Sandringham have put an end to the Northern Blues three game winning streak and in the process cemented a spot in the top four with a polished 40-point win in round 12 of Peter Jackson VFL at Preston City Oval. The margin could well have been greater had it not been for the Zebra's inaccuracy, however a five goal to one second term opened the game up and they eventually cruised to a 13.24.102 to 9.8.62 victory.
Nick O'Kearney set the tone early for the visitors with two first quarter goals, he finished with three and 27 disposals to be in his side's best, he was well supported by Cameron Shenton (3 goals) while Eli Templeton (37 disposals) and Brodie Murdoch (30, 2 goals) were prolific through the middle for the winners.
Dillon Viojo-Rainbow kicked three third term goals for the Blues in a mini fight back and collected 23 possessions and along with Tom Wilson, 28 touches and defender Matthew Dick (33), were adjudged the Blues best while Jack Silvagni was held to just the two goals with 11 disposals and 4 marks.
Sandringham quickly asserted their authority on the match with their ball movement and pressure around the stoppages. They squandered chances on goal early however and went to the first change just ten points up.
Tom Simpkin and Nick Coughlan were doing well in defence for the Zebras while Lewis Pearce and Jason Holmes had the better of Cameron Wood and Matthew Korcheck in the ruck. The Zebras booted five goals in the first fifteen minutes of the second quarter to blow the margin out beyond six goals; however the Blues stemmed the flow towards the end of the half to be down 9.9.63 to 4.3.27 at half time.
Pearce didn't return for the Zebras in the second half, pulled out of the match in case of a late withdrawal from the St.Kilda team playing later that day. That didn't affect their dominance out of the centre as they won the clearance count 42 to 26 for the match.
The Blues gave their fans something to cheer about in the third quarter with Dylan Buckley's (20 disposals) run and Nick Graham good work (21 touches) around the packs helping create chances up forward where Rainbow was able to capitalise, the Blues out scoring Sandringham four goals to two for the term.
The sun slid behind the clouds for the last quarter and the temperature dropped as the heat went out of the game. Just three goals kicked for the term and again the Zebras were inaccurate with 2.8 to just the one from Silvagni for the Blues.
The inside fifty count for the game 60 to 35 Sandringham's way showing their ability to make the most of the clearance work and rebounding out of defence. That's four-in-a-row now for Sandringham and they can look to improve on that in round thirteen when the host lowly Frankston, the Blues are away to arch rival and in-form Collingwood and coach Josh Fraser will be hoping for a stronger effort from his charges in order for them to stay in touch with the top eight.
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