Dragons through to second consecutive preliminary final
The Sandringham Dragons have progressed through to their second consecutive preliminary final after a 51-point win over last years Grand Finalists the Murray Bushrangers.
After trailing by 12 points early in the second quarter, the Dragons kicked five goals in a row to take a 20-point lead into halftime.
The Bushrangers paid the price for their second quarter lapse with Sandringham piling on six-goals-to-two in the third quarter and storming their way into next weeks preliminary final against the Oakleigh Chargers.
Midfielder Hamish Brayshaw told Rick Morris of TAC Cup Radio post match that the Dragons we never in doubt about beating Murray.
“It was a tough start and we knew they were going to bring their pressure but we knew that if we stuck to our structure and game plan that we would break them apart eventually … it was a tough slog early but we got the better of them in the end.”
“It started at the contest, they’re a big bodied side so we just had to crack in but we couldn’t release our handballs properly so once our skills started to come on in the second and third quarter we really started to break them apart.
“We have a really strong core … the last couple of years we have had a pretty good team but I think this year we have got a really even balance across the whole ground.”
The Dragons dominant win was hampered by injuries to defender Nathan Murphy in the first quarter, and Isaac Morrisby and Joel Crocker later in the game. Sandringham were down to two rotations on the bench for the final quarter but were able to push through.
Midfielder William Walker played his best game of the season kicking four goals to go with his equal game-high 25 disposals, five clearances and two inside 50s.
Walker told TAC Cup Radio’s Rick Morris after the game that it was “awesome” to be in the preliminary final.
“It is awesome to get to play in a preliminary final … we worked really hard all year and our effort today showed that.”
“If we bring intensity and effort we can get past Oakleigh … we beat them in round 1 so we know we can do it.
“If we can get the head start we want we can tear teams apart. If we can stick to our game plan for four quarters we will win games of footy.”
Alfie Jarnestrom was named the Fin-Fitness best player of the day after a strong game where he gathered 21 disposals, three tackles, three clearances, three inside 50s and three score assists.
Midfielder Quintin Montanaro was named the Sportsmart coaches player after returning to form following a number of quiet games. Montanaro gathered 19 disposals, five inside 50s, four tackles, three rebound 50s and three clearances.
Sandringham will now faced the Oakleigh Chargers, who were minor premiers, in a preliminary final at Simmonds Stadium this Sunday from 2:20pm.
Goal Kickers: W. Walker 4, H. Brayshaw 3, L. Harris 2, M. King 2, A. Brayshaw 2, A. Jarnestrom, S. Williams, A. Trusler, C. Constable, I. Morrisby, G. Nagle
Best Players: A. Jarnestrom, Q. Montanaro, J. Amartey, K. Owens, W. Walker, J. Hille
Goal Kickers: Z. Barzen 2, H. Garoni, N. Oakes, W. Donaghey, D. Langlands, J. Wilson, M. Walker, A. Hicks, R. Bice, P. Warner
Best Players: B. Paton, D. Langlands, W. Donaghey, N. Murray, L. Vandermeer, M. Walker