Richmond fought to the very end but ultimately fell short of cross-town rival Collingwood in the inaugural Robert Rose Foundation Victorian Wheelchair Football League Grand Final on Sunday.
Played in front of a packed house at Boroondara Sports Complex, the Pies ran out comfortable 60-point winners over a spirited Richmond outfit.
The game started with a whirlwind first quarter.
Collingwood’s Richard Amon scored three first-quarter goals, while across half-back, teammate Orfeo Cecconato dominated taking numerous marks.
His opponent Riley Fitzgerald was pivotal for his team, scoring Richmond’s first goal of the match.
The Pies went into half-time with a 36-point lead after Amon continued his dominance in the forward line, scoring three goals for the second quarter, to take his total to six majors for the half.
Cecconato continued to dominate across half back, with four marks and three key smothers.
The midfield battle between the Pies’ Mark Walker and the Tigers’ Nathan Wilburn was hard fought.
Amon notched-up three majors in the opening minutes of the second half, including a miraculous around-the-body snap.
Adam Georgelin scored the Tigers’ second and proved elusive across the forward line.
Brett Newman added two more to the Pies tally to give them a 65-point three-quarter time lead.
The Tigers’ inaccuracy up forward proved costly, while the Pies back men in Brendan Stroud and Cecconato seemed too strong to overcome. The final score 13.4 (82) def 2.10 (22).
Despite the result, Richmond’s Judeland Antony, Tim Nield and Yasmina Mcglone produced solid performances, while captain Matt Morris led from the front.
The Robert Rose Medal for the Best Player of the Grand Final went to Collingwood’s Cecconato for his outstanding defensive play and multiple intercept marks.
Richmond captain Matt Morris said despite the loss, he was ‘pinching himself’ at the day’s event and his side’s hard work all season to reach the Grand Final.
“I couldn’t be prouder of my team this year, we felt like rock stars,” Morris said.
Goals: R Fitzgerald 1, A Georgelin 1
Best: R Fitzgerald, N Wilburn, M Morris, J Antony
Goals: R Amon 9, B Newman 3, M Mulcahy 1
Best: O Cecconato, R Amon, B Newman, M Walker
See a selection of photographer Cameron Grimes' best images from Sunday's VWFL Grand Final between Richmond and Collingwood.