Disposals: Phillips 25, Steven 23, Webster 22, Marsh 20, Mayo 17, Noone 17, White 16 & Fox 15.
Goals: Rowe 2, Webster, Joyce, Fox & Seaton.
A rampaging third term by the Dons saw the home team defeat the Zebras by 85 points at Windy Hill.
After sitting at 5-3 earlier in the season, Sandringham have gone through a tough two months of football, with finals now looking out of reach.
Captain Brede Seccull, in his new number 0 guernsey for Towards Zero Round, opened the game with the first clearance as the ball went deep inside Sandringham's forward 50. But Essendon, with the breeze, responded quickly, and kicked three goals in the first five minutes of the match.
The rest of the quarter saw a defensive Sandringham style as the boys composed, and managed to minimise the Dons attack, with both sides kicking just a goal each in the rest of the term.
Kicking with the breeze in the second, it was not until the 15th minute mark where a big Jack Noone tackle, in the centre of the ground, sparked Sandringham’s quarter. Rowe soon after found the big sticks, cutting Essendon’s lead to 13.
Pressure up forward from Jono Haidon and Kade Answerth, as well as Phillips’ crafty skills with the ball, paved the way for Joyce and Fox to kick two quick goals as we saw ourselves within one point nearing the end of the second.
St Kilda boys Brandon White, Jimmy Webster and Jack Mayo led the attack from the backline, with White penetrating the footy to Rowe to assist him for his second. Webster was winning every contest in the air, and found the footy 14 times in the first half, as well as kicking one goal.
With scores level at halftime, it seemed a contest that would go right down to the wire. But an unbelievable third term from Essendon saw the Dons kick 10.1 to Sandringham’s 0.1, as they had the Zebras on the back foot all quarter.
Essendon forced every Sandringham rebound 50 straight back into their own hands, as they countered back through the middle to hit up short leads. And they were perfect from their set shots, with four of them even coming from outside 50.
Jack Steven put forth his best efforts in an attempt to help the Zebras find the scoreboard, and tallied eight disposals in the quarter.
It would need to be a courageous final term for the Zebras to fight their way back into the game, but unfortunately, we could only register one major through an Anthony Seaton dribbler.
Ed Phillips (25 touches, 6 tackles) stood out in the yellow, black and blue, as he calls out for a senior selection under interim coach Brett Ratten. Joyce was again a big influence up forward, this week showing he can match it in the air and on the ground, with 10 tackles. Johnathon Marsh too had an impressive game with 20 touches and 7 marks.
Sandringham’s youngster Cal Jones played an inspiring game, totalling 14 disposals. Whilst Fox and Noone continued their consistent seasons, having 15 and 17 disposals respectively.
Round 19 brings the bye for Sandringham, so we’ll see you back home on the 18th of August for Briner Round 20, as we face Port Melbourne for the Tony Scully Cup.