By Tom Anderson
In a fierce hard fought battle it was Sandringham who came out on top in a topsy turvy battle where the siren was the Zebras saving grace from a potential defeat.
The first quarter began with both teams hard at the contest and full of tenacity and ferocity. With Sandringham going with the wind in the first quarter, they took full advantage. A nine goal to three opening term saw Sandringham have potentially their best quarter of the year. Being proactive around the ball and playing in front paid dividends a few times with quick kicks out of congestion falling into player’s arms a few times. Multiple goals to Dylan Weickhardt (1) and Nathan Wright (76) to start and end the quarter got the scoring board ticking over consistently in a game where the smaller players on the ground dominated. Rowan Marshall (77) again started well in defence as his form continues in his newly found role.
A scoreless second quarter was the lowest point for the game but Sandringham’s continual pressure kept Werribee to only three goals kicking with the wind. Tom Hickey (18) began to show his presence around the ground and class whilst in encouraging signs for the club, all nine Sandringham players continued to play their roles and be among the best players in the first half. In a bad quarter, a collision between two team mates also saw Brandon White (65) get concussed and not take any further part in the game. As mentioned, Sandringham’s pressure as well as their composure with ball in hand were their saving grace for the quarter as Werribee at certain times looked to take over the game and kick away.
Nathan Freeman (33) racked up the disposals in the first half with 21 up until half time, Shane Savage (80) showing his class by foot and Daniel McKenzie (70) dominating off half back in what was a two sided half of football.
Tom Hickey (18) began the third quarter with a snap around his body for the first goal of the quarter. In a quarter that was very much controlled by Sandringham, it was only through Werribee being wasteful in front of goal that kept them again from taking the lead. With a move up forward, Shane Savage (80) kicked back to back goals to get the margin out to 17 points mid way through the quarter. As players began to tire as the quarter progressed, the play began more of an arm wrestle with much more scrappy play than usual and clean ball movement not as evident. Hamish Brayshaw (44) kicked a late goal only to be quickly answered by Werribee and Sandringham take a 17 point lead into the final break.
Freeman (33) was again prolific around the ball gathering 11 disposals for the quarter but has been unable to be as damaging as he should be with his disposals. Nic O’Kearney (63) continued accumulate disposals and more often than being damaging with his disposals.
Sandringham started the final quarter in control of the game but unlike the previous three quarters, they turned the ball over a lot more through the midfield. A Lewis Pierce (71) goal extended Sandringham’s lead but their poor possession going into the forward half made it difficult to extend this lead any further. A Joe Fisscher (6) goal at the 12 minute mark of the final term shortly followed by a Ray Connellan (62) goal got Sandringham out to a 34 point lead in what should have been the end of the game.
Werribee left their charge late but they quickly piled on 4 unanswered goals to get them back within 8 points before bad kicking at goal and a last minute chance in their forward 50 gone begging, Sandringham were saved by the siren and came out 6 point winners.
Nathan Freeman (33) was prolific gathering 37 disposals but wasn’t damaging with many of them, Daniel McKenzie (70) accumulated 26 disposals off half back that could earn him a recall to the Saints team, Tom Hickey (18) was dominate both in the ruck and around the ground, Shane Savage (80) showed his class wherever he played on the ground and Sandringham boys Dylan Weickhardt (1) and Myke Cook (9) were named amongst the best.