Tigers squeak out a thrilling win to start round two of the 2014 season.
Dustin Martin kicked the winning goal for the Richmond Tigers with just three seconds left on the clock as they outlasted the Carlton Blues by 12 points at the MCG.
With Richmond looking to extract revenge for Carlton ending their run in the finals in 2013, they looked to be well on their way to doing so, with their largest lead at one stage being 37 points.
However, 3.7 from the Blue saw them storm back into contention before they watched what would have been their first win for the season slip from their fingers, with the Tigers celebrating an important 14.14 (98) to 12.14 (86).
The Tigers were then able to lock the ball in their forward half in the final term, as they eventually chipped away at the Blues, with two behinds and a goal to Ty Vickery giving them an eight-point lead.
And a final strike by Martin was the final nail in the coffin in what was a thrilling game to start round two, sending the Richmond fans into raptures.
At the start of the contest, the Tigers opened the scoring through Shane Edwards as he guided a his kick through from 40 out at an angle
to give his side the started they needed.
Brandon Ellis finished off a sensational movement from the Tigers inside forward 50, as they showed to be up and about
with another two goal giving them a 24-point lead.
Carlton earned their first major score for the night when Tom Bell played on quickly, as the shoot-out at the MCG continued.
Richmond dominated uncontested possessions early as they moved the ball down the field almost as they pleased, with Ty Vickery showing he is ready to make up for his sub-par first round performance.
The Blues were their own worst enemies at times inside forward fifty, as they missed set shots an took strange options as they failed to cut into the big Tigers’ lead, which stood at 23 points after an excellent solo goal from Kade Simpson.
Ellis scored a sensational second goal as he took aim from right on the boundary from 50m out, as he gave the Tigers an ideal start to the second.
Dustin Martin was reported in the second for striking off the ball, in an incident that did not seem to have a great deal of malice in it.
Carlton continued their inability to put pressure on the Tigers when they had the ball with Richmond firing at 77 per cent kicking efficiency mid-way through the
Jack Riewoldt took a strong mark and took an easy shot at goal to give the Tigers the biggest lead of the game at 37 points, with the game possessing the ability to be over as a contest at half-time.
Chris Yarran got his second goal for the term and it breathed some life back into his side’s chances drawing the margin back to 35 points despite a horror miss on goal.
Despite the margin at the long break of 31, the gap between the sides in last season’s elimination final was 26 points, giving credence to the notion that the game as a contest was far from over.
After a horror first half when they were blown off the park in my aspects of the game, they got the perfect start to the second half as Andrejs Everitt goaled to make the margin 25.
However, Jake King showed sensational skills to guide himself through traffic to answer back straight away for the Tigers.
For every punch the Blues threw, the Tigers had a counter with Vickey again kicking truly as the margin again grew to 32 points, but the see-sawing quarter continued as Everitt kicked his second for the term and the margin was in striking range for Mick Malthouse’s team at 22.
Carlton again showed fight to start the fourth quarter, and when Troy Menzel goal the margin was down to just 15 with plenty of time remaining.
The Blues had made the adjustments to their defence with the Tigers only able to kick to contests as their spread of the ball slowed to a crawl when compared to the first half.
Garlett could have given his side a massive boost after crumbing well from a contest, only to hit the upright by making the kick into an open goal harder than it needed to be.
Despite the bad miss, the Blues were in full control of the game with 10 minutes remaining and the margin 13.
Seconds later Gibbs showed how it is done when kicking along the ground, with a clever grubber, with his side sneaking back into the contest despite missing plenty of chances from in front of goal as Menzel bagged another with the margin down to a point.
Bryce Gibbs had a shot on goal after the siren at the end of the third term, but in a sign of the Blues’ play, he missed everything as the Tigers took a 23-point lead into the final change.
Carlton stormed back as they grabbed a share of the lead with five minutes left before the final thrilling finale.