Frankston have suffered an agonising 2-point defeat at the hands of Sandringham in front of a big crowd for Moorabbin’s VFL return.
The Dolphins played an electric brand of team football that brought an overwhelming amount of pride to all involved at Frankston.
From the opening bounce the Dolphins were skillful and hungry, Gus Styles got on the end of a chain of handballs that started at half back to kick the first of the match.
Sandringham responded after Riley D’Arcy kicked the Dolphins second to kick away with four successive goals.
Sandringham threatened to shove Frankston over and blow the game open, but the Dolphins were composed and played their own game, compiling 5 consecutive goals in the second term.
Shem Tatupu (three goals) and Yilber Zijai (four goals) were monumental, kicking 4 goals between them to guide the Dolphins to the front at the main break for the first time in 2019.
Sandringham’s answer was expected after half-time. But it was Tatupu again with a quick snap after doing the ground work to stretch the Dolphins lead.
With a 16-point lead in the early stages of the third term, the Dolphins were looking ominous. But as expected the Zebras mounted their comeback. Converting six consecutive goals to regain the lead and hold a handy buffer going into the final break.
Trailing by 17 points at three-quarter time, the Dolphins were right in it and with the wind in the final term, were a serious chance to collect their first four points of the season.
The game turned into a tight contested slog in the final term before Zijai kicked his fourth which was quickly followed by a downfield free kick to Tatupu to get to Dolphins within 3 points.
Although there was plenty of time remaining, it seemed as there was only one goal left in the match and with all the momentum it threatened to go Frankston’s way.
In the dying minutes the Dolphin’s were throwing their bodies in every contest, demonstrating their desperation to get the reward for their effort over the pre-season.
The siren sounded on Frankston’s forward flank, forcing the Dolphin’s to wait another week for their shot at win number one.
Although not getting the four points, the Dolphins unearthed the team football they have been eager to play which resulted in keeping Sandringham scoreless in the final term.
Dolphin’s captain Josh Newman was shattered with the defeat but was extremely proud of what his players produced.
“We looked like a different side out there compared to the last three weeks.
“What impressed me the most was just the fight; everyone gave their all today.
“We had four or five new blokes come into the side today and I think they all played their role amazingly,” Newman said.
In recent weeks, Frankston have conceded a cluster of goals that have cost them the match, but when the Zebras threatened to follow suit, the Dolphins answered. Newman says that it was a consequent of the care the players have for the club.
“I think it was care factor, we all cared about getting the result.
“We have learnt a lot and having the week off we were able to process everything we have learnt and the mistakes we have been making.
“I think we were a much more mature side out there then we were round one.
“We were a little bit more switched on and a little bit more organised which helped us stay in the game and be competitive throughout,” he said.
Despite not registering the win, Frankston played as a team and proved they can be an extremely difficult side to come up against.
The Dolphin’s will return to Skybus Stadium next Sunday when they take on Richmond at 2PM.
Frankston 3.1 8.1 10.1 12.4 76 DEF BY Sandringham 5.5 5.9 11.12 11.12 78
Zijai 4, Tatupu 3, D’Arcy 1, Fordham 1, Grace 1, Lok 1, Styles 1.
Newman 26, Ferreira 23, Lok 20, Jarnestrom 14, Mullane 14.
By Tyler Lewis
Dolphins Digital Media Team