Sandringham pip Dolphins in ‘Battle of the Bay’ thriller

By Will Jeffares

A late Cooper Sharman major has seen Sandringham steal a one-point victory over a wayward Frankston side at Kinetic Stadium in a heartbreaking defeat for the Dolphins on Saturday night.

A four-goal-to-none first quarter by the Dolphins had set up a handy 25-point lead at the first change, but Jackson Kornberg’s side will rue missed chances in front of goal, especially a 1.6 third term, as Sandringham worked their way back into the matchup.

Despite Frankston leading for the majority of the contest and winning the inside 50 count 57 to 37, Sharman’s check side goal at the 23rd-minute mark of the final term gave the Zebras their first lead of the night, which they ultimately hung onto to record the 7.12 (54) to 8.7 (55) result.

Matt Johnson got things started for the Dolphins, getting on the end of a Matt Nelson kick inside 50 before converting from the set shot to continue his strong form in front of goal. While Jack Newnes weaved through traffic to quickly double Frankston’s tally with a great finish.

Connor Riley found Johnson all by himself inside 50 before slotting his second of the contest, before Noah Gown kicked truly from the pocket after winning a freekick deep inside 50 to cap off a strong opening term for the home side.

After a quicker, free-flowing first term, the contest shifted into a scrappy affair in the second before two quickfire majors for Sandringham sliced into the margin.

A brilliant team move that started with a Joe Lloyd pirouette, was finished off in style by the Riley brothers, with Lachie cleverly slapping the ball into the path of Connor who snapped it home to get the home crowd on their feet.

However, a late snap goal from Hugo Garcia brought the Zebras back within two goals at the main break.

After Sharman kicked his first of the contest not long after the break, ruckman Angus Grant would respond from the set shot to restore an 11-point lead for Frankston.

An undisciplined freekick from the Dolphins, however, led to a late Zebras major through Brad Crouch and would result in the Dolphins holding just a 10-point lead at the final break despite more than doubling the visitors’ scoring shots for the term, kicking 1.6 to Sandringham’s 2.1.

A brilliant diving effort on the goal line from Jackson Voss within the first minute of the term prevented the Zebras from having the perfect start to the final quarter, but a Sandringham major just minutes later brought the contest to within a kick to set up a tense ending to the encounter.

Captain Trent Mynott broke the lines and found Josh Butland on the lead, who finely converted the long set shot in the 19th minute of the term to have Frankston’s lead extended to nine points.

But it wasn’t to be for Frankston, as Sharman instantly responded with his second of the match before following up to kick the winner, and his third, to leave the home side heartbroken at the final siren.

Tom Murphy was brilliant again in the midfield for Frankston, continuing his superb form to finish with a team-high 29 disposals and six clearances with Seb Quirk (21 disposals, four clearances) also lively in the middle.

Jackson Voss (24 disposals), Taine Barlow (18 disposals, six marks) and Tyson Milne (18 disposals, six clearances) were strong contributors on the night in the back six, while Trent Mynott finished with 19 disposals and five clearances.

A second consecutive defeat sees Frankston placed in 9th on the ladder, as they face last year’s Grand Finalists, Werribee, at Avalon Airport Oval on Saturday, June 8th at 2:05 pm AEST in what shapes to be another good challenge for the Dolphins.

FRANKSTON 4.2 5.4 6.10 7.12 (54)

SANDRINGHAM 0.1 3.5 5.6 8.7 (55)


Johnson 2, C.Riley, Newnes, Grant, Gown, Butland


Murphy, Voss, Barlow, Quirk, Mynott, Milne

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