The Sandringham Zebras went down to Port Melbourne by 36 points on a gloomy day at Wilson Storage Trevor Barker Beach Oval.
The Zebra’s wore black armbands for Albert Hubbard, a life member of the club who passed away during the week. Albert was a former club historian and wrote a historical book about the club following the 1985 Premiership.
Robbie Young opened the scoring for the day with a major, as the Zebra’s kicked with the wind in the first quarter. The Zebra’s had the majority of attacking play early on, with both teams playing a high pressure brand of football as the rain began to fall towards the end of the first quarter.
The rain continued in the second quarter making scoring tough for both sides however it was Port Melbourne who struck first kicking with the wind. The second quarter was littered with sloppy disposals, stoppages and heavy tackles, as both sides continued to apply strong pressure.
The rain fell heavier towards the end of what was a relatively even first half. In challenging conditions it was the Zebras tackling pressure and intensity around the ball that kept them within striking distance at the half time.
Defender Jack Noone lead from the front, with 12 disposals and six tackles at half time, as did captain Breded Seccull who finished the half with 10 disposals, five tackles and a goal. Kai Owens battled hard in the wet with six tackles to half time, Brandon White polled 11 disposals and Sam Rowe continued to show why he is the ultimate utility with 10 disposals and 29 hitouts.
The game opened up in the third quarter with the ball moving from end to end more freely, but both defences held strong to make scoring tough. Despite the Zebra’s best efforts, the quarter belonged to Port Melbourne. Doulton Langlands and Jimmy Webster kicked truly from set shots late in the third quarter to bring the margin back to 23 points at the end of the 35 minute long quarter.
With the rain easing up in the final term, Port Melbourne showed why they’ll be playing finals this season. A sharp snap from Templeton and a long set shot from Gasper shortly after put the game out of reach of the Zebra’s.
Goals to Haidon, Webster and Fox gave the Zebra’s fans something to cheer about, but it was Port Melbourne who has the last laugh, winning by 36 points.
Captain Brede Seccull (23 disposals, 16 kicks, ten tackles, one goal) fought hard in the midfield, while Jack Noone (18 disposals, 9 tackles) continued his strong run of form.
Jimmy Webster (14 disposals, 11 kicks, three tackles, two goals) was the Zebra’s only multiple goal scorer, while fellow St Kilda listed players Jonathon Marsh (21 disposals, 17 kicks, four tackles) and Ed Phillips (19 disposals, 12 kicks, five tackles) also put in strong performances.
Kai Owens (six disposals, 12 tackles, seven hitouts) finished with an astonishing 12 tackles, while Bailey Rice (16 disposals, 14 kicks, nine tackles) and Robbie Young (12 disposals, ten kicks, eight tackles, one goal) were both pressure machines.
Sam Rowe (16 disposals, ten kicks, three tackles, 59 hitouts) continued to impress as the side’s number one ruckman.
Port Melbourne’s Eli Templeton (14 disposals, ten tackles, three goals) and Shannen Lange (24 disposals, six tackles, one goal) would be particularly pleased with their day out.
The Zebra’s will now turn their attention to their final game of the season next Sunday against the Northern Blues.