Frankston tested and beat the reigning premiers for three-quarters before the Hawks flexed their muscles in the last term to run away 18-point victors.
Frankston had Box Hill on the ropes at the final break, but with the wind in the last the Hawks stormed home kicking the last seven majors of the match, downing the Dolphins 14.18 (102) to 13.6 (84).
With the enormous wind in the opening term, Frankston ran riot. Slamming on the first seven goals of the match.
Corey Rich kicked off proceedings from his first set shot which was quickly followed by Blake Mullane and Jimmy Miller.
Will Fordham then converted two majors that defied the treacherous conditions, while Robbie Turnbull’s grunt and sheer will was on display from his two opening quarter goals.
Leading by a whopping 43-points at the first break, Danny Ryan’s message was to be relentless at the contest.
The second term was always going to be crucial, the Hawks copped an echoing spray at the break and their response was expected.
But to Frankston’s credit, the Dolphins back six held firm under constant duress from the Hawks midfield.
Lachie Gill-Renouf won the ball at half-forward but against the breeze was beyond his range, however a 50m penalty brought him to the top of the square and gifted the Dolphin’s a crucial goal against the wind.
Holding a 11-point buffer at the main break, the third term was going to be critical in the context of the game.
Fordham was on the end of a handball receive and danced onto his right side for his third before Josh Newman was gifted a 100m penalty in the centre circle that stretched the Dolphins lead.
Despite the Dolphins extending the lead in the third quarter, Frankston became the walking wounded with Connor Larkin and Chris Diggle ruled out for the match while Dylan Gordon appeared to be playing with a niggle.
After an extremely physical 37-minute third term, the Dolphins went into the final break with a 31-point lead, but against a heavy wind in the final quarter, Frankston weren’t home yet.
Unfortunately for the Dolphins, they were unable to complete one of the upsets of the year, but demonstrated they have what it takes to compete with the leagues best.
Frankston have often had issues in the past in front of goal, surprisingly in the atrocious conditions – the Dolphins were tidy. Captain Josh Newman says it really helps the midfield group when the forwards can convert from limited entries.
“It’s massive, we somehow seem to kick straighter in windy conditions, we work really hard as a midfield group and when we get it in there and our forwards get reward for effort – I think it just lifts everyone.
“When you make the most of your opportunities it goes the other way, that scoreboard pressure definitely makes a big difference,” he said.
Frankston lead at every change except the most important one, but Newman is still confident his group will gain a lot from the performance.
“I think we take heaps out of that, I had a quick chat to the boys when we got in after the game.
“I just wanted to reinforce the fact that we had the reigning premiers on the ropes.
“We were genuinely the better side for at least half the game, I told them we need to take great belief out of that and I think we are learning and getting better each week and it just needs to be for longer,” Newman said.
Frankston have back to back home games at Skybus and will host Collingwood this Sunday at 2pm.
Frankston 13.6.84 def by Box Hill 14.18.102
Turnbull 3, Fordham 3, Muller 2, Gill-Renouf 1, Miller 1, Mullane 1, Newman 1, Rich 1
Fordham 30, Newman 29, McMahon 24, Mullane 19, Woodman 18.
Newman, Fordham, Harnett, McMahon, Hiscock, Turnbull.
Article by Tyler Lewis / Shots by Diggle Photography
Dolphins Digital Media Team