Essendon has held off a tenacious Richmond to record a tense two-goal victory in the annual Dreamtime at the ‘G fixture.

Jake Stringer was among the Bombers’ stars with a match-high four goals, while Jordan Ridley was awarded the Yiooken for best on ground, with a major and 31 disposals among his highlights.

Veteran Dustin Martin, whose form has been under the microscope throughout the season, was outstanding for the Tigers with three goals and 23 disposals.

The result leaves the Tigers winless since round three, and they sit 17th on the ladder with a 1-10 win-loss record.

The Bombers are second, having maintained an unbeaten record since round four.

Earlier on Saturday, Geelong slumped to its fourth consecutive loss after going down by four points to GWS in a nailbiter at Kardinia Park.

The lead switched hands during the final quarter, but a Toby Greene goal helped get the Giants over the line, as did a courageous mark from teammate Leek Aleer when the Cats were on the attack late in the term.

The Giants are fourth on the ladder on 28 points, with the Cats level but sitting in fifth place due to an inferior percentage.

In Saturday’s earlier matches, Carlton moved back inside the top eight with a 29-point win over Gold Coast at Docklands, while Port Adelaide accounted for the winless North Melbourne via a 59-point thrashing.

Tap the tags on the left to find reports for each match, or scroll back through our blog to re-live all the Saturday footy action.

Key events

Thanks for joining us!

That wraps up our coverage tonight, so thanks for your company.

Well done to the Bombers, Giants, Blues and Power, who emerged victorious.

Make sure to join us tomorrow, as we take you through the following:

  • Hawks vs Lions, 1:10pm EST
  • Demons vs Saints, 3:20pm EST
  • Crows vs Eagles, 4:40pm EST

Bye for now!

Essendon 12.14 (86) def Richmond 10.14 (74)

The Bombers defeated the Tigers by two goals (Getty Images)

Essendon has survived a massive scare before beating Richmond by 12 points in the annual Dreamtime at the ‘G fixture.

The Bombers kicked two goals to one in the last term to defeat the Tigers 12.14 (86) to 10.14 (74), the first time in 12 years they have had successive wins over the rivals.

The result has the Bombers placed second on the ladder, six points adrift of the Sydney Swans.

After massive losses to the Western Bulldogs and Brisbane and managing a massive casualty list, Richmond rallied behind stars Dustin Martin, Shai Bolton, Liam Baker and Toby Nankervis.

In his 298th match, Martin kicked three goals and missed two more shots in the last term.

Martin also had a kick inside 50 late in the match, after Hugo Ralphsmith had goaled to give Richmond some late hope.

But Essendon was able to clear the ball and that proved Richmond’s last chance.

Richmond was hit with a massive blow early in the last term when Bolton, who had been outstanding, was forced out of the match following a collision.

Bolton bravely backed into a marking contest and Mykelti Lefau cannoned into his back.

Returning from injury for his first senior game this season, Essendon defender Jordan Ridley was awarded the Yiooken Trophy with 31 disposals, 12 marks and a goal.

Bombers captain Zach Merrett continued his strong form and kicked a crucial goal in the last term.

In his 200th match, Essendon forward Jake Stringer lit up the first quarter with all three of the Bombers’ goals. He finished the match with a match-high four.

But Richmond’s pressure was outstanding and scores were level at the first break.

Adding to Essendon’s early troubles, Nik Cox was forced out of the match with a left hamstring injury.

The Bombers twice looked ready to break clear of Richmond, going 18 points up in the second term and 14 points ahead in the third.

But the Tigers rallied, with Lefau kicking the last two goals of the second term to make it a six-point lead to the Bombers at the main break.

Then when the Bombers were looking dangerous in the third quarter, Bolton marked and goaled.

The speedy Bolton then lit up the MCG with a three-bounce run that set up Martin for his third goal.

That reduced the margin to two points, before Kyle Langford’s second goal just before three-quarter-time gave the Bombers an important eight-point break.


Ridley wins Yiooken Trophy

Jordan Ridley was outstanding in his return for the Bombers 9Getty Images)

Congratulations to the Bombers’ Jordan Ridley, who was awarded the Yiooken Trophy for best on ground in Dreamtime at the ‘G.

Ridley was a standout for the Bombers in his first senior match of the season.

He kicked a goal, claimed 31 disposals and managed 14 intercepts and 12 marks in his side’s win.

