Frankston hold off fast-finishing Giants in wet weather slog

By Will Jeffares

Frankston has withstood a late surge from the Giants to record an impressive 14-point victory on the road at the Blacktown International Sportspark on Saturday afternoon.

After Frankston opened up a 30-point lead in the fourth quarter, late goals from GWS gave the home side a glimmer of hope of grabbing something from the contest. However, the Dolphins were able to hold off the late pressure and hang on to run out 5.17 (47) to 7.19 (61) victors.

While heavy rain throughout the day made the contest one that won’t fill the highlights reel, it was a strong performance from Frankston across all lines in the trying conditions.

The Dolphins’ defensive unit was superb on the day, keeping the GWS forward line relatively quiet, as the forwards made the most of their opportunities, especially early, as the home side struggled to impact the scoreboard.

Frankston held the Giants goalless in the first term, while Matt Johnson turned poacher as he slotted two majors after keeping his feet in two goal square contests to give the Dolphins a handy lead at the first break.

The territory battle swung in the favour of GWS to start the second, but Frankston’s defence stood tall to absorb the home side’s period of dominance.

After working themselves back into the quarter and with goals hard to come by, Harry Jones won himself a freekick inside 50 before kicking truly from the set shot to extend Frankston’s lead, while Lachie Sharp continued his goalkicking form to push the lead over four goals.

It was a scrappy third term from both sides, with Frankston only registering four behinds while the Giants missed several golden opportunities, recording 1.7 for the quarter with the only major coming through Phoenix Gothard, which had the margin sitting at two goals entering the final term.

The rain finally eased in the last quarter, making for a contrastingly open and high-scoring term, which started finely for Frankston when Taj Campbell-Farrell perfectly hit Johnson lace out for his third of the game after converting from the set shot.

After a flurry of behinds from both sides, a great end-to-end play from a kick-in ended with Johnson running into an open goal to checkside home his fourth of the game.

Josh Butland got on the end of a Seb Quirk tumble kick inside 50 to kick his first on return from a finger injury, which blew the margin out to a game-high 30 points and appeared to have Frankston cruising to a comfortable win.

However, three consecutive majors from GWS brought the margin back to two goals with plenty of time on the clock, but it proved too late for the home side as the Dolphins secured their fourth win of the season.

Johnson was one of the best afield for Frankston, demonstrating his cleanliness around goal in the difficult conditions and constantly providing headaches for the Giants’ backline.

Continuing his strong 2024 form, Quirk (25 disposals, five clearances) was impressive in the midfield for the Dolphins, while Campbell-Farrell (17 disposals, seven tackles, six clearances) enjoyed the contested side of wet weather footy in a great display.

Tomo Owens (22 disposals, seven marks) was a strong contributor in the wet, as were Tyson Milne (17 disposals) and George Grey (23 disposals), whose cleanliness helped transition the footy from defence to attack.

The defensive contingent of Josh Smith, Taine Barlow, Joe Lloyd, Max Williams, and Kyle Stainthorpe were brilliant and regularly put their bodies on the line to hinder the Giants’ chances going forward.

Angus Grant (39 hitouts, seven clearances) battled hard against Nic Madden in the ruck, with Tom Murphy (21 disposals, five clearances) and Blake O’Leary (20 disposals) also working hard throughout the match.

Frankston will now return home to Kinetic Stadium next Friday night, facing another tough contest against AFL-affiliate opposition as they take on Sydney at 7:35 pm AEST.

GWS GIANTS 0.1 1.6 2.13 5.17 (47)

FRANKSTON 2.4 4.9 4.13 7.19 (61)


Johnson 4, Sharp, Jones, Butland


Johnson, Quirk, Grey, Owens, Campbell-Farrell, Barlow

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