Tigers complete 100-year first with scary surge

A phenomenal final quarter surge has given Richmond its 11th consecutive victory of Essendon, the first time it achieved such a streak over the Bombers since 1921.

A furious comeback from Essendon saw it holding a three-point lead midway through the fourth quarter, before Richmond ended the game with seven consecutive goals to run out 19. 9. (123) to 12. 12. (84) winners at Optus Stadium.

Essendon trailed by 30 points when Jack Graham kicked his second goal of the night in the third quarter, before flipping the script to snatch its first lead when Alec Waterman kicked his second goal of the match early in the final quarter.

However, from there the reigning premiers upped the ante with Shai Bolton in the middle of all the action. He kicked two sensational goals in the final quarter, ducking and weaving past would-be Essendon tacklers as Richmond’s experience eventually prevailed.

Despite Richmond winning the game, Essendon midfielder Darcy Parish was awarded the Yiooken Award for a best-on-ground performance which saw him break a long-standing club record.

The 23-year-old continued his outstanding season and finished with 44 disposals, the highest mark in Essendon history after Barry Davis’ 43 touches back in 1969. Parish also added 11 clearances and gained a ridiculous 737 metres.

Parish won the Yiooken Award with eight votes, two ahead of Richmond star Dustin Martin, who finished with six votes. Bolton and Essendon’s Kyle Langford were the other vote-getters.

Richmond’s efforts were led by Martin, who was at his damaging best with three goals to go along with 27 disposals, while Dion Prestia added 26 disposals.

Incredibly, Essendon had the three leading ball-winners on the ground with Parish, Zach Merrett (32 disposals) and Langford (28 disposals). Rising star favourite Nik Cox also notched a career-high with 23 touches to go along with a goal.

Unfortunately for Richmond, the win was marred by an injury to Prestia, who was substituted late on in the final quarter for Daniel Rioli which another soft-tissue injury.

Essendon also copped its own set injuries, with former No.1 pick Andrew McGrath substituted off in the first quarter with a PCL injury. Veteran midfielder David Zaharakis joined him on the bench in the final quarter with a hamstring injury.

Richmond will travel to Sydney before returning to Perth to face the West Coast Eagles at Optus Stadium in Round 13, while Essendon will have a well-deserved bye after a strong month of football.

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