The Dragons girls fell just short of an upset victory on Thursday night, going down to the Chargers by six points under lights at RSEA Park.
In a spirited performance, the Dragons kept Oakleigh goalless in the last quarter and slowly chipped away at a 17-point three-quarter time deficit.
But despite threatening to come from the clouds to snatch a victory, the Chargers held on in the dying stages.
Sofia Hurley impressed again, Bridie Hipwell showed her dash and Mia Zeilinski kicked two goals.
Captain Kiana Lynch was pleased the Dragons could match it with the highly-rated Chargers, and said it was a performance the team would draw confidence from.
“As disappointing as it was to lose in such a close game, it was a great challenge," Lynch said. "I think that we rose to the challenge with our pressure and effort throughout majority of all four quarters of the game."
The Dragons were hurt by opposition goals late in quarters, particularly on the eve of the main break and again near the end of the third quarter.
Lynch said it was a focus for the Dragons to maintain their enthusiasm for the contest despite a struggle to convert in-play dominance onto the scoreboard.
"We had the pressure and intent but we just couldn’t get the reward in the forward end of the ground," the skipper said. "Our team goal this week was to not drop our heads so easily from the opposition's scoring, and instead use it to fire up and go even harder into the next quarter."
With two games to play within the next week, the Dragons are tasked with a busy schedule, but according to Lynch, Sandy are "up for the challenge".
"So far every game we are continuing to improve and connect more as a team on the ground," Lynch said. "After having a very go-and-stop beginning of this year’s season with a game, then COVID bye, and then a game, and then a bye, it has made us all even more eager to get into the groove of things and play all these games."
Goal Kickers: M. Zielinski 2, C. Murphy, E. Angelopoulos
Best Players: S. Hurley, B. Hipwell, A. Thompson, C. Ryan, S. Pribil, K. Smyth
SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS: 1.1 2.1 2.2 4.2 (26)
OAKLEIGH CHARGERS: 3.0 3.1 5.1 5.2 (32)
It comes after the Dragons recorded their first win of the season last Sunday in style, defeating Gippsland by 58 points.
Sofia Hurley dominated with a game-high 28 disposals and was recognised with the Draft Central Player of the Week award, while full forward Charli Murphy booted five goals.
The Dragons opened the game with a four goal opening term, adding three more majors in the second quarter to lead by 32 points at the main break.
The Power were then kept scoreless in the third quarter as the margin ballooned out to 52 points at the three-quarter time.
Goals to Murphy and Pia Staltari in the last term meant the Dragons eventually recorded a percentage-boosting, 58-point victory.
Ebony Angelopoulos also gave the Power plenty of headaches with three goals, 10 disposals and two tackles.
Coach Jackson Kornberg pleased with the performance post-match.
"We have really been striving for a consistent performance under the themes of urgency and intensity and I thought the girls really brought that mindset on the weekend," he said.
SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS: 4.2 7.2 10.4 12.6 (78)
GIPPSLAND POWER: 1.0 2.0 2.0 3.2 (20)
Goal Kickers: C. Murphy 5, E. Angelopoulos 3, M. Zielinski 2, J. Betts, P. Staltari
Best Players: S. Hurley, J. Anderson, P. Canning, C. Ryan, E. Stuber, P. Staltari