By Mitch McConville
2.4 7.9 12.14 16.17 113
4.2 5.5 8.7 13.8 86
Goals: Battle 4, Connellan 3, Weller 2, Fisscher 2, Answerth, McKenzie, Bailey, Atkins & Hickey
Disposals: O’Kearney 33, Weller 28, Hickey 27, Brayshaw 27 & White 23.
Best Players: O'Kearney, Atkins, Hickey, Weller, White, Fisscher
The road trip for Sandringham out to Geelong was an overall success, heading in as favorites the pressure noticeably affected the Zebras output from the first bounce.
A slow start only got worse with Nathan Freeman succumbing to ankle injury moments after the first bounce and to only add to the worries, Myke Cook was concussed shortly after. With their best win of the season last week, the coaching staff backed their boys to stick to their structures and trust the game plan and come out on top at the final siren. Despite the first term being dominated by Geelong, Sandringham were able to counteract their press and hit back on the scoreboard late in the quarter. At the conclusion of the first quarter the Zebra’s had started to get on top and if it had not been for their inaccurate kicking they would have taken the lead into the quarter time break.
The second term began similar to the first with Geelong again getting on top early but were unable to punish Sandringham with scoreboard pressure. The game again, like the first quarter began to swing in the Zebras favour. Tom Hickey’s supremacy in the ruck was a major part of this as Sandringham’s midfield took advantage of the dominant ruckman. Once Sandringham got on top of the midfield battle they were able to hit the scoreboard thanks to cleaner foot skills and take a 16 point lead into the major break.
After finding their form Sandy continued from where they left off, maintaining majority of possession and keeping the ball within their forward half. As a result the Zebra’s had plenty of opportunities in front of goal which they did not take advantage of leaving the door slightly ajar for a late Geelong surge in the fourth.
Coming into the final quarter, Sandringham held a 21-point lead but there was a hint of uncertainty especially being at the Cat’s home ground. Nonetheless the Zebra’s survived a hyped up Geelong attack and were able to extend the margin out to a 27-point victory that now leaves us on 9th on the ladder after 14 games.