Sandringham: 0.5 1.7 1.14 6.22 (58)
Williamstown: 3.3 8.8 9.15 11.16 (82)
Goals: Lee 3, McCartin, Lonie, Shenton
Bests: Saunders, Shenton, Simpkin, Weickhardt, Lee, Murdoch
Sandringham has slumped to its third straight loss, going down to ladder leaders Williamstown by 24 points.
In near perfect conditions at Trevor Barker Beach Oval, the Zebras again suffered from a slow start – going scoreless in the opening term as the Seagulls made Sandringham pay for their inaccuracy.
It wasn’t until the final quarter that the Zebras got going, kicking one Cam Shenton goal to three quarter time. The decision to move Tom Lee paid dividends, booting three final term goals to ensure Sandringham fought out the contest and give themselves the slightest sniff of a miracle victory.
Much of the Zebras woes stemmed from the forward line, which again struggled to get going. Just six goals from 55 inside 50s, with 22 behinds highlighting a tough afternoon in front of the big sticks.
Despite finishing +14 in tackles, Sandringham’s pressure on the ball carrier was down on previous weeks. At times, the Seagulls worked the ball from defence to attack with ease. Averaging nearly 100 disposals over the first three quarters, Williamstown were finding easy ball and capitalizing on opportunities.
As mentioned, it all started in the first quarter. Kicking just five behinds, Sandringham was again forced to chase the game. Despite more inside 50s, the Zebras lacked polished in front of goal and Williamstown, being the quality side they are, were going to make Sandringham pay.
Ed Carr and Sam Dunell got hold of the Zebras early, while Dylan Conway needed just two kicks to hit the scoreboard twice.
Second term was where Williamstown virtually took the game away from Sandringham. +40 in disposals and +10 inside 50s, only inaccuracy denied the Seagulls a larger margin. The Sandringham goal-drought ended at the 25-minute mark, when Cam Shenton broke clear and kicked true on the run.
Coming from a long way behind, the Zebras needed to wrestle back control of the contest and did so in the third. Lifting their tackle numbers, Sandringham started to show greater intent and endeavour.
It was the final quarter, however, where the Zebras were rewarded for effort. Three goals to Tom Lee cut the margin to 23 points and weight of momentum firmly in the Sandringham corner.
But inaccuracy, which cruelled their counterparts St Kilda the night before, denied Sandringham a miracle comeback. Three straight behinds slashed the lead to 20 points, but that’s as close as they got.
After the game, Sandringham senior coach Paul Hudson was again left to lament a slow start.
“I thought they got on top of us clearance-wise first quarter, “ Hudson said.
“We can’t win a game of footy playing one quarter and that’s what we did.
“We were looking dangerous there when we applied ourselves.”
A trip to North Ballarat awaits, with the Zebras now in a desperate position to not only keep up with top four, but ensure they remain in the eight.
Sandringham: 3.3 6.6 10.12 17.14 (116)
Williamstown: 2.2 3.10 7.11 7.13 (55)
Goal Kickers: M. Wilkins 4, M. Kreymborg 3, J. Fisscher 3, K. Ong 2, J. Davis 2, J. Dobosz, M. Hooy, E. Uthayakumar
Best Players: J. Wallace, K. Ong, M. Hooy, M. Wilkins, J. Davis, L. Hiscock
Sandringham’s development side put in a dominant display to down Williamstown by 48 points at Trevor Barker Beach Oval on Sunday.
In near perfect conditions, the Zebras broke clear in the final term after a three quarter arm wrestle. Seven goals to none in the last ensured Sandringham continued their push towards finals.
Kenny Ong continued his recent form with 21 disposals, seven tackles and a goal. Jack Wallace was excellent with 20 touches and six marks, while Mitch Wilkins booted four majors.
It was a particularly slow start for Sandringham, as both sides struggled in the opening stages. Williamstown got the initial jump, but the Zebras worked their way into the contest longer the term went on.
Erishmiilan Uthayakumar nabbed Sandringham’s first when a lucky bounce caught his opponent flatted footed, allowing the key forward to charge into an open goal and receive the handball over the top.
Sandringham’s defence stood up strong against a Williamstown onslaught and rode the bumps early. Like the opening term, once settled the Zebras took advantage with three goals to take a 14-point lead into the main break.
Both sides went toe to toe in the third quarter, each booting four goals. For every Sandringham goal, Williamstown had a response. Even when the Seagulls booted two on the trot, the Zebras countered back with two plucky goals late. First a bouncing goal that took a 90 degree turn, then a Matt Kreymborg soccer.
The late third quarter goals sparked the last, as Sandringham ran riot in the last. Two early goals, including a running finish from Kenny Ong all but ended any faint hope Williamstown had. From there, it was all one-way traffic. Despite going just +4 inside 50s, Mitch Wilkins and Joe Fisscher punished the Seagulls every time the ball went forward.
In the end, weight of momentum ensured the Zebras went into next week’s bye with a comfortable 48-point victory.