Sandringham easily accounts for Dandenong to remain undefeated
Tom Blamires finds a target ahead of the ball.
By Jonty Ralphsmith.
A nine-goal first half set up a convincing 50-point Sandringham win over Dandenong in their first match at Trevor Barker Oval for 2021.
The 15.14 104 to 8.6 54 win means the Dragons go through their first block of games undefeated after previously beating the Oakleigh Chargers and the Northern Knights.
Sandy looked most damaging in the first quarter when their key-position players took contested marks with all of Dante Visentini, Caleb Lewis and Max Heath causing headaches for Dandenong's defence.
The Dragons’ first goal of the match exemplified this, with Jacob Edwards taking a contested mark on the wing before rolling quickly to find Eren Soylemez inside 50, who outmarked his opponent and finished with a goal.
Josh Sinn’s burst away from scrimmages and ball use wreaked havoc early, showing why he's so highly touted by AFL clubs.
A quick defensive 50 transition where Blake Howes spotted Finn Callaghan streaming through the centre who delivered to Tom Blamires resulting in a major was the highlight of the second quarter.
When Dandenong went forward, Sandy’s defence was staunch, with Charlie McKay's pressure and ball-use impressing.
Runs of five and four consecutive goals either side of quarter time saw the Dragons lead by 42 at half time.
After the main break, Sandringham were plagued by inaccuracy struggling to hit targets deep inside 50 and kicking just one goal from nine shots in the third quarter.
Gus McLennan was the goal scorer, his major a reward for productivity with ball in hand on the wing and defensive accountability, ably replacing vice-captain Campbell Chesser, who has sustained a knee injury.
Dandenong had more sting in the last quarter, but late goals to Finn Callaghan and Marcus Windhager ensured the margin was somewhat reflective of Sandy’s ascendancy.
Callaghan converted on the run from outside 50, illustrating the penetration in his left boot, which was damaging throughout, along with his speed and ability to find space.
For coach Jackson Kornberg, his team’s pressure inside 50 was particularly pleasing.
"Today showed the boys that when we are composed and put good pressure on from the start we can have a consistent game across the board from a ball movement point-of-view," Kornberg said.
"Our pressure, given we had 29 shots on goal and 55-60 entries showed we were composed and efficient when we went inside 50 too, so it was a much more consistent effort today.
"We were able to move the ball how we wanted to move it and it really got our forwards opportunities inside 50 and have higher entry target which is what we're after to put a team under pressure.
"Our offence really clicked."
One player crucial to their ball movement was Callaghan.
The 189cm wingman worked tirelessly and created numerous opportunities for the forwards.
"I thought Finn was outstanding today on the wing.
"He used run and carry and challenged the player on the mark."
Mitch Owens was also impressive, with his ball use and his size in marking contests a feature in his best game of the year.
Sandringham was also dominant in the contest, with Lachie Riley’s strength and feeding handballs a feature.
The NAB League will now take a break, with Sandringham’s next match not until Saturday May 22 at 11.00am against Western Jets.
In the meantime, players will compete in school, local or even VFL footy.
"We'll maintain training throughout the time and do some sessions each week just to maintain connectedness to the group."
Sandringham Dragons 5.1 - 9.5 - 10.13 - 15.14 104
Dandenong Stingrays 1.3 - 2.5 - 4.6 - 8.6 54
Best: Finn Callaghan, Mitch Owens, Charlie McKay, Luke Nankervis, Josh Sinn, Lachie Riley
Goals: Tom Blamires 2, Jack Peris 2, Jacob Edwards 2, Luke Nankervis, Max Heath, Eren Soylemez, Lachie Benton, Mitch Owens, Finn Callaghan, Marcus Windhager, Logan Young, Gus McLennan