WERRIBEE was under the pump.
Consecutive home losses left the Bees facing top-four oblivion, but with the motivation of honouring captain Michael Sodomaco in his 100th match, Werribee swarmed reigning premier Richmond by 81 points at Avalon Airport Oval on Saturday.
And it was Sodomaco’s fellow stalwarts and a youngster in just his fifth game who drove the romp.
Liston medallist Tom Gribble was unstoppable with 37 disposals and a goal, Matt Hanson had 32, 11 marks and a goal and Joe Maishman 29 and a goal as nine Werribee players had 20-plus disposals.
Hudson Garoni, 20, kicked 4.2 from 14 disposals and nine marks and fellow up-and-comers Kye Declase (26, three goals), Shaun Mannagh (26, two), second-gamer Harry Stubbings (20, two), Bior Malual (29) and Nick Hayes (22, one) also cashed in.
Sodomaco was important himself, compiling 22 disposals and being mobbed when he kicked a goal in the first-quarter blitz.
Werribee kicked five unanswered goals in the first quarter to state its intentions and stepped up again with 11 of the last 12 to destroy Richmond with a 62 per cent possession domination and a 68-36 inside-50 count.
Richmond had few winners, although Derek Eggmolesse-Smith tried to hold back the tide with 26 disposals and Garrett McDonagh had 24 touches.
Frankston overran Aspley by 21 points at Skybus Stadium to win three consecutive games for the first time since Rounds 11-13, 2013, and go 3-0 for the first time since 1998.
The Dolphins were in danger of drowning under a Matt Hammelmann masterclass, with the big Hornet kicking six goals in the first half on James Rendell as the Hornets got out to a 22-point lead early in the second term.
But as with the Coburg game in Round 1, Frankston rallied.
The home team still trailed by 16 early in the third, but kicked seven goals to one as Aspley tired in its first trip to Victoria.
Max Williams moved onto Hammelmann and held him to just four disposals and two behinds after the main break, Bailey Lambert was again electric up forward with four goals to drag his team back into the game, while Nathan Freeman continued his golden run with another 35 touches, Connor Riley had 26 and kicked two majors in just his seventh game and skipper Josh Newman was creative with 29 touches.
Corey Lyons started brilliantly for the Hornets and finished with 29, Ryan Bastinac had 27 and Matthew Payne 25, while William Wolbers had a great contest in the ruck with Jeremy Goddard, the Dolphin just shading the hitouts 34-33.
Williamstown celebrated captain Adam Marcon’s 100th club game in style, running away from Port Melbourne by 38 points to retain the Johnson-Callahan Shield and christen its new playing surface in style.
The Seagulls always looked the better team against the undermanned Borough, but kept their arch-rivals in the contest with terrible kicking for goal – at one stage they had 6.13, mostly from simple opportunities.
Port, which had flown out of the blocks with three of the first four goals, led by a kick late in the third quarter with Eli Templeton unstoppable with 37 disposals and a goal, while Nash Holmes starred with 26, Harvey Hooper enjoyed playing up the ground with 24 and two goals and skipper Tom O’Sullivan (24) was in everything on his 30th birthday.
But a lapse in concentration allowed Mitch Hibberd to receive a handball from Teia Miles and bomb a massive goal from 60m in the 31st minute before Billy Myers added another after the siren and Williamstown piled on eight goals to two in the last quarter.
Hibberd was the matchwinner with 36 touches and that big goal, Liam Hunt, Nick Mellington and Luke Meadows (two goals) were outstanding through the middle and Marcon was terrific and kicked two goals early in the last term to break the Borough’s resolve.
Port Melbourne was missing Patrick Kerr, Fletcher Roberts, Mitch Wooffindin, Declan Watson, Tom O’Sullivan Jnr, Chris Jansen, Mack Rivett, Mat Arnot and Mitch McCarthy, while Jeromy Lucas suffered what looked to be a bad ankle injury in the first quarter and took no further part.
Geelong outlasted Sydney by four points in a thriller at Tramway Oval to remain undefeated as the Swans lost the luckless Patty McCartin, who suffered a suspected broken hand in the first term.
The Swans led by three points at the last change with Logan McDonald kicking three goals and Robbie Fox (29) enjoying a strong return from injury, but young Cat Jy Chalcraft kicked two clutch goals in the final term to get his team over the line.
Captain Tom Wilson’s 40 disposals ensured the Northern Bullants remained competitive and kept flag favourite Footscray goalless in the third term, but the Bulldogs won by 43 points at Preston City Oval.
THURSDAY, APRIL 29
North Melbourne 3.6 (24) def by Casey Demons 19.17 (131)
FRIDAY, APRIL 30
Collingwood 9.11 (65) def Gold Coast 9.8 (62)
SATURDAY, MAY 1
Northern Bullants 6.11 (47) def by Footscray 12.18 (90)
Werribee 18.16 (124) def Richmond 6.7 (43)
Sydney 8.12 (60) def by Geelong 9.10 (64)
Frankston 13.14 (92) def Aspley 10.11 (71)
Williamstown 15.17 (107) def Port Melbourne 10.9 (69)