Zebras with an impressive showing in first practice match
The Sandringham Zebras had a convincing win to start their preseason campaign for 2021, as they travelled to Arden Street on the weekend to play North Melbourne in their first of three practice matches.
The teams were greeted by hot and sunny weather which made for tough conditions, but the excitement levels were high after an extended break from football.
The Zebras came in with a strong side featuring some quality AFL talent as well as some exciting young players.
The first quarter started with North applying the early pressure which led to the first goal of the game.
The Zebras were quick to respond, and soon they had their first after some clever roving off the pack and a snap from Jackson Ross.
Zak Jones and Goy Lok were working hard in the middle, and Lok was soon rewarded, as a kick over the back allowed him to run into goal.
The Zebras started to take control, and a goal from 20 was followed by a precise set shot to Luke Dalmau on the siren which gave the Zebras an 11-point lead at quarter time.
The Zebras came out fast in the second quarter, and a quick kick inside 50m led to an easy goal for Dean Kent.
Chris Carey continued to present well and mark strongly in the forward line, and he soon had his second after a nice set shot from distance.
North was able to claw a few goals back with some brilliant linking play and some clever finishing, before a strong Brad Crouch tackle and goal inside 50m allowed the Zebras to steady the ship in what was a topsy turvy quarter that had the Zebras in front by a small margin at the half.
The third quarter saw the game open up, as the players started to work into the contest with Kent showing his skill around the contest.
A nice transition play through the middle was finished with a clinical running goal on the left for Oscar Lewis as the Zebras extended their lead.
The Zebras continued to look dangerous anytime they went forward, and goals to Vincent Zagari and Hedley Smith gave them a solid 22-point buffer going into the last quarter.
With bodies starting to tire in the heat, the Zebras continued to run out the game well in the last, as Ross continued to provide a target across half forward.
Jack Carlisle and Darragh Joyce were solid in defense all day and continually repelled North’s attacks off the half back line.
Nick Bufalo and Sam Dunell added some finishing touches before North kicked a few goals late to make the scoreline slightly more respectable, as the Zebras ran away 42-point victors in convincing fashion.
The Zebras now look forward to their return to Wilson Storage Trevor Barker Beach Oval for their second practice match this Saturday March 27 at 2pm against Werribee.