After a disappointing end to last weeks game, Sandringham were keen to start strongly and get on top early in a contest against the top of the ladder Port Melbourne. Whilst not dominating through the midfield to start the game, Sandringham were able to kick the first two goals of the game making the most of their opportunities with the ball. In his return from injury, Jordan Matera kicked one of the first two goals whilst Daniel Hughes kicked the other. To Sandringham’s credit, they were able to keep control of the game even though they had limited possessions. Their pressure both on and off the ball meant that Port were struggling to get any penetration with their disposal. With Sandringham taking the most of their chances, Sandringham were able to cause a turnover inside their forward 50 which saw Josh Fox take a tough contested mark in the goal square and goal. With the first quarter being a very even contest, a late goal from a free kick on the boundary to Corey Rich saw the Zebs take a 6 point lead into the first break.
Theo Thompson and Nick Pavlou started the game off really well through the midfield with seven and eight disposals respectively and kept Sandringham in the contest around the ball.
After a strong start to the first quarter, Sandringham were outrun and outplayed for the first part of the second quarter. They were allowing Port exactly what they want to play the game on their terms which resulted in the first four goals of the quarter going Port’s way. An 18 minute mark goal to Nathan Smith was enough to break the flow of a Port team threatening to open up the game and run away with it. Jonathan Haidon’s pressure around the stoppages and his will to create a physical presence around the ground were able to keep Port from getting on top around the ball. His midfield pressure led to a slight turn in the quarter, with Sandringham kicking the last two goals of the quarter, again through Nathan Smith with typical small forward like pressure acts and goals. Considering the domination of Port throughout the quarter Sandringham did well to only be down by a goal at the long break, ready to get back on top of the game in a big second half.
After a poor second quarter, Sandringham started the third quarter with perhaps their best football for the year. They started the quarter on top of the contest both inside and outside and were able to hit the scoreboard as well. A seven goal to one quarter was led by a three goal quarter by Jordan Matera who looked as if he hadn’t missed any games, an 11 disposal quarter and a goal to Theo Thompson as well as Josh Fox playing his best game throughout the ruck. Beau Bailey was again strong in the contest with a courageous intercept mark inside forward 50 and a goal to follow. A dominant Sandringham quarter was only slightly soured by a late turnover and goal to Port for their first and only goal of the quarter.
A topsy turvy last quarter started well for Sandringham taking their domination into the early part of the quarter. They weren’t able to make the most of their early opportunities though with the first two goals going Port’s way. To Sandringham’s credit, they were able to even out the contest around the stoppages which allowed them to get their first goal of the quarter and Jordan Matera to kick his fifth for the game. With the confidence of being on top for most of the game, Sandringham were able to continue to control the rest of the game even though they weren’t playing at their best. Two quick goals by Port created a little bit of pressure for the Zebs but they stayed composed under pressure. A Robert Iudica goal from 40 metres out put the game to rest with the final margin being 26 points.
Goal Kickers: Jordan Matera 5, Nathan Smith 3, Theo Thompson 2, Corey Rich 2, Josh Fox, Beau Bailey, Robert Iudica, Daniel Hughes
Best Players: Jonathan Haidon, Josh Fox, Nick Pavlou, Ari Sakeson, Cal Cathcart, Jordan Matera