In what was a Mother’s Day delight, Sandringham were able to hold the lead at every break to come home with a 21-point win over Port Melbourne.
Photography: Mark Woods
The sun was shining at Wilson Storage Trevor Barker Beach Oval on Sunday afternoon as a great team effort - compounded by a telling individual performance by Saints-listed Marcus Windhager - gave the Zebs the win they were looking for.
Windhager finished with 35 disposals, 3 goals and 10 clearances whilst Saints counterpart Jimmy Webster had an impactful 28 disposals upon return. Tyson Milne (21 disposals, 7 marks, 6 tackles) and Tom Highmore (20 disposals, 3 marks) help up strongly down back whilst Tom Campbell (18 disposals, 31 hitouts) and Max Heath (1 goal, 9 disposals, 15 hitouts) put up a solid performance in the ruck.
Captain Anthony Seaton spoke post game about their aims coming into the game, noting Head Coach Jake Batchelor's emphasis on using their numbers around the ball - something the Zebs were able to achieve across all four quarters.
The Zebs started off with great intensity, running the ball of halfback with pace to gain two forward fifty entries in the first two minutes. Showing good connection early, Max Heath got on the back of a string of handballs through the corridor - earning the free kick to convert the first goal of the day.
Teamwork remained a theme following Heath’s goal, with multiple passages of run and carry leading to more opportunities inside fifty. Jake Lohmann (1 goal, 11 disposals, 3 tackles - and 1 spectacular mark) converted a minor score - allowing the forwards to get to work and generate repeat stoppages. As a result, Heath was awarded a free kick in front of goal - with Watson taking the advantage to slot through a second Zebs major in the thirteenth minute.
Jordy Segar and Lohmann laid on the presume, whilst Noah Gown (1 goal, 14 disposals, 6 tackles) began to impose himself in the contest. Yet another inside fifty opportunity allowed Isaac Keeler to hand off to Tom Blamires, who capitalised on a high tackle and slotted a perfect set shot.
The Zebs’ surge mentality continued, with Windhager landing on the end of another clearance to convert a brilliant snap in the twenty-first minute. Seaton provided a great run and carry - and an even greater don’t argue - showing his class with nine first-quarter disposals as they held the lead at the siren.
Windhager went into the second quarter with eleven disposals and remained dominant around stoppage as the game got back in motion. Darby Hipwell (1 goal, 22 disposals, 6 tackles, 5 clearances) found himself on the end of a first-minute clearance - slotting a huge goal off one step from just inside fifty. Thirty-seconds later, Hipwell popped back up to create an opportunity for Keeler, who went back for a minor score.
Zaine Cordy had an impact down back, whilst our defensive pressure remained abundant around the ground - allowing us to break through the corridor to create Tomo Owens’ first goal in the yellow, black and blue: he snapped from long range and converted with class.
Highmore’s defensive desperation prevented a certain goal in the thirteenth minute and he backed it up nicely with another intercept two minutes later. Owens also continued to work into the game with his two-way running whilst Milne got busy in the backline.
Following an arm wrestle towards the end of the quarter, Gown capitalised on a well-laid tackle - earning himself an opportunity to convert a stellar set shot from the pocket.
Windhager remained dominant with his athleticism on display, amassing seventeen disposals and seven clearances at the half-time break, whilst Hipwell’s thirteen touches, three tackles and three clearances proved more than handy.
Jack Peris and Highmore started the quarter with great defensive intent, but it was an intercept from Blake Watson in the fifth minute that set up a chance for Peris who snapped truly to join the goalkickers list.
The next few minutes saw multiple stoppages - a theme of the day - before a huge hanger attempt from Gown got the crowd at Wilson Storage Trevor Barker Beach Oval to their feet. The Zebs continued to provide great run and carry, but were unable to put the final piece together - that was until Windhager provided a lofty inside fifty that saw Lohmann fly sky high to come down with the mark of the day. Lohmann converted his chance, putting the icing on the cake.
Lohmann remained ominous, getting on the end of Keeler’s intercept possession to attempt a classy dribbler, which saw itself through for a minor score.
Milne rose to the challenge of a tighter contest this quarter, keeping his possession clean and he brought his total to fifteen disposals and five tackles at the final break.
The fourth quarter began with the same intensity shown all day, with a handball chain involving Sam Latreille, Max Heath and Gown putting the Zebs’ class on display. Webster provided great stability with his defensive work, providing two intercepts in the space of two minutes.
After continuing to take the game on, Windhager earned himself a 50m penalty in the seventh minute - capping off an already great performance with a perfect long-range set shot to put his second on the board.
Vince Zagari and Highmore resumed their defensive duties well, eventuating in yet another chance for Windhager as he launched a kick off one step from just short of the fifty. He earned the ultimate reward, with Lohmann and Keeler’s work on the line ensuring he had his third for the day.
Milne finished out the game with class, with a well-fought run down tackle on his behalf allowing Campbell a goal opportunity which faded left for a minor score.
The Zebras were up by 21 points at the final siren, with the sound of the song flooding WSTBBO once again.
We’re heading to Sydney this week to face off against GWS - the game commences at 12:55pm on Sunday May 21st.
Final Score: Sandringham Zebras 11.14 (80) defeated Port Melbourne Borough 8.11 (59)
Goals: M. Windhager (3), B. Watson, N. Gown, T. Owens, T. Blamires, J. Peris, J. Lohmann, M. Heath, D. Hipwell