The local rivalry produced yet another classic for the history books, with the Dragons and Chargers playing out a five-point, final margin thriller.
The Dragons fell short, producing a seven-goal final quarter to fight their way back into the game, however, it wasn’t meant to be with the Chargers running out winners 14.9.93 to 13.20.98.
Round 16 wrapped up the end of the 2022 NAB League regular season, with the game determining where the two teams would finish on the home-and-away ladder.
The loss for the Dragons sees them end the regular season in eighth position, with seven wins and six losses across 13 games.
The Dragons will face the Murray Bushrangers in the wildcard round, playing at Williamstown Oval, a neutral venue for both teams.
The conditions certainly provided a better spectacle for the crowd, facing some sunshine this time around, compared to the wet and cold Round 1 clash.
Similar to the Round 1 clash, Oakleigh gained the early ascendency, winning the clearances early and creating space through the corridor.
The Chargers hit the scoreboard after three minutes, sustaining their pressure for the first 15 minutes, kicking the first three goals of the game.
After 18 minutes the Dragons broke the scoring drought, courtesy of some great pressure acts from Creighton (3 goals), who was able to give to Clarke (2 goals), who sailed in a major from 40 metres out.
The Dragons found more of the ball through the middle of the ground from the likes of Will Ashcroft (33 disposals, 6 i50s) and Cam Mackenzie (23 disposals).
The Ashcroft and Sheezel (4 goals, 7 tackles) combination combined late in the first quarter, with Ashcroft lacing out Sheezel just outside 50, in which Sheezel was able to centre to the goal square and find Clarke, kicked off the ground in a contested battle to kick his second and the Dragons second, cutting back to the margin to 15 points at the first break.
With much to improve on in the second quarter, both sides came out looking to assert dominance in the stoppage.
The Chargers missed some vital opportunities early in the second quarter, allowing the Dragons to punish on the offensive rebound.
Jakob Anderson (3 i50s) showed his composure on 50, kicking inwards to find the lead of McCluskey (1 goal), who was able to convert the set shot.
Oakleigh were masters of quick responses on the afternoon, answering to every Dragons call, keeping the margin out to a comfortable distance.
Sheezel was heating up on the ground, kicking his first of four goals for the game, crumbing in the forward pocket, and snapping from 35 metres out.
Some strong chains of handballs through the centre of the ground enabled Creighton to lead up inside forward 50, kicking his first goal of the game from a 25 metre set shot.
The Dragons hit the scoreboard right on the half-time siren, with Creighton yet again popping up inside forward 50.
With fights and tussles breaking out in the centre square, the rivalry was certainly turned up another notch.
The Chargers held a slender five-point lead going into the half time.
The start of the third quarter was a similar story for the Chargers in front of goal, missing set shots early on.
Creighton yet again proved pivotal inside forward 50, applying strong forward pressure to let Benton (1 goal, 7 rebound 50s) crumb the loose ball and checkside from 20 metres out to reduce the margin to three points.
The Chargers were able to get on a roll, shutting down the Dragons ball movement across the ground, and gathering space in the middle, with Tsatas and Jefferson connecting well for Oakleigh.
The Chargers kicked four unanswered goals to finish the third quarter, taking a 36-point lead in to three-quarter time.
The fighting spirit of the Dragons kicked in right from the first bounce of the fourth quarter, taking only 14 seconds for Oli Hotton (26 disposals, 2 goals) to slot through his first goal, taking the margin down to five goals.
Rousakis (1 goal, 1 nearly mark of the year) got himself infringed off the ball, winning a free kick 30 metres from goal, slotting back his first, the second in a row.
One minute later Mitch Ryan burst along the wing to find Sheezel deep in the forward pocket. Sheezel snapped and converted yet another major for the Dragons, reducing the margin to 19 points with 20 minutes to go.
The Chargers did well to halt momentum for five minutes, however, the Dragons pressure created repetitive inside 50 entries.
Rousakis nearly took mark of the year outside the goal square, but the ball slipped out of his hands, fortunately leading to Creighton kicking his third goal, off the ground, reducing the margin to two goals, four unanswered for the Dragons.
When Oakleigh needed Jefferson, he provided, and answered back for the Chargers, kicking the margin back out to three goals with 13 minutes remaining.
Straight away the Dragons responded, with Sheezel kicking his third of the game taking a terrific contested grab 30 metres out.
The Chargers answered back again, pushing the margin out to three goals, making the task more difficult by the second for the Dragons.
The resilience of the Dragons continued with nine minutes remaining, with Oli Hotton nailing a set shot for his second of the game, reducing the margin to two goals with eight minutes to play.
Rousakis kicked wide with five minutes remaining to give the Dragons a handy point.
As time ticked down the task seemed more daunting for the Dragons to kick two under intense pressure and congestion.
But without a doubt, Sheezel stood up in the moment, battling for a contested ball in the pocket, winning a high free kick.
Sheezel kicked his fourth and reduced the margin to five points with 90 seconds remaining.
The Chargers won the vital centre clearance but were unable to find a target inside forward 50.
Mitch Ryan started the transition out of the backline, finding it hard to clear to open teammates with the congested last-minute game style of the Chargers.
The ball got close to the forward 50 for the Dragons but to no avail.
But when all seemed over and the final siren went… a free kick was awarded to Jakob Anderson 65 metres out.
The kick was a great effort from Anderson, travelling 55 metres, but unfortunately, the ball was punched over the line, giving the Chargers a five-point win.