By Tom Anderson
A quick start by both teams made for entertaining football but played perfectly into Box Hill’s favour. Box Hill’s first two goals came in quick succession and put Sandringham on the back foot straight away. To Sandringham’s credit, they were able to hold up Box Hill for a little while to stop them running over the top of them. In being able to hold Box Hill up, Sandringham were also able to get their first bit of decent ball movement together for Corey Rich to kick his first for the game.
Sandringham were able to keep up with Box Hill around the ball but Box Hill’s slick ball movement and trusting their structures around the ground enabled them to get on top of Sandringham once again. A Jason Holmes goal from the goal square once again stemmed the dominance of Box Hill before their bigger bodies and better ball movement got on top once again in what was the story of not only the quarter but also the game. Nick O’Kearney continued throughout the quarter to show his class with a nine disposal first quarter.
Box Hill’s dominance of the game continued into the start of the second quarter and for the entirety of the quarter too. Sandringham began the quarter being very reactive to any of Box Hill’s ball movement. Although Sandringham got the first shot at goal for the quarter, Box Hill were able to run coast to coast to kick the first goal of the quarter. With Sandringham allowing Box Hill to play their natural kicking game, Box Hill were moving the ball with ease. Sandringham’s midfield turnovers were costly too as Box Hill were able to make them pay each and every time.
Six goals to zero for the quarter and a 53 point Box Hill lead perfectly displayed a one sided quarter and so far the game as well. Nathan Wright’s rebound off half back has been a rare highlight for Sandringham in a poor second half.
Sandringham’s disappointing first half flowed into the third quarter with the first clearance going their way before Box Hill turn it over and kick the first of the quarter. To Sandringham’s credit they were able to answer quickly through good ball movement and Corey Rich converting a set shot. Like most of the first half, Box Hill were let out the back again and goal to get momentum back in their favour. This saw Box Hill kick the next three goals to put the margin out to 77 points. With Sandringham’s pride at stake, they were able to kick the following three goals through Corey Rich, Jason Holmes and Ben Long to get the margin back a little. In what was the normal pattern of the game, Box Hill kicked the next four goals with their slick ball movement on full display. With the margin being 85 points at the last break and the game out of reach, Sandringham were playing for pride and for the game not to get out to a demoralising margin.
To add to his already impressive game, Nick O’Kearney did his chances of a recall to the Saints lineup no harm, kicking the first goal of the last quarter. With the coaching staff making a few changes at the three quarter time break, Sandringham were able to win some of the 50 50 contests that they hadn’t won all day. The nothing to lose approach to the game began to pay dividends for Sandringham and it was beginning to show on the scoreboard. A Ray Connellan goal after impressive ball movement followed by that of a Nathan Wright goal directly from a turnover had Sandringham’s spirits and confidence up. The next five out of seven goals all went Sandringham’s way, in what was encouraging signs from a team that lacked confidence in the first three quarters. Although it was all too late, the eight goal to two last quarter put some respectability to the scoreboard and showed the coaching staff what the players are capable of.
Our next and final home game for the season is Saturday the 5th of August. We are hoping to bounce back against Casey Demons who are equal on points with us.
Goal Kickers: Corey Rich 4, Jason Holmes 2, Ray Connellan 2, Ben Long, Nathan Wright, Joe Fisscher, Nick O'Kearney, Beau Bailey, Rowan Marshall
Disposals: Nick O’Kearney 35, Nathan Wright 26, Kade Answerth 24
Best Players: Nathan Wright, Kade Answerth, Nick O'Kearney, Corey Rich, Tom Hickey, Elliott Le Grice