Coburg have run away with their first win on Easter Sunday against Frankston at Piranha Park, defeating the Dolphins by 75 points.
Pre-game Danny Ryan urged his players to get the reward for their hard work and improvement as a group over a long preseason, but it was another poor middle period of the game costing the Dolphins the four points.
Going against a strong wind in the opening term, the Dolphins didn’t control possession of the ball but were still in the game through strong conversion. Captain, Josh Newman was head to head with Coburg small forward, Sam Lowson and the contest threatened as a pivotal battle in the context of the match.
From the Dolphins first entry, Will Fordham put through a difficult kick into the breeze to get the ball rolling for Frankston. Kody Wilson found space in the middle of the ground to stroll in for his first major as a Dolphin and Frankston’s second goal from their second inside 50.
Despite going into the first break down by 13 points, Frankston loomed to be on top with their ability to convert into a difficult breeze.
In the opening stages of the second quarter Coburg landed a hefty blow kicking the first goal against the wind, but a strong contested mark from Jimmy Miller opened the game up for Riley D’Arcy to send a quick reply on behalf of the Dolphins.
Throughout the second term, the Lions and the Dolphins went goal for goal until Coburg kicked 2 consecutive majors to skip ahead to a 5 goal lead. On the stroke of the half, the Dolphins locked the ball up inside 50 for a number of minutes but were unable to reduce the margin before the main break.
Coming out from half time, Frankston were going to need a dazzling third term to set up a launch pad with the wind in the final quarter, but the result wasn’t a quarter the Dolphins were eager to produce.
Everything that could’ve gone wrong for this Frankston side in the premiership quarter did, as the game slipped away in a matter of moments. Mitch McCarthy was ruled out of the remainder of the match with a foot injury, whilst Coburg piled on the first four goals of the quarter inside 10 minutes.
Sparks began to fly and frustrations boiled over, as a 100m penalty and a report of Alex Harnett lead the Lions to another. As the Dolphins started to play with more aggression through pressure and with ball in hand, the game started to open up.
Dylan Gordon laid a huge tackle at centre half back that resulted in Aloysio Ferreira finding Riley D’Arcy for his second major of the game. But unfortunately for Frankston, every chance the Dolphins had an opportunity to tussle back momentum, Coburg found a swift reply.
Three quarter time came as a relief for the Dolphins, as a nine-goal-to-two against and 36 minute third term had all players out on their feet. As saddening as the third quarter was for Frankston, Aloysio Ferreira was at his best providing some electric run through stoppages.
Ferreira’s disposal count may not replicate an elite performance, but his endeavour to persist with taking the game on was inspirational.
The final term saw Frankston start to play some of the football that has promised by glimpses of improvement in the early rounds of the year, but again it was too late. Alex Harnett slightly redeemed himself by converting the Dolphins first goal of the last from a free kick.
Will Fordham continued his strong form in the middle of the ground in the last quarter, finding Corey Rich on the half forward flank. Rich had a quiet day but tumbled a ball home from 50 to put the Dolphins second successive goal on the board.
Coburg kicked a couple of late quarter goals to push the margin out further and jumped ahead to win the final quarter by 3 points.
Despite another tough day for the Dolphins, they found some exciting run and dare in the final term, hopefully demonstrating a strong four quarter performance isn’t far away.
The Dolphins have a bye this week and will re-set before travelling to Moorabbin to take on Sandringham at RSEA Park on May 5.
FRANKSTON 9.9.63 DEF BY COBURG 20.18.138
D’Arcy 2, Fisher 1, Fordham 1, Harnett 1, McMahon 1, Rich 1, Williams 1, Wilson 1.
Newman 25, Ferreira 19, Gordon 19, Fordham 18, Grace 17.
Ferreira, Gordon, Newman, Fordham, D’Arcy, Grace.
By Tyler Lewis
Dolphins Digital Media Team