St Kilda's season has come to a close after falling short to Richmond by 31 points in Friday night's semi-final at Metricon Stadium.
The Saints fell prey to Richmond's hunt and pace early in the match, but were unable to capitalise on their opportunities in front of goal to put the reigning Premiers under the pump.
Despite drawing within 17 points early in the third term – after finding themselves over five goals in arrears at the major break – and owning important periods of the game, St Kilda found themselves on the wrong side of half-chances to finalise the 12.8 (80) to 6.13 (49) result.
Wasteful shots at goal, ricochets which missed by millimetres and contentious score reviews all left hands on heads, with the multitude of moments coming close to putting the Saints within striking distance.
Brett Ratten's side kicked 6.13 for the night – including five minor scores in the third – while the Tigers (12.8) had only the one blemish on their nine-goal scorecard at the major change.
The returning Tom Lynch (two goals, five behinds) – who could be in hot-water following an incident with Dougal Howard – and Shai Bolton (three) helped Richmond get on the board early, while the silkiness of Bachar Houli (32 disposals) and Shane Edwards (21) proved to be Richmond's most damaging attributes of the night.
Led by Edwards and Dustin Martin, the Tigers owned the centre clearances 15-5 and numbers around the ball to ensure their ascendancy counted (4.2 from centre bounce).
The Saints' three big outs in Paddy Ryder, Jake Carlisle and Ben Long forced the line-up to shuffle several times throughout the match, but their absences were telling despite spirited plays from newcomers Savage, Battle and Jonathon Marsh.
After overcoming early jitters, the Saints were strong in several moments and regained control at numerous stages.
But the story of the night was ultimately reflected on the scoreboard.
Hunter Clark (17 disposals, 382 metres gained) stood tall after moving on-ball in the second half and was one of the Saints' best, while Jack Steele (25 disposals, one goal) and Callum Wilkie battled hard in their respective domains to keep their side in the hunt.
While yellow and black jumpers swarmed on the loose ball, the Saints refused to bow out without having their say.
Recalled defender Shane Savage provided the highlight of the night with a long-range roost from inside the centre square, while a precise threading of the needle from Battle – after two dashed chances – put the red, white and black less than four goals down in third quarter.
RICHMOND 5.5 9.1 10.4 12.8 (80)
ST KILDA 2.2 3.6 5.11 6.13 (49)
Richmond: Bolton 3, Edwards 2, Lynch 2, McIntosh, Castagna, Martin, Prestia, Rioli
St Kilda: Savage, Butler, Steele, Battle, Kent, Ross
Richmond: Houli, Edwards, Lynch, Baker, Martin, Nankervis, Bolton
St Kilda: Steele, Clark, Membrey, Wilkie, Marshall, Ross, Savage