The Sandringham Zebras rounded out their preseason campaign with a comprehensive win over Essendon on Saturday coming away 29-point victors in hot and sunny conditions at Tullamarine.
The Zebras started impressively in their third and final practice match, as they gear up for the home-and-away season, putting on six goals to one in the opening quarter.
Jackson Ross continued his preseason form and was looking dangerous across the half-forward line, as he managed two opening quarter goals.
Rowan Marshall and Sam Alabakis were imposing early in the ruck and were giving the Zebras first use around the stoppages where Goy Lok and Luke Dunstan were taking advantage.
The Zebras were setting up well across the ground, and forced turnovers allowed Luke Dalmau and Fin Bayne to hit the scoreboard.
Young gun Tyson Milne was impressive early on, as the Zebras went into the quarter time break with a big lead.
The second quarter saw the tables turn, as the Zebras were forced to defend against the wind.
Chris Carey finished a set shot from straight in front early on, but it was Essendon who did most of the attacking for the second quarter.
Anthony Seaton and Jack Bytel were excellent in defense, as they repelled multiple Essendon attacks and pushed the ball forward.
The Zebras did well to stifle the Essendon forwards, and they were able to maintain a 28-point lead going into the half.
With the wind behind their backs in the third quarter, the Zebras came out strong as a nice transition play through the middle allowed Matthew Allison to open the scoring for the term.
Lok continued his good work and was rewarded with a goal as play started to open up.
The Zebras continued to press the issue, with a 50m penalty giving Dalmau a second and some beautiful ruckwork allowing Beau Bailey to run into an open goal.
Another forced turnover inside the Zebras forward 50 gave Allison his second of the quarter, as the Zebras took a commanding 47-point lead into the fourth quarter.
The fourth quarter saw players begin to tire in the heat, and it was Essendon who came out strong with some early scoreboard pressure.
But the defense held firm, and another goal to Lok steadied the ship, as ultimately the Zebras were able to run away with a comfortable 29-point win in tough conditions.
The win capped off a strong preseason campaign for the Zebras who will now look forward to their Round 1 matchup against Richmond on April 16.
Sandringham Zebras: 6.5 7.8 12.9 13.9 (87)
Essendon: 1.0 3.4 5.4 8.10 (58)
Goals: Ross 2, Dalmau 2, Lok 2, Allison 2, Alabakis, Bayne, Carey, Dunstan, Bailey
Written by Will Michael - Sandringham Football Club Media