A strong start by the Zebs enabled them to get on top of a Port team full of class and quality players. In a game where outsiders gave Sandringham no chance, Sandy were able to start strongly through Rowan Marshall kicking the first two goals from good ball movement mixed with scrappy movement trying to push the ball forward at every opportunity. Sandringham were also very good at being able to curb Port’s influence around the ground and not being able to play their natural free flowing game. Nathan Freeman was very good at making Port pay with a few very classy kicks going inside forward 50 with one resulting in a Hamish Brayshaw goal. Brandon White also started well with most of his disposals used effectively coming out of defence. A Myke Cook goal in the closing moments of the quarter topped off a good quarter for Sandringham.
Luke Dunstan again started well with 10 first quarter disposals as well as Dylan Weickhardt collecting 7 disposals whilst playing a key role on former St Kilda listed player Eli Templeton.
A scrappy second quarter was controlled by Sandringham again. Although Sandringham allowed Port to play their natural free flowing game they have been able to cut their influence on the scoreboard. Sandy were also able to make the most of their forward 50 entries with the first goal for the quarter coming through Ray Connellan. Blake Acres also started to display his talent with multiple efforts around the contest mixed with his more natural outside game. With limited scoring opportunities, Sandringham’s pressure around the ground increased and were able to either win most of the stoppages or neutralise them. Kade Answerth’s tenacity around the ball was key to this with his tackling pressure as well as his ability to get first hands on the ball. A number of wasted chances at goal for Port made Sandringham’s two goals vital for the quarter with Mav Weller kicking the final goal of the quarter for Sandringham to take a 30 point lead into the main break.
After a strong first half against the ladder leaders, Sandringham were keen to keep ahead both on the scoreboard and in the contest. The first goal went to Port but was quickly answered by a running goal from Luke Dunstan after a strong mark by Nathan Wright. Again, Port were wasteful in front of goal which allowed Sandy to hurt Port further with a Blake Acres goal from a set shot. The Zebs were also able to clog up the space that Port desired coming out of defence. This also resulted in multiple turnovers, one created a goal by Nathan Freeman baulking a defender a kicking truly from 40 metres out. After this though, the game started to turn in Port’s favour with them reducing the half time margin to 26 points at the main break and carrying all their momentum into the last quarter.
With all the momentum on Port’s side going into the last quarter, an unlikely hero stepped up in Joe Fisscher with his first goal for the quarter coming in the first 30 seconds. Unfortunately for Sandringham though, that resulted in Port gaining momentum again and kicking the next two goals and looking like they would run away with the game. Another Joe Fisscher goal from a run-down tackle took the margin out to 26 points. Sandringham were able to keep on top around the contest but were unable to hit the scoreboard whilst Port were able to. With the home crowd behind Port, the margin was reduced to 13 points with still ten minutes to play. Sandringham’s more experienced players began to step up and control the game. Slow play down the wing saw them run down the clock and also kick a behind. Rowan Marshall’s influence around the ground both in the air and also by foot in the last half of the quarter kept Sandringham composed. A late goal to Port cut the margin to eight points was too late with that also being the final margin and Sandringham perhaps having their best win of the year.
Dylan Weickhardt’s influence on the game was pivotal with his role on Eli Templeton whilst Jason Holmes dominated in the ruck all day. Rowan Marshall’s versatility was again on show with him being able to make an impact wherever he played on the ground. Luke Dunstan, Brandon White and Blake Acres again showed their class and top quality ball use all over the ground.
Goal Kickers: Rowan Marshall 2, Joseph Fisscher 2, Luke Dunstan, Ray Connellan, Blake Acres, Nathan Freeman, Hamish Brayshaw, Mav Weller, Myke Cook
Best Players: Dylan Weickhardt, Jason Holmes, Rowan Marshall, Luke Dunstan, Brandon White, Blake Acres
This week Sandringham play down at Geelong before our next home game is on the 30th of July against Box Hill Hawks.
This weeks game is also televised on Channel 7 on Sunday from 1pm.