Senior Squad Report
By Tom Anderson
A win today will keep Sandringham’s slim finals chance alive whilst a loss will all but kill it. With this in mind Sandringham needed to get on top early to have a chance of winning the game. A quick start by both teams saw Casey kick the first goal from the goal square in what has been an unwanted trend for Sandringham in recent weeks. Another goal to Casey from the centre clearance and Sandringham were already on the back foot. A common trend in any football game now, started to impact this game too. Goals from turnovers played a big part in the first quarter with two of Casey’s goals and Sandringham’s goal coming directly from turnovers. Corey Rich was able to get on the end of Sandringham’s only goal for the quarter but Sandringham have done really well to limit the number of scoring shots this quarter for Casey even though Casey have been dominate. Nick O’Kearney has started strongly in the midfield with ten disposals.
In the context of their season, this was Sandringham’s most important quarter of the game. It didn’t get off to a good start with Nathan Wright coming off with a shoulder injury. To Sandringham’s credit they didn’t let the injury take their mind of the task at hand. Their first good ball movement for the game saw Ed Phillips kick his first and Sandringham’s first of the quarter. Playing with the wind gave Sandringham the confidence to use the ball more daringly. A quick inside 50 and stoppage goal to Corey Rich followed soon after. Sandringham were really good this quarter at being able to hold the ball in their 50. Just like the last goal, Jack Lonie and Beau Bailey were able to get goals from forward 50 stoppages to give us a ten point lead. Jack Lonie’s impressive quarter continued with a free kick whilst resting forward to kick his second for the quarter and Sandringham’s fifth unanswered goal for the quarter. The rest of the quarter saw Casey even out the contest a little but a long range goal from Josh Battle and a brilliant goal from Myke Cook on the stroke of half time saw Sandringham take a 28 point lead into the major break.
Sandringham started the second half eager to protect their half time lead. Unfortunately Casey came out and in the first four minutes of the quarter had cut the margin back to 16 points. Although Angus Brayshaw all day cut us up running off half back, Sandringham were doing well to hold back all the Casey approaches in the first 10 minutes of the quarter. The reward paid off with some scrappy ball movement finished off by a Myke Cook goal to get the margin back to 21 points. A Jason Holmes mark in the goal square followed straight after as he kicked truly to get the margin up to 27 points. With a decent margin to protect, Casey came hard at Sandringham late in the quarter. Casey were able to kick the next four goals from almost identical plays to take advantage of the wind. The margin going into the final break had Sandringham up by one point.
As the breeze died down in the last quarter, so did Sandringham’s finals chances. With Casey kicking the first two goals of the last quarter they had obtained an 11 point lead. To Sandringham’s credit, goals to Jason Holmes and what at the time seemed to be the sealer to Ben Long got them in front by three points. In a story true to Sandringham’s season though, Casey kicked the next two goals to seal the game and close the door on Sandringham’s finals chances.
A fantastic game by Jack Lonie with 34 disposals and 2 goals wasn’t enough to get Sandringham over the line.
Goal Kickers: Jason Holmes 2, Myke Cook 2, Corey Rich 2, Jack Lonie 2, Ben Long, Beau Bailey, Josh Battle, Ed Phillips
Best Players: Jack Lonie, Ben Long, Dylan Weickhardt
Disposals: Jack Lonie 34, Nick O’Kearney 23, Corey Rich 20, Myke Cook 20