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Stingrays lose the sting thing By Nick Creely TAC CUP REVIEW - ROUND 6 For three-and-a-half quarters it was a game that was controlled by the Dandenong Stingrays. Yet two pieces of individual brilliance in the dying moments meant another four points eluded them on Saturday. After the Rays registered the first major of the game, it seemed like a win was inevitable and the momentum was impenetrable. The Rays were inaccurate but far more potent early, kicking 2.6 in the breeze to just a solitary point in the first quarter, before the Knights bit back and regained some ground by half time. Some smooth passages of play ensured the Rays were able to climb out to a healthy four goal buffer, but the Knights started shutting them down once inaccuracy become an issue, zapping them of confidence and allowing the Knights all the momentum heading into the last. Despite the Rays showing intent to score in the final quarter, the Knights, albeit from a few questionable free kicks, were rampaging home and doing all the attacking. Leading until the 25th minute of the fourth quarter, the dam walled finally burst wide open as the Knights stole victory from the jaws of defeat. Slick moving midfielder and
Knights skipper Nick Coffield finally gave them the match-winning lead with a brilliant running goal from outside 50, before a game-saving tackle from Ollie Wilson deep in the Rays attack as they looked certain to kick a goal sealed victory. “When you lead all bar the last minute of the game, it’s pretty deflating for the group when that happens - in some critical moments of the game we let ourselves down and didn’t take our opportunities, and that’s what happens,” Stingrays coach Craig Black said. “To the Knights’ credit, they stuck at it all day and pounced at the right time - we just have to get better as a group in some of our decision making in critical times of the game. “But our young backmen stood up to the test, and it just came down to sheer volume of numbers and they were under the pump a bit.” Black was particularly disappointed with the side’s first quarter, with the Rays dominating the game but not putting enough score on the board. “Our first quarter we kicked with the breeze and we kicked 2.6 - that’s not ideal - scoreboard pressure is just so crucial - even at three quarter time, I felt like we just needed another goal - we made errors and just conceded goals,” he said. Stingrays’ defender Angus Paterson (12 disposals, four contested marks) was a shining light in the absence of a few senior heads, while Tom De Kon-
TAC CUP NORTHERN KNIGHTS 0.1 5.3 6.3 10.9(69) DANDENONG STINGRAYS 2.6 5.7 7.12 9.12(66) NORTHERN KNIGHTS GOALS: J. Shea 4, N. Coffield 2, J. Petruccelle, S. Binion, O. Stapleton, B. Gillard. BEST: J. Shea, J. Petruccelle, O. Wilson, S. Binion, J. Grace, M. Andrews. DANDENONG STINGRAYS GOALS: T. Dekoning 3, J. Nanscawen 3, R. Piper, L. Young, H. Clark. BEST: A. Paterson, T. Murphy, J. Davies, T. Dekoning, B. Williams, W. Hamill.
ing once again showed immense promise in his forward role, kicking three goals and competing hard around the ground. The ultra-young Rays, missing even more cavalry than last week, were also well serviced by the impressive Tom Young and solid midfielder Will Hamill, while Hunter Clark continues his emergence into the elite bracket of draft prospects. “It was (Angus) Paterson’s best game of the year as a key defender, Hunter Clark was great, and most of our leaders did really well,” Black said. Bailey Williams was also impressive in the ruck, winning plenty of hit
Bailey Williams continues to impress in the ruck. 167722 Picture: ROB CAREW outs and giving the midfielders some silver-service as he continues to build into a strong 2017.
The Stingrays move to a 3-3 record, and face a crucial clash with Oakleigh Chargers at Shepley Oval next Sunday.
