased her monster kick and impressive ball movement which was furthered by her much-needed goal in the second term.

“It was really exciting to see her come in and kick that goal. She played her role and what we asked her to do, she did. And I think she felt really supported by all the girls,” Hunter said. 

Captain Jess Kennedy led by example as she impacted the contest and worked hard across the ground, amassing 13 touches, seven kicks and three inside-50s.

“JK is a ripper. I think it’s getting a little easier for her because the other girls are standing up and playing their roles and they know what is required of them,” Hunter said.

Alice Edmonds prevailed as Richmond’s best. The 189cm ruckwoman demonstrated her composure with ball in hand and her high work rate as she gathered 23 touches, 40 hit-outs, 14 kicks and a remarkable 16 tackles. 

Richmond’s next encounter will be Casey Demons at Queen Elizabeth Oval, Bendigo on Sunday July 15 at 2:30pm.

Queen Elizabeth Oval is familiar territory for many of the Tigers, with a large contingent of the girls based in Bendigo.

“It’s fantastic for the Bendigo families to come watch the girls a little closer to home. And we love playing there,” Hunter said.


RICHMOND   0.1       3.1       3.2       3.8 (26) 

ESSENDON    1.2       2.2       4.4       5.4 (34)


Richmond: Jess Kennedy, Sophie Damon, Bethany Lynch 

Essendon: Natasha Hardy, Alexandra Quigley, Monique Dematteo (2), Kendra Heil