NAB Boys - The Stingrays are on the board!

on 05 April 2021
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After a long 580 days between matches, the Dandenong Stingrays under-19 boys are back playing footy!


In warm conditions, the side – which included 14 debutants – didn’t show any signs of rust over the long break between outings.


The Rays got the jump early and maintained the rage, coming out 12.15 (87) to 7.6 (48) winners.


It all started in the opening term when the overlap run from the midfield brigade was paying dividends on the scoreboard.


Jai Neal was the recipient of the smooth ball use up the ground, capitalising on three majors in the opening 25 minutes of the game.


While he was finding his own footy with ease up the ground, Connor MacDonald also slotted his first major of the afternoon late in the opening term, extending the first interval margin beyond four goals.


Despite missing some golden opportunities in front of goal in the second term, the Rays held firm in the back half, keeping the Power from hitting the scoreboard while adding a further three goals.


With an eight goal to one opening half, the Rays had done the heavy lifting in terms of gaining the four points.


Despite a clinical display as a team, there were some outstanding individual performances.


Connor MacDonald had 24 disposals to go along with his 2.3, while Mac Andrew, Henry Berenger, Miller Bergman and Judson Clarke also had big days out – proving they will all be players to keep your eyes peeled for throughout season 2021.


Coach Nick Cox was impressed by his sides ability to gel in its opening contest, while also rapt with some of the talent the Rays have to offer this year.


“You are not really sure as a coach what they are going to dish out (Round 1), it was notable to me that we played as one and that was really pleasing,” he said.


“Overall, every player had some pivotal moments throughout the game, just some more than others.


“It was pleasing that we were able to showcase the talent the region has, we still have a long way to go, but it was good that we had more better moments than not so good moments.


“It was a really tough day to play with the conditions, at half time we had done a fair bit of work to get ourselves to a point where we were leading comfortably.


“We got outdone in the second half which was a bit disappointing, but at the same time we still were able to play a brand of football that was exciting.


“All the boys have come back in really good condition, but his (Connor MacDonald) body of work was shown.


“Five shots on goal and 20 odd touches in tough conditions is a big day, credit to him,” Cox said.


The Stingrays take on Greater Western Victoria Rebels at the iconic Queen Elizabeth Oval in Bendigo next Sunday, and with the Rebels coming off a striking win of their own in the opening round, it looms as a cracking game of footy.



Neal 3, Kyle 2, MacDonald 2, Murr, Gay, Cole, Berenger, Gerdan.



Clarke, Berenger, Andrew, MacDonald, Davies, Bergman.