Zebras take down Essendon's hopes to land back to back wins
Sandringham return home to Wilson Storage Trevor Baker Beach Oval in a competitive effort that resulted in their first win of the season.
Photography: Mark Woods
The Sandringham Zebras were put to the test on Sunday afternoon, coming off a competitive loss in Round 1 against the Southport Sharks. On the back of the success from St Kilda's convincing win against Essendon on Saturday night at the MCG, Sandringham came out with a new found energy, seeking to continue the weekend's celebrations by finding their first win against Essendon VFL.
The Zebras' relentless pressure was on show for all four quarters on Sunday, with the backline holding a strong wall that consisted of Anthony Seaton, Tyson Milne, Will Dunne and St Kilda listed James Van Es, Tom Highmore and Oscar Adams. It wasn't only our backline that held up, with both the mids and forwards going to work all day to provide a persistent forward pressure that rewarded us on the scoreboard.
It was both the new recruits and familiar St Kilda young guns from down the road that stepped up this weekend and converted 19 goals between them. New recruit, Jordy Segar kicked his first goal for the Zebras, and finished with two more in the fourth. Whilst Noah Gown and Ollie Lowe also kicked three for the day. AFL listed Max Heath converted five goals, sharing the shots on goal with Jack Peris (3 goals, 5 tackles) and Jack Bytel (2 goals, 35 disposals, 6 tackles).
The Zebras began the quarter with Noah Gown given the first scoring opportunity for the day a minute into the game. Gown conceiving the first point wasn't enough to put Essendon off their game early, as they began fighting back with patient ball movement towards their forward 50. Sandringham's backline got to work shutting down the forward entries, however Essendon eventually snuck the first goal of the game. Just when the Zebras' skills were down early in the first quarter, Darby Hipwell laid a tackle on Essendon's Quinton Narkle, sparking hope. Soon after a smother from Riley Virtue continued the new found hope, which was quickly extinguished by a second goal from the Bombers. Shortly after, Jack Bytel got a chance to strike back, providing Sandringham with their first for the quarter.
Max Heath entered the ruck with an immediate impact, winning the tap from the centre and later launching into the contest, marking the ball with his big frame 45 out from goal. Although Heath swung left, not all hope was lost with a crumb from Peris, kicking a high ball towards goals, finding his first for the game. The Zebras dominated late in the quarter, with Ollie Lowe kicking 2 goals and Gown kicking deep into the forward line. Following a spoil out of bounds by a competitive Essendon backline, it was again crafty ruck work from a throw in that gave Bytel his second of the quarter.
Sandringham started the second quarter 15 points up and with momentum. A nervous Essendon midfield gave away a free kick from the ruck contest, and an opportunity for Heath to kick his first for the day. Just minutes after, Gown received a free to kick his second. Essendon continued the pressure out of the stoppage and, with a bit of an arm wrestle, finally reached their fourth for the afternoon. An electric passage of play saw Gown again present himself at the footy and switch to Peris, who kicked the eighth for the Zebras. With no sign of Essendon backing down, Sandringham continued to pressure the Bombers around the ground with a couple of grabs from Highmore on the wing, hitting up both Milne and Hipwell. Gown was again presenting himself as the option going forward and kicked his second, and Jordan Segar contributed to the scoreboard, getting his first goal for the Club. Essendon were kicking high to predictable places allowing for Highmore and Oscar Adams to pick off Essendon's forwards. The second quarter was brought to an end with the Bombers scoring a late one in the closing minutes.
35 points down, Essendon attempted the first goal of the quarter but it was rushed through for a behind. Bytel continued to have influential possessions in the opening five minutes, but Essendon's pressure of play led to a goal. It's soon after that the Bombers score again out the back from a contest in their forward 50. The Bombers were first to the footy and produced a new found energy coming off the half time break. Sandringham held composure as Tyson Milne rolled up from the backline and took an uncontested chest mark with a shot on goal. The ball was turned over by Essendon who pushed up the ground quickly, condensing the margin on the scoreboard further. Heath continued to leap into the packs with pace, marking the ball and creating scoring opportunities. In the final minutes, Peris squeezed a kick to Blamires late in the third quarter who then put it to Zagari in scoring range, however the ball was kicked off the left of his boot leaving Sandringham 17 points up.
The Sandy Zebras continued to pursue their first win early in the last quarter, with a tackle from Peris and a strike on goal from Gown to get his third. Despite the consistent energy brought by Sandringham, Essendon never seemed to back down, competing at every contest. The backline continued to stop scoring opportunities for the Bombers, with Milne booting the ball with pace to a contest outside the forward line. As the ball went to ground, Segar found his second goal for the game creating an exciting atmosphere for all the fans around Wilson Storage Trevor Barker Beach Oval. Segar was able to continue the momentum moments after, kicking his third from a turnover at the 16 minute mark. As Essendon ambitiously went through the middle of the ground to find their twelfth goal, Heath put the match to an end with his fourth and fifth goal of the afternoon.
An exceptional result for Sandringham on the back of our round one loss was created through the notable efforts of all players. Our competitive nature and improved skills were rewarded with a 37 point win against Essendon.
Final Score: Sandringham Zebras 19.12 (126) won to Essendon 14.5 (89)
Goals: M. Heath (5), J. Segar (3), N. Gown (3), O. Lowe (3), J. Peris (3), J. Bytel (2)
Best: M. Heath, J, Bytel, D. Hipwell, J. Peris, O. Adams, N. Gown