Courageous act from Liam Baker helps set up Richmond’s victory over Western Bulldogs

Calvin SimsNarrogin Observer
Liam Baker of the Tigers comes from the field bleeding.
Camera IconLiam Baker of the Tigers comes from the field bleeding. Credit: Quinn Rooney/AFL photos

Former Lake Grace-Pingrup player Liam Baker was vital in Richmond’s 38-point win over the Western Bulldogs on Saturday night as the Tigers kicked eight goals to three in a ferocious second half.

Playing predominantly as a small forward, Baker finished with 17 disposals, 22 pressure acts, seven score involvements and five marks.

Baker showed immense courage in the early stages of the second half as the Pingaring star desperately put his body on the line to spoil a kick intended for Marcus Bontempelli and the Tiger copped a cut on top of his head as a result.

The passage of play proved to be a turning point for the Tigers as they dominated the majority of the third quarter, setting themselves up for a convincing 15.9 (99) to 7.19 (61) win.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 09: Liam Baker of the Tigers smothers a kick by Ryan Gardner of the Bulldogs during the round four AFL match between the Richmond Tigers and the Western Bulldogs at Melbourne Cricket Ground on April 09, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
Camera IconLiam Baker of the Tigers smothers a kick by Ryan Gardner of the Bulldogs. Credit: Quinn Rooney/AFL photos

Tigers coach Damien Hardwick lauded Baker for his invaluable contribution to the team.

“Baker is one of those guys you wish you had five more of, the way he plays the game, we’re fortunate that he got overlooked in a couple of drafts,” he said.

Katanning-born Shai Bolton also starred for the Tigers, finishing with 20 disposals and chipping in with two goals, one of which is sure to be a goal of the year contender after evading a number of Bulldogs players and slotting his kick home from a sharp angle.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 09: Shai Bolton of the Tigers flies for a mark during the round four AFL match between the Richmond Tigers and the Western Bulldogs at Melbourne Cricket Ground on April 09, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
Camera IconShai Bolton of the Tigers flies for a mark. Credit: Quinn Rooney/AFL Photos

Pingelly junior and emerging Western Bulldogs ruckman Tim English fought gallantly in the loss as he finished with 20 hit-outs, eight marks and a goal.

English has gone up a level this season, averaging 22 disposals and 22 hit-outs over the first four games of the year, a clear rise from his numbers of 2021.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 09: Tim English of the Bulldogs celebrates kicking a goal during the round four AFL match between the Richmond Tigers and the Western Bulldogs at Melbourne Cricket Ground on April 09, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
Camera IconTim English of the Bulldogs celebrates kicking a goal. Credit: Quinn Rooney/AFL photos

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