By Tom Anderson
The game started off with lightning pace with no reward for either team early on. With both teams trying to secure a place in the finals, it was vitally important for Sandringham to get the jump early against a classy Box Hill team. With the end to end movement for the first part of the quarter, the deadlock was broken by a running goal to Chris Colombo, finishing off some good team play. Box Hill began to apply pressure to Sandringham both on the outside and inside of the contest. This began to turn the contest. After a strong start by Sandringham, Box Hill were able to control the rest of the quarter and kick the next four goals of the quarter. Three out of four of the goals were let in by Box Hill getting out the back and running into an open goal. The turn in pressure didn’t help Sandringham out as scoreboard pressure did the talking for Box Hill.
Daniel Hughes played his best quarter in a fair while, showing his potential as a key forward. Nick Pavlou and Nathan Scagliarini also started well through the middle with eight disposals each.
Just like the first quarter, Sandringham started off well with Lewis Pierce tapping it straight down the throat of Nathan Scagliarini for him to goal from 50 out. This enabled Sandringham to keep on top for the first 5 minutes of the quarter. They were able to control the game and keep the ball in their half of the ground. Unfortunately, all the hard work was undone by a costly midfield turnover and another goal from the goal square for Box Hill. This goal turned the game in Box Hill’s favour with them kicking the next two and applying immense pressure to Sandringham once again. It also allowed Box Hill to start showing their class, moving the ball with ease around the ground. With Box Hill kicking the last seven out of eight goals it was important for Sandringham to fight back and kick a goal to stem the flow. To add to his impressive game already, Nathan Scagliarini finished off his hard work with his second of the quarter kicking one from the goal square. To add to Sandringham’s worries, as if it was rehearsed, Box Hill answered with the next two goals to take a 35 point lead into the major break.
Again it was Nathan Scagliarini who dominated for Sandringham with eight disposals and two goals for the quarter. Robert Iudica and Luke Verma also had good quarters to get themselves back in the game with eight and seven disposals respectively whilst Lewis Pierce has been dominant in the ruck contest.
Whilst the third quarter started off evenly, Sandringham’s foot skills continued to let them down and Box Hill were able to make them pay. It also allowed Box Hill to put their classy skills to best use with multiple shots at goal throughout the quarter. A few easy shots going down as misses for Box Hill were a god scent for Sandringham in a scoreless quarter. Their poor kicking going inside 50 has really let Sandringham down this quarter whilst Box Hill creating midfield turnovers has allowed them to cut Sandringham’s ball movement up as well. To Sandringham’s credit, they were able to create multiple stoppages in the latter part of the quarter to stem Box Hill’s flow.
Putting the last quarter behind them, Chris Colombo was able to kick the first quarter after perhaps Sandringham’s best ball movement for the day through the corridor. This also enabled Sandringham to get on top in the early part of the quarter and control the game. Like most of the game, it didn’t last long. Poor decision making in defence resulted in a holding the ball decision and Box Hill being able to answer Sandringham’s first goal. Another Box Hill goal quickly followed before our best player for the day, Nathan Scagliarini kicked his third. This didn’t help Sandringham change the momentum with Box Hill kicking the last three goals of the game making the final margin 75 points.
Whilst the loss puts a dent in Sandringham’s finals hopes, hopefully they can bounce back next week against Casey at home and consolidate their spot in the top four in time for finals.
Goal Kickers: Nathan Scagliarini 3, Chris Colombo 2
Disposals: Nathan Scagliarini 30, Luke Verma 30, Nick Pavlou 25
Best Players: Nathan Scagliarini, Luke Verma, Nick Pavlou, Ari Sakeson, Tom Laumets, Jordan Stewart