Round 9 - Awesome Dandenong Level the Ledger

on 17 June 2018
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The Dandenong Southern Stingrays have triumphed over the Oakleigh Chargers by 55 points in one sided affair at Shepley Oval on Saturday afternoon. 

The Stingrays led at every change, taking a slender lead into the first break before kicking into another gear in the second quarter, running out the game comfortable winners 13.17 (95) to 6.4 (40). 

With both sides missing a number of key players to private school commitments and Vic Country/Metro duties, the Stingrays again had the chance to blood a new debutant, with Bigoa Nyuon getting his first taste of TAC Cup action and more importantly more games into bottom age players. 

The whole back six were simply outstanding down back, holding firm in the face of a dangerous Chargers attack with Matt Gahan and Will Hamill leading the experienced Stingray backline, superbly supported by the hardnosed straight running Lachlan Stenning who is growing in confidence each game he gets under his belt. 

Campbell Hustwaite had another terrific day out, collecting plenty of disposals, clearances and bone crunching tackles, while the absence of forward-line guns it didn’t seem to hurt the Dandenong attack, with 11 goal kickers and multiple goals to Jarrod Smith and Billy Geurts (2) showing a great display of attacking pressure. 

Through the middle, the load was spread with relevant new comers getting their chance to drive the engine room, however it was led superbly by speedster’s Matthew Cottrell and Bailey Angwin. 

Post-match, stand-in coach Nic Cox conceded that the match was not all plain sailing. “We knew Oakleigh were going to challenge us, they always do as their well drilled and have plenty of talent. 

“We had to dig deep throughout the first part of the game, until we got the game on our terms. We got away from them in the second term, then they locked it up a little. In the end it was just an old-fashioned, solid game of footy with clubs getting a better look at the depth of the lists.” 

By the end, the game was about as evenly matched as possible – both sides finishing with similar numbers in marks, tackles, hitouts, kicks, clearances but Dandenong controlled the football on the outside along with inside-50s, as well as controlling the disputed ball. 

Despite this, it was a fairly dismal start to the match for the high-flying Stingrays. The embattled Chargers matched the more fancied Stingrays who were kicking with the aid of the 3 goal plus breeze for the entire first quarter. The Stingrays let four very gettable chances go begging and went into the first break with a 15 point lead. 

In the second quarter, the Stingrays settled, and what then followed was simply vintage Stingrays. In spite of some wayward kicking on goal (as has plagued Dandenong for the last few weeks), the Stingrays just found another gear and started hitting their targets kicking 5 goals . 

The Dandenong midfield brigade began taking the game on more with a bit of dash through the middle, while the defence remained solid as a rock only allowing 1 goal. 

When the half time sounded the Stingrays had pushed their margin out (62-20), while the young Chargers were hesitant to head to the rooms knowing the Chargers coaches were coming for them in a honest assessment of what was being delivered. 

The third quarter started as expected with both coaching sides getting the opportunity to recharge their players, with the game becoming a bit of circle work as both defensive units were getting an opportunity to get on top of their opponents before the Stingray leaders kicked it up a notch again adding a bit of scoreboard pressure (81-27). 

With the rain easing, Dandenong went into the final break with a 54 lead, which allowed the Stingrays Coaching staff to move many magnets testing a few in the deep end, whilst getting the opportunity to freshen up some of the stars. 

The last quarter saw the Chargers probably winning the quarter, but the lesson’s learnt in the final 25 minutes may become a master stroke in future rounds. 

The final score showing of the depth of the Stingrays list, as well as the strength of club development in the AFL South East Region. 

The clinical win also keeps the Stingrays firmly ensconced in the top-four, leading all comers sitting on top of TAC Cup ladder. 

 

This week they prepare for another home game, Saturday, against the Greater Western Victorian Rebels. There will be many changes for this game, school holidays start and with the development of 17 year old’s all TAC Cup sides must field a minimum of eleven 17 year-olds for the following two rounds which helps AFL recruiters in future trading.