It was the Mitch Cox show at SkyBus Stadium on Friday night against the Northern Bullants.
The lively and energetic Dolphin was deployed inside the midfield in arguably his finest VFL performance to date, leading Frankston to a 13.15 93 – 10.5 65 victory.
In wet conditions, Cox dribbled a goal from tight on the boundary in the first quarter, which kickstarted Frankston’s ascendancy for the majority of the match.
He finished with five goals and 29 possessions, swapped between a deep forward role and the midfield as Frankston played a territory game.
With an eerie, silent backdrop, the game started in a bizarre fashion when Bullant Jack Boyd was awarded a free kick in the goal square prior to the first bounce.
Three of the Bullants’ four first-half goals came courtesy of free kicks/50-metre penalties, but in general play, Frankston was well on top.
The hosts adjusted to the wet conditions more quickly than Northern, as Bailey Lambert, Josh Newman and Connor Riley all snapped opportunistic goals in a highlight-glittered first quarter.
Prominent in the midfield early was Jackson Voss in his second VFL game as Frankston skipped to a 20 point lead at quarter time.
Josh Begley, who provided a focal point up forward and a big body around the ball, combined with Mitch Cox to bombard Northern with four early second-quarter goals.
Along with their highlights, the pair showed smarts, burst and evasiveness in attacking chains.
Frankston continued to move the ball ambitiously in the second quarter, with Connor Riley (25 disposals) and Josh Newman (30 disposals) in particular valuing metres gained, their side going into the main break with a 35 point lead.
In defence, Will Arthurson, Tom Small and Cal Jones contributed to keeping the Northern forwards quiet and worked hard to prevent rebound.
A three-goal to one quarter for the Dolphins saw them with a 50 point lead, which perhaps didn’t do their ascendancy justice.
A spray from Northern coach Josh Fraser at three-quarter time resulted in the Bullants moving the ball forward at all costs in the last quarter, piling on five goals.
The visitors’ ability to find space and run the game out was a blemish on an otherwise solid Frankston victory.
Positively, the Dolphins appeared to emerge from the game unscathed and will have four wins and three losses ahead of an away clash with Collingwood next Saturday afternoon.
Best: Begley, Cox, Small, Riley, Arthurson
By Jonty Ralphsmith