Mark O'Connor competing with Jack Riewoldt of the Tigers during the AFL Grand Final. AAP/PA Images
Grand Final

Disappointment for Geelong's Irish duo as Richmond win third AFL Premiership in four years

Richmond were impressive winners over Zach Tuohy and Mark O’Connor’s Cats in an absorbing contest.

THERE WAS DISAPPOINTMENT for Irish pair Zach Tuohy and Mark O’Connor as they were on the losing side of the 2020 AFL Grand Final, with Geelong falling to defeat in a thrilling encounter.

Richmond Tigers won their third Premiership in four years, after a powerful performance — coming from 22 points down to finish in style — in front thousands of fans at the Gabba.

For Laois native Tuohy and O’Connor of Kerry, the 12.9 (81) to 7.8 (50) defeat comes as a disappointing end, as the curtain comes down on their incredible season.

It was all about the defending champions, however, as a brilliant Richmond outfit came up trumps in the showdown, culminating the sport’s most turbulent and unpredictable season in decades.

“Credit to the boys, they just continue to show the resilience that we know they can,” said skipper Trent Cotchin after accepting the trophy from world number one tennis star and staunch Tigers fan Ashleigh Barty.

“We came out here [Queensland] something like 110 days ago treating it like an adventure and it’s been one hell of an adventure. To finish off like this is simply outstanding.”

Both clubs are from Victoria and ordinarily the decider of Australia’s most popular spectator sport would be played at the cavernous Melbourne Cricket Ground in front of 100,000 fans.

But all sides from the state — who make up most of the 18-team ladder — have been forced to play their games elsewhere this season after a resurgence of Covid-19 in Victoria.

That meant Brisbane’s famed cricket ground, the Gabba, hosted the final — only the second time since World War II it has not been at the MCG — with just 30,000 spectators allowed.

Richmond’s remarkable win culminated a bizarre season that began in March but was called off after just one match due to the pandemic, unprecedented for a sport that first established a league in 1896. A dynamic game with similarities to Gaelic football, it resumed in mid June

But with the virus flaring up again in Melbourne, all teams were forced to base themselves outside of Victoria, with many spending more than 100 days on the road.

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