Despite registering one less win than 2018 and going down to Casey in the final round, Frankston have ended season 2019 on a high.
2018 saw the Dolphins lose six matches in excess of the triple figure margin, but 2019 saw the young side come within 20-points on six occasions, including the narrow 4.14 (38) to 4.8 (32) loss to the Demons on Sunday afternoon.
Casey began the match on a mission with two goals in the blink of an eye, forcing the Dolphins into the first break with a 16-point deficit.
Goals were to be treated like gold with conditions playing a pivotal role in the match.
When Corey Rich wheeled onto his right foot from beyond 50 to get Frankston’s first on the board and Jimmy Miller snapped a classy left foot kick from the feet of Mitch Cox, the Dolphins were back in it.
Going into the main break down by five-points, the Frankston faithful held strong as the rain pelted down to test how much they wanted to see their side for the last time this year.
With the rain coming down thick and fast throughout the third term, only one major was added by the collective teams and unfortunately for the Dolphins it came from Casey.
Trailing by 14-points at the final break, the Dolphins had the wind and had to make heavy in roads to finish the year with a win.
But in an arm wrestle of a final term where Frankston proved dangerous, the Demons held off the fast finishing Dolphins to hand the young side their fourth loss in 2019 by a straight kick or less.
The Frankston crowd erupted when a soccer off the ground by Mitch Cox trickled towards goal but the unpredictable bounce kept the Dolphins from getting within a kick by shaving the post.
The minor score wasn’t the last time the hill at Skybus was at their loudest for the afternoon, showing their support to the Dolphins as they walked off for the final time for the year.
Frankston coach Danny Ryan was impressed with his sides competitiveness against a side destined for finals, but isn’t at all satisfied with the group yet and is eager to see them grow further.
“They (Casey) are a finals team, todays loss probably came from the second quarter, we kicked the first goal and then allowed Casey to control the ball for the next ten minutes,” he said.
“Before we then got the game back into a wrestle, that is really where it happened (the loss) – not late in the game.
“It isn’t overly satisfying because there is massive room for improvement next year.
“But we are a lot more competitive and relevant than when we sat here this time last year, we put the season in the bin but there is a lot to get out of it,” Ryan said.
After finishing the game before half time last week, Nathan Freeman made a miraculous recovery to the final round of the year and played one of his most impressive games for Frankston to date – a performance Ryan was extremely pleased to see.
“He was desperate to play,” he said.
“He tweaked his abductor last week, he trained and we put him through a big fitness test yesterday morning.
“He trained at moderate pace on Thursday night and he was desperate to play, as a leader and proud competitor I thought he was outstanding today for what he did.
“He had 13 tackles, so a pretty good effort for him to get on the paddock and (we) would take a 60 or 75 per cent Nathan Freeman that is why we played him,” Ryan said.
FRANKSTON 4.8.32 def by Casey 4.14.38
Miller 2, Rich 2
Newman 23, Fordham 20, Gordan 17, Hiscock 15
Freeman, Newman, Fordham, Hiscock, Arthurson, Masterson.
Article by Tyler Lewis / Photo’s by Diggle Photography
Dolphins Digital Media Team