Tigers hold off Blues in tight AFL fight

Bookends Tom Lynch and Dylan Grimes have helped Richmond win a 15-point win over a fast-finishing Carlton, moving them back into the AFL’s top eight.

The Tigers, with three goals from Lynch and Grimes keeping Charlie Curnow quiet, led by as many as 35 points and mounted a great challenge in the fourth quarter to prevail 11:15 (81) to 9:12 (66) in a wet MCG.

Richmond (8-5) has now won six of its last seven games and looms over a big game against Geelong next week.

But there was a sour note in their latest win, with tall utility Noah Balta out of the game replaced with a hamstring injury in the fourth quarter.

Carlton, already understaffed, lost Jack Martin (lower leg) and midseason recruit Sam Durdin (knee) to injuries.

The Blues (9-4) also blew a chance to tie each of the top three teams at 10 wins apiece.

Richmond kicked the first six goals in persistent rain Thursday night and led by 28 points at the start of the fourth period before three goals from Harry McKay in four minutes turned the game on its head.

A snap from Jack Newnes seemed to have put the Blues back within three points with all the momentum on their side, but it was ruled correctly in review.

Less than a minute later, Shai Bolton won a duel with Sam Docherty at midfield and set up Maurice Rioli Jr., who passed Shane Edwards for the Tigers’ stabilizing goal.

Bolton had caused controversy at the start of the final period when he taunted Docherty on the way to an open goal and nearly bit him again.

The incident apparently stemmed from an exchange during a three-quarter melee, which erupted when Patrick Cripps opposed a shove from Dion Prestia that caused the Blues captain to hit his head on teammate Sam’s leg. Walsh.

The Richmond Prestia midfielder (33 disposals, 13 clearances) stood up in the absence of superstar Dustin Martin, who missed out due to illness.

Liam Baker (27 disposals), Kane Lambert (22) and ruckman Toby Nankervis were also influential in the Tigers’ engine room.

Cripps had 34 disposals in his 150th game and Walsh (34) was busy against the grain, while McKay finished with four goals.

Carlton, goalless in the fourth quarter against Essendon in the 13th round, did not achieve a major against Richmond until George Hewett’s rushing snap floated 16 minutes into the second period.

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