By Tom Anderson
Sandringham survives a late charge from a gallant Coburg outift in what resulted in a 1 point win.
In a game that was littered with good ball movement, Sandringham were on top most of the day through their tackling pressure that gave Coburg no time and space around the ball.
Colombo (53) set the scene early for Sandringham with a big tackle that resulted in a holding the ball decision. Although the tackling pressure was up it was also at the cost of quality disposals. This didn’t affect Sandringham hitting the scoreboard with Gogis (55) kicking the first goal of the game. With Sandringham controlling most of the possession, it also allowed them to be in control of the game. This saw goals to Pavlou (17) and Fox (21) through good ball movement from the backline.
After a goal to Coburg from a centre clearance, Sandringham again applied the pressure which saw them again take control of the game and kick the remaining two goals of the quarter through Sziller (49) and Verma (3). Pavlou (17), Noone (13) and Grace (14) were all important around the ground as well as Pierce (71) who continually dominated the ruck contest all day.
After such a dominate first quarter, Sandringham’s recent form started to creep in with two separate collisions between team mates through lack of talk. Luckily, Coburg weren’t able to convert their chances as Sandringham continued to apply pressure around the ground. As the game continued, the Sandringham midfielders started to make use of Pierce’s (71) domination in the ruck. Noone (13) provided multiple efforts inside forward 50 which resulted in a goal. As Sandringham continued to control the game, Coburg began to get themselves into the contest through making the most of their limited opportunities to get forward. Although Sandringham’s pressure around the ground continued, Coburg were able to move the ball quickly. It was only through a few easy goals from Smith (27) and Pavlou that kept Sandringham in control of the quarter.
Verma (3) and Grace (14) continued to be vital for Sandringham, with Pavlou making the most of a dominant ruck display from Pierce (71).
With Sandringham’s domination around, their ball use going forward continued to cost them all day. The quality inside 50’s resulted in goals to Bailey (51) and Fox (21) but as Sandringham started to tire, it allowed Coburg easy ball movement through the middle of the ground. It was only through Sandringham’s pressure throughout the whole game that kept Coburg from taking control of the contest. Coburg towards the end of the third quarter began to out pressure Sandringham which resulted in multiple goals from Sandringham defensive turnovers. This also saw Sandringham’s attitudes change which resulted in a free kick being given away after a Coburg goal saw Sandringham’s lead cut back to 7 points. With Coburg back in the contest, Sandringham’s turnovers began to pile up and it was only through calmer heads that Sandringham were able to control the remainder of the quarter and take control of the game back.
Verma (3) and Pavlou (17) continued to control the midfield and Cathcart playing one of his better games for the season. Goals to Fox (21), Larkin (22), Smith (27) and Bailey (51) kept Sandringham in the game in a quarter in which Coburg won the contest.
A scrappy last quarter left either team in the game with both teams giving their all to come away with the win. Sandringham started the last quarter with the pressure that they had in the first half which had them in a dominant position with Fox (21) kicking the first goal of the quarter giving Sandringham a 14 point lead. Sandringham’s pressure caused Coburg to turnover the ball and Noone (13) being on the end of some good ball movement putting Sandringham up by 19 points. From this point Coburg started to get on top which resulted in the game getting turned on its head. The pressure from both teams was at its highest point for the game. Coburg began to win the 50 50 contests which saw them kick the next 3 goals and cut Sandringham’s lead cut to the slimmest of margins. With Sandringham shutting down the contest after the third goal, it provided the best tactic as the siren sounded at the right time.
Verma (29 disposals), Pavlou (27 disposals) and Grace (22 disposals) were pivotal for Sandringham whilst both Fox (3 goals) and Cathcart (23 disposals) played their best games for the season.