SANDRINGHAM added itself to the finals conversation and backed up St Kilda’s stunning AFL dissection of Richmond with an impressive 30-point upset of the VFL Tigers at Wilson Storage Trevor Barker Beach Oval on Saturday.
The Zebras entered the clash with just eight AFL-listed players to Richmond’s 16 but took control after a slow start to record their first win over the Tigers in five years and square their ledger at 3-3 with a third-straight win.
Having not played for 35 days, Sandringham took some time to find its feet as Tiger Josh Caddy exploded with 11 touches in the first 15 minutes, Riley Collier-Dawkins (27) kicked two spectacular banana goals and Patrick Naish (31) controlled his wing.
But the Zebras settled with an imposing display in the ruck from Paul Hunter (42 hitouts) and Sam Dunell (11 marks) returning to the front half with a matchwinning haul of four goals, the home team edged its way back into the contest, took the lead in the shadows of half-time and never looked like losing afterwards.
Sandringham kicked the first four goals of the third term to take a 28-point lead, with Jack Lonie getting busy, Goy Lok powering through contests and Darragh Joyce (22, 10 marks) proving impassable in defence.
Richmond edged within nine points at the final break with three late goals, but the Tigers looked for the most part as flat as their AFL counterparts and had no answer to a second Zebras onslaught at the start of the last term.
North Melbourne’s renaissance continues to gather steam with a third-straight boilover – a stunning five-point win over Werribee at Arden St that ruined Liston medallist Tom Gribble’s 100th VFL game and Dom Brew’s 50th.
The Kangaroos rallied after being headed in the second quarter, banging on seven unanswered goals without a miss between the 10th minute of the third term and the first minute of the last to turn a 14-point deficit into a 26-point lead.
The Bees kicked the last three goals of the game, but after getting within eight points entering time-on could only manage another three behinds as the home team refused to concede.
Harry Jones (32, 11 clearances) and Josh Clayton (31, one goal) were important in the win over Coburg last week and were again crucial, while Bailey Scott (31, six marks, seven tackles and a goal) filled the role played by Will Phillips in that game.
Jared Polec was strong with 28 disposals in his first game for three months and captain Flynn Appleby had 24 as North had the top five ballwinners on the ground, cashing in on Tom Campbell’s ruck dominance against Matthew Lobbe which saw him win the hitouts 49-27, marks 6-2 and disposals 19-12 and kick a goal for good measure.
Werribee was best served by Matt Hanson (22, 10 tackles, one goal), Joe Maishman (22) and Gribble (21), while Hudson Garoni took seven marks and two goals but missed two chances to win the game at the death.
Collingwood took Frankston’s spot in the top eight with a 39-point win over the Dolphins at the Holden Centre.
The Magpies took control with five goals to two in the second quarter and never looked back, blowing the margin out to 47 at the final change before the Dolphins added some respectability to the scoreboard.
Brayden Sier was excellent for Collingwood in the club’s first game since a 33-point loss to Sydney on May 15, compiling 26 disposals, laying 10 tackles and booting a goal, with support coming from Jay Rantall (29), Lachlan Tardrew (24), Callan Wellings (23, 10 marks) and ruckman Max Lynch (19, 36 hitouts).
Liam McMahon made the most of limited opportunities to kick four goals and Jack Ginnivan and Will Kelly kicked three each.
Nathan Freeman had 19 touches in the first half on his way to 27 for Frankston, while skipper Josh Newman (25) and Connor Riley (21) were again good, and Brodie McLaughlin snared three majors in the first half.
Footscray kept its unbeaten season intact and returned to the top of the ladder with a comfortable 32-point win over Coburg at Highgate Reserve.
The Bulldogs extended their lead at every change with Buku Khamis and Nathan Drummond in form, while Patrick Lipinski had 28 touches but got no peace from debutant Dinny Cleary, who laid eight tackles.
Marcus Lentini burst back to form with 37 disposals for the Lions and Ryan Exon had 28 and 10 marks, while Jack Maibaum was also a rock in defence.
Box Hill Hawks eased away from Aspley in the second half to win by 62 points at Box Hill City Oval.
The Hawks led by just seven points at the main break but added a wayward 3.11 to 0.0 in the third term and straightened up with 6.3 to 2.1 in the last as Emerson Jeka kicked four goals from 21 disposals and 11 marks, and Conor Nash (28, one goal) shone.
Matthew Payne had a monster day for the Hornets with 43 possessions and 10 marks.
The Coast Clash between Gold Coast and Southport was postponed due to the Suns having played in Sydney 14 days earlier.
SATURDAY, JUNE 26
North Melbourne 14.4 (88) def Werribee 12.11 (83) (Match Centre)
Coburg 7.10 (52) lost to Footscray 13.6 (84) (Match Centre)
Collingwood 16.8 (104) def Frankston 9.11 (65) (Match Centre)
Box Hill Hawks 15.19 (109) def Aspley 7.5 (47) (Match Centre)
Sandringham 14.12 (96) def Richmond 10.6 (66) (Match Centre)
FRIDAY, JUNE 25
Brisbane Lions 8.6 (54) lost to Geelong 26.16 (172) (Match Centre)
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