Peter Jackson VFL Round 13
Port Melbourne Boroughs vs. Sandringham Zebras
North Port Oval, Port Melbourne
2:00pm Saturday July 15, 2017
Last 5 – Port Melbourne: 2, Sandringham: 3
Last Time They Met:
Elimination Final, 2016 – Sandringham 22.13 – 145 DEF Port Melbourne 15.10 – 100
By Nathaniel Sage
Sandringham’s slide down the ladder has continued with a 49-point loss to Footscray, and it only gets tougher as they head to North Port Oval at 2pm this Saturday to take on the Borough.
The Zebras were able to keep Footscray in check for most of the first half, before the Bulldogs restricted Sandringham’s effectiveness going forward, created some separation and eventually added to their fearsome percentage. Looking at the opposition, Port Melbourne fans will be happy as their team jumped into top spot with a comfortable 23-point win over the Northern Blues.
With Sandringham back on the road, Lindsay Gilbee will be anxious to see if his squad can put in a big effort against the top side. One cause for hope is the fact that the Borough were upset in their last game at home by Collingwood, who sit just one spot above the Zebras.
Something else to note is the last time Sandy headed to North Port Oval as the underdog, they produced an upset – knocking Port Melbourne out in the Elimination Final last year. With that said, the sides are much further separated on the ladder than the last time they met.
Quickly looking at some individual notes from last week, Sandringham were ably led by Luke Dunstan who was relentless across the four quarters with 38 disposals and 2 goals. Blake Acres had a prolific first half with 22 possessions before sitting out much of the second half.
Other contributors were Myke Cook with an early goal and 22 touches, while Bailey Rice had 28 disposals at 79% efficiency. Rice’s highlights can be viewed here on the St Kilda website.
While the Zebras second half against Footscray was disheartening, Footscray have been great at putting opponents to the sword – their average winning margin is over 50 points. Compared with the last time Sandringham faced Footscray, this was a much more respectable effort.
Port Melbourne, while they never opened up a big lead, would be quite happy with their win over Northern. Best on ground was Tom O’Sullivan (#4) who racked up 32 touches (8 kicks, 24 handballs), while Dillon Viojo-Rainbow (#16) used the ball well and picked up 6 marks.
They defended well as a team in restricting the Blues to just 9 goals. Most effective up forward were Chris Cain and Robin Nahas with 3 goals apiece. The overall threat of their forward line is underscored by the fact that their two leading goal scorers, Jordan Lisle and Dylan Conway, were very quiet, and the team still kicked a winning total (13.8 – 86).
Borough fans will be happy to see their team back at home and in their familiar home guernsey after wearing a clash strip for the first time in their history.
Sandringham will be hoping to steal a win against Port Melbourne this week and, despite how tough the past couple of months have been, the Zebras still sit only a game and percentage out of the top eight.
While a win would be quite remarkable, cleaner ball use around the ground and a more accurate showing in front of goal will go a long way to determining how long Sandy can stick with the Borough.
Sandy’s development team also play at North Port Oval, their match will precede the Seniors and will get underway at 11am. They currently sit in third spot on the Development League ladder after a 15-point loss to Casey.
The Sandringham Zebras Twitter and Facebook pages will be updated periodically with stats and scores throughout gamedays, so check them out to keep up to speed.