Frankston have suffered a 121-point loss at the hands of Essendon in front of their home crowd to open season 2019.
The Bombers had 17 AFL listed players in their line-up and it showed in their spread and discipline with possession.
Essendon opened the game with two goals in as many minutes before Riley D’Arcy laid a merciless tackle to set Corey Rich up for the Dolphins first major of the season.
The Bombers instantly hit back with their fourth which was followed by a brilliant act of forward pressure that lead to Riley D’Arcy securing a goal of his own and putting the Dolphins within 8 points.
In the early stage the game loomed as a fast paced and skilful contest but after getting within a 2 straight kicks, the Bombers added 5 goals in quick succession to skip away to a 38-point ¼ time lead.
In the second term, the Dolphins didn’t trouble the scorers nonetheless dried up Essendon’s rapid spread that appeared so glaringly in the opening quarter.
The Frankston leaders stepped up in an attempt to wrestle back momentum; newly crowned skipper Josh Newman gathered 10 disposals whilst Nathan Freeman collected 9.
Although showing some glimpses of excellent football in the second quarter, the Dolphins went into the main break trailing by 59 points.
Heading into the third, Gus Styles was given the job of shutting down one of Essendon’s most influential players in the opening half, whilst his team mates were a chance to show their home crowd the talent that fills their list.
However, the Bombers controlled every facet of the game in the premiership quarter, piling on 8 unanswered goals to take the margin over 3 figures.
Despite the poor third term, the Dolphins persistence in defence was admirable, laying 20 tackles for the quarter and trapping the Bombers holding the ball 4 times inside their attacking 50.
With an overwhelming 111-point deficit at the final break, the Dolphins were asked to restore a bit of pride in the jumper.
Without scoring in two quarters of football, the score-line loomed to worsen. But an encouraging final quarter performance from the Dolphins achieved exactly what they were asked to do at ¾ time.
The hard run of Nathan Fahey was rewarded with the Dolphins third yet through poor kicking at goal and two late majors from the Bombers, Frankston’s ascendancy in the final term wasn’t reflected upon the scoreboard.
A promising final quarter was tainted by a brutal injury to 20 year-old Nathan Scagliarini, who was carried off in the arms of the trainers.
Head coach Danny Ryan was extremely disappointed in the result of the day but is looking forward to his sides response next week.
“I think Essendon brought huge pressure.
“The major issue for the whole day was our ability to compete in the second phase of play.
“They were able to get outside us and just take the ball forward with ease.
“The second part of the first quarter was really disappointing so the acid sort of goes on the whole team but mostly on the leaders and I thought they responded quite well,” Ryan said.
Nathan Freeman was among 14 players who played their first game for Frankston, shrugging off a slow start, the ex Saint finished with 31 disposals. Ryan was impressed with his individual performance but expects to see his improvement in the upcoming weeks.
“There was a lot to like, some parts there is room for improvement in trying to opening up the middle of the ground but certainly his defensive work was outstanding.
“Fair to say he was probably a bit rusty, he hasn’t played for two weeks and that wasn’t an ideal lead in, he will be much better next week,” Ryan said.
Ryan addressed Nathan Scagliarini’s injury and confirmed it was worse than initial thought.
“Scags (Scagliarini) has a shoulder that’s dislocated and we weren’t able to get it back in so he’s in the ambulance and going to hospital.
“Looking to get it back in probably under anaesthetic,” Ryan said.
Whilst the performance was extremely disappointing, Ryan says he saw some positives from the day and is already looking to next weeks’ match against stand alone club, Williamstown.
“Williamstown will bring a really strong contest.
“I think we have a good system to challenge them.
The Dolphins will move on from the disappointing performance and look to bounce back against another stand alone club in Williamstown next Sunday at Skybus Stadium.
FRANKSTON: 3.6.24 DEF BY ESSENDON: 22.13.145
Rich, D’Arcy, Fahey.
Freeman 31, Fordham 23, Newman 23, Ferreira 18, Mullane 18, Williams 17.
Styles, Williams, Jarnestrom, Gordon, Fordham, Rich.
Dolphins Digital Media Team