Key Event

FT: Bombers hold off fast-finishing Tigers

The Bombers now have eight wins to their name (Getty Images)

The Tigers launched a late fightback in the final term, but it wasn’t enough to get themselves over the line, with the Bombers winning 12.14 (86) to 10.14 (74).

As impressive as the Tigers’ fight was, the Bombers deserved their victory that moves them back into second spot on the ladder.

They haven’t dropped a match since round four and a return to the finals is emerging as a likely prospect.

The Tigers are still winless since round three, but they showed enough tonight – amid considerable injury concerns – that their next triumph may not be too far away.

Tigers nab one back

There’s still life left in the Tigers, with Hugo Ralphsmith on target from in front of goal.

It’s 12-point game with under four minutes on the clock.

Langford kicks his third

Zach Merrett’s goal is followed up by Kyle Langford kicking his third to extend the Bombers’ lead.

There’s still time for the Tigers to launch a late comeback, but it’s clear the Bombers have lifted when it counted.

Merrett gives Bombers breathing space

Zach Merrett opens upĀ  a bit of a buffer on the scoreboard, kicking the Bombers’ 11th goal of the match.

Merrett took advantage of some scrappy play inside the Tigers’ half to streak away for his first goal of the match.

10 minutes to go and it’s anyone’s game

Neither side has troubled the scorers with a major so far during a tense fourth quarter.

It’s a five-point game, with the Bombers keeping their noses in front.

Bolton subbed out

A blow for the Tigers, with Shai Bolton subbed off six minutes into the final term.

Bolton left the field following a collision and his body language clearly indicated his night was over.

The Tigers have made the call, with Steely Green activated as the sub.

Fourth quarter gets going at the ‘G

Only a quarter left, and it’s the Bombers in front by eight points.

Will they hold on?

Or will the Tigers take control in the final term?

Plenty to play out as we get underway after three-quarter time.

Key Event

3QT: Bombers in front at final change

It’s been a tight affair throughout the contest at the MCG (Getty Images)

As we turn for home, it’s the Bombers on top but not by much.

They lead 10.12 (72) to 9.10 (64) with a quarter to play at the MCG.

Langford doubles up

Late in the second term, Kyle Langford lands his second goal to give the Bombers an eight-point lead ahead of three-quarter time.

In further good news for Bombers fans, Mason Redman has returned to the fray after receiving treatment from the club’s medical staff.

Dusty closes the gap on the scoreboard

Dustin Martin has his third goal, courtesy of some excellent lead-up work from Shai Bolton.

Bolton streaked down the right flank before launching a well-timed kick inside the 50, with Martin awarded the mark amid a contest.

Martin then did his part to put the Tigers within striking distance.

Bolton bites back for Tigers

Shai Bolton keeps the Tigers in the contest, kicking his second goal of the evening.

Bolton marked at the top of the goal square and had no trouble converting from the set-shot.

Bombers lead by eight points.

Concern for the Bombers

Mason Redman made his way off the field and headed straight to the rooms with the Bombers’ medical staff.

He has returned to the sidelines and is getting a rubdown on both his left and right hamstrings, so we’ll keep you updated.

Stringer turns up the heat

Another addition to the highlight reel for Jake Stringer!

Jake Stringer has been dangerous for the Bombers (Getty Images)

His fourth goal of the match comes after he weaved his way through the Tigers’ defence following yet another turnover.

The Bombers go 13 points ahead.

Bombers find a repsonse

Kyle Langford splits the posts to land the Bombers’ eighth goal and put his side back in front.

We spoke about the Tigers’ turnover rate in the first half and it cost them again, this time with Langford making them pay.

Tigers make fast start to third quarter

It didn’t take the Tigers long to grab back the lead from the Bombers.

A Liam Baker behind followed by Marlion Pickett’s first goal puts the Tigers in front by a point inside the opening two minutes.

Dreamtime at the ‘G back underway

It has been an absorbing clash so far at the MCG, so let’s hope the final two quarter serve up much of the same.

It’s the Bombers ahead by a goal, as the third quarter makes a start.

Key stat from the first half

There is only a goal between the two sides at half-time, but a stat the Tigers need to address is their number of turnovers.

They’ve committed 40 to 34 through the opening two quarters and some of these have prove costly, with the Bombers making them pay on the scoreboard.

Still, there was a lot to like for Tigers supporters so far, as we get ready for what promises to be an exciting second half.

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