The VFLW Tigers have suffered a heartbreaking four-point loss to Collingwood at the Swinburne Centre on Sunday, falling 3.8 (26) to 3.4 (22).
The determined Tigers entered the Swinburne Centre turf with their trademark ferocity to face the Pies, who currently sit atop the ladder.
It was a slow start to the clash, an arm wrestle that resulted in an even and goalless scoreboard at the conclusion of the first quarter, with both sides on three points.
The Tigers played to their strengths and were tireless in their attempts to register majors, with Tayla Stahl and Jenna Colwell creating plenty of scoring opportunities. But Richmond's attempts at goal fell short.
The Tigers did well to fend off Collingwood’s attack, optimised by their effective use of handballs to clear the ball down the corridor.
Skipper Jess Kennedy registered the Tigers' first major five minutes into the second term after she was awarded a free kick from 20 metres out.
Kennedy had one of her best performances of the season as she collected 13 disposals, laid four tackles and consistently found space on field to make herself available.
Recent AFLW signing Akec Makur Chuot exhibited excellent footwork down the wing and used her stamina to run circles around the Pies as they pursued her.
Phoebe Monahan also had a stellar performance, shining with a team-high 15 disposals to go with four marks.
A second goal by Courtney Wakefield at the end of the first half nudged the Tigers’ lead up to four points at the main break.
The intensity lifted in the third quarter and the game grew increasingly fast-paced.
The Tigers’ pressure was bolstered by the performance of Alana Woodward, who dominated the midfield and racked up a total of ten tackles.
Richmond’s score stalled at 15 points for that quarter, and its only opportunity during the term, a kick by Jenna Colwell, was intercepted on the line.
The Pies also failed to register majors in the third quarter, but crept up on the Tigers by two points.
Frederick’s hunger for a goal was satisfied early in the fourth quarter when Richmond was awarded a free kick and she converted.
But the Pies quickly responded within three minutes to kick a goal of their own, returning the margin to an uncomfortable two points.
A fumbled opportunity for goal by the Pies allowed them to attain another point, and the Tigers were ahead by a nail-biting one-point margin.
The Tigers racked up another behind with just minutes to go, and the margin returned to two points.
In the last 20 seconds of the game, the Pies pounced on a turnover to boot the ball down the line, and produced a clean mark inside their forward 50m just before the final siren sounded.
In heartbreaking fashion, Collingwood booted the major after the siren to secure the narrow win.
Despite the loss, it was a gallant performance by the Tigers against the ladder leaders.
Richmond will return to the Swinburne Centre on Sunday, August 4 at 11.00am to take on Williamstown in Round 13.