Comets slide down ladder Demons are in a bit of strife FFV SOCCER WRAP REVIEW - ROUND 6 STATE LEAGUE 1 - SOUTHEAST The Casey Comets have slumped to 11th on the ladder after another disappointing loss, this time to Manningham United 1-2 on Friday night. In front of a strong home crowd, the Comets were unable to stop the in-form Blues, who are now third on the table. In other matches, Mornington lost 1-2 to South Springvale, Malvern City drew 2-2 with Mooroolbark SC, Langwarrin won 2-0 over St Kilda City, Morwell Pegasus pipped Clifton Hill 1-0, and Caulfield defeated Warragul United 2-1. STATE LEAGUE 2 - SOUTHEAST Berwick City travelled to Heatherton United on Friday night looking to extend their unbeaten start to the season. City started brightly and in the first minute of the game should have gone ahead when David Di Iorio just had the keeper to beat but the shot went straight at him. Not long after Orlando Mejias also spurned another good opportunity to put Berwick in front and despite the continued domination and numerous attempts on goal, the away team could not find a way past the excellent Heatherton goalkeeper who was making his first appearance after a three-year suspension. Berwick were made to rue
By Nick Creely
Berwick City's unbeaten run came to an end on Friday Picture: ROB CAREW night. 166493 their missed chances early in the second half when two goals in quick succession left them shell shocked. A wonderful long range free kick from Alex Torelli late in the game was not enough to salvage a point for City who suffered for their first defeat of the campaign and drop to fifth on the ladder. The final score was Heatherton United 2 - Berwick City 1. The Reserves won 3-0 with goals from Hayden Nuhanovic, Jayden Zahra and Guilerme Ribeiro. This week Berwick are back at home on Saturday night against North Caulfield. STATE LEAGUE 5 - SOUTH Pakenham United have put in almighty effort to draw level with league leaders Sandown Li-
ons 1-1 on Saturday afternoon. The Lions came into the game with 28 goals scored and barely conceding a goal in a faultless opening month of the season, and the United were brave all day, denying the Lions scoring opportunities through outstanding team defence, only letting one goal slip through the goal-keeper’s grasp. Paul Byrne was the lone goal-scorer for the United in a promising day for the club. In other matches across the league, Rowville thrashed Drouin 5-0 to continue their dominance, Chelsea FC were far too strong for Bunyip, winning 5-1, Dandenong Warriors cruised to a 4-0 victory over Somerville, Lyndale United powerfully brushed aside Old Mentonians 6-0, and White Star Dandenong defeated Casey Panthers 4-1.
VICTORIAN FOOTBALL LEAGUE REVIEW - ROUND 4 The highly-rated Casey Demons have fallen to 1-3 and in need of a quick form turnaround, after losing by 11-points in a fierce contest against Werribee on Sunday afternoon. Travelling to the other side of Melbourne for the second consecutive week, the Demons showed plenty of spirit and ferocity at the contest early, but it was the Tigers who got the early six-point buffer at quarter time. Only a minute into the second quarter, Tigers’ small forward Lindsay Thomas found himself reported for a head high bump on Corey Maynard, resulting in the utility being stretchered off the ground. Demons’ midfielder Jake Melksham was also reported twice throughout the match for separate indiscretions. Thomas’ bump sparked the Demons into action, with Dion Johnstone and Declan Keilty almost immediately registering goals and setting up a 15-point lead at half-time. But down three rotations after half-time due to injuries, including that of AFL-listed players Maynard (head) and James Harmes (eye), the Demons ran out of legs despite fighting hard, just holding out to a narrow four-point lead at three-quarter-time. When Will Fordham finally
It was a fierce contest between the Dees and the Tigers on Sunday. Picture: FACEBOOK broke through and gave the Tigers the lead 12 minutes into the final-quarter, they never looked back despite the Dees kicking four behinds in the final 15 minutes of the match. Melksham (30 disposals, 1 goal) was the Dees’ most prolific midfielder, Jack Trengove (22 disposals) continues to push for a senior recall and was typically tough in the clinches, vice-captain Jimmy Munro did a terrific job in quelling Lindsay Thomas to just three goals and the slick Billy Stretch (25 disposals) was all class on the wing. Dion Johnstone, the 18-yearold taken at Pick 64 in last year’s National Draft, was also ultra-impressive kicking his first two VFL goals and applying some elite pressure. In the Development League, Casey 14.8(92) knocked off an inaccurate Werribee 7.16(58),
with Sean Dwyer collecting 33 disposals and Nathan Foote booting three majors.
VFL WERRIBEE 3.3 6.4 10.6
CASEY DEMONS 2.3 8.7 10.10 10.15(75) WERRIBEE GOALS: N. Larkey 4, L. Thomas 3, C. Zurhaar 2, W. Fordham, J. Williams, J. Cleeland, N. Buykx BEST: M. Hanson, D. Nielson, W. Fordham, D. Mountford, B. Preuss, M. Sodomaco. CASEY DEMONS GOALS: A. Scott 2, D. Johnstone 2, D. Kent, D. Keilty, B. Fritsch, T. Vander Haar, J. Melksham, B. Kennedy. BEST: J. Melksham, D. Collis, J.
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Published on May 10, 2017