WERRIBEE 2.6 5.7 10.8 14.10 (94)
SANDRINGHAM 2.3 4.5 6.12 10.14 (74)
Werribee: Nahas 3, Porter 2, McKay 2, Fordham, Maishman, Wagner, Conway, Gribble, Mountford, Clarke
Sandringham: Shenton 4, Sinclair 2, Wilkins, Longer, Saunders, Templeton
Werribee: Clarke, Porter, Maishman, Fordham, McKenzie, Preuss
Sandringham: Answerth, Shenton, Le Grice, Curren, Saunders, Sinclair
Sandringham’s form woes have continued, going down to Werribee by 20 points at Avalon Airport Oval on Sunday afternoon.
In conditions fit for September, the Zebras were outclassed to drop their sixth game in last seven outings. The loss leaves Sandringham in seventh position and facing a cut-throat elimination final against Port Melbourne next Sunday.
With highlights hard to come by, the Zebras struggled to get going all afternoon. A similar picture painted to last week, there was an inability to convert going forward and critical turnovers in dangerous areas.
After a lively Sandringham start, Werribee took advantage of a fumbling Zebras. Only poor conversion from the Tigers kept Sandringham within touching distance. While Elliott Le Grice and Luke Delaney were keeping their opponents at bay, Robin Nahas caused headaches for the Zebras’ defence.
As the tempo picked up in the second quarter, the game quickly became goal for goal. First Corey Wagner for Werribee, then Cam Shenton, then Nahas, then Shenton again before Isaac Conway goaled for the Tigers right on half time. A common pattern started to emerge – both on the scoresheet and statistically.
Neither side could wrestle control of the contest and every time Sandringham looked to break it open, Werribee answered straight back.
Third quarters, in particular, have become an Achilles heel for Sandringham – having dropped their last two and drawing the other. Sunday was no different. Kicking 2.7 to Werribee’s 5.1, every Zebras’ behind was punished with a Tigers goal.
A passage of play summing up Sandringham’s afternoon occurred mid-way through the third. Jack Sinclair goaled to cut the deficit to 18 points. Next centre bounce, ball goes back inside 50, only for Shenton to kick a costly behind. Going straight up the other end, Werribee extended their margin back out to 24 points through Ben McKay.
12-point play in a matter of seconds.
Despite feeble attempts to snatch victory, Werribee had an answer for everything in the last – running out 20-point victors to deny Sandringham 6th spot.
Eli Templeton led the way with 32 disposals and a goal, showing plenty of attacking penetration – particularly forward of centre. Jack Sinclair got going after a slow start to finish with 21 touches, eight tackles and two goals.
Up forward, too much was left for Cam Shenton – booting four goals in another outstanding performance. While down back, as mentioned, Le Grice (24 disposals, seven marks) and Delaney (13 touches, eight marks) put in a good shift to minimize the damage of Werribee’s tall forwards.
Next up is an elimination final against old foe Port Melbourne at North Port Oval. With no more next week, Sandringham will need to rid this form slump - fast.
WERRIBEE 3.4 6.5 9.6 13.9 (87)
SANDRINGHAM 3.5 6.14 10.16 15.18 (108)
Rich 4, Dobosz 2, Fox 2, Kelso 2, Lopo 2, McLaren, Haidon, Pavlou
Kelso, Freeman, Rich, Pavlou, Dobosz, Haidon
Sandringham’s development side signed off on 2016 with a win, defeating Werribee by 21-points at Avalon Airport Oval.
In pristine conditions, the Zebras shook off a resolute Tigers to wrap up sixth spot and finish a game short of a top four finish.
Nick Pavlou and Nathan Freeman led the way with 28 disposals each, while Johnathan Haidon was among the bests with 22 touches. Up forward, Corey Rich booted four goals and took seven marks in a dominant display.
It was a high tempo opening quarter for the Zebras, who went +6 inside 50s and had 97 possessions. Neither side, however, were able to make the most of their chances. Both Sean McLaren and Julian Dobosz gave the Werribee defence headaches.
Not only did McLaren slot a goal himself, but was also setting them up. His contest inside 50 brought the ball to ground, allowing Rich to rove the pack and kick a dribbling goal.
Sandringham threw towering ruckman Charlie Kelso down forward late in the first with great success, kicking a key goal right on quarter time.
After a 11-disposal opening quarter, Nick Pavlou left off where he started, setting up both Josh Fox and Kurt Lopo for their goals as Sandrigham’s lead grew. Pavlou then treated himself to a major, with a lovely gather and snap from a tough angle.
However, Sandringham’s dominance was not rewarded on the scoreboard. Nearly doubling Werribee’s inside 50 count for the quarter, just 3.9 is all they had to show – going into half time with a slight nine-point lead.
Two quick Werribee goals after the main break gave them the lead, but it was short lived. Rich snapped true off-balance to restore the lead, one Sandringham would not lose here on in. With an ability to kick goals at crucial stages, Werribee proved hard to shake.
However, three late goals in the third took Sandringham’s lead out to a game-high 16 points at three quarter time.
From there, it was all one-way traffic. Kelso marked and goaled to get the ball rolling in the last, while Julian Dobosz and Corey Rich were proving too much for the Tigers.
Taking the foot off late, the work was done as Sandringham finished 2016 with victory.