By Nick Creely
REVIEW – ROUND 12
An avalanche of goals late in the final term has seen the Dandenong Stingrays bank their fifth straight victory against Calder Cannons by 23-points on Saturday.
Down at RAMS Arena, the Cannons had all the running early with the wind, slamming on three goals in the first 10 minutes, before the sharpshooting Riley D’Arcy finally banked a goal to kick start the ‘Rays.
But a late goal to impressive forward Lachlan Scholl saw the Cannons take a 20-point quarter time lead.
A pair of Jamie Plumridge goals was the only thing of note in the second quarter, with the ‘Rays butchering their chances for goal, kicking eight behinds for the quarter to be trailing by a solitary point at half time.
Although they dominated most of the play in the second, it was full of wasted opportunities going inside the attacking arc.
And not even the break – and perhaps a change of boots – could turn things around in the third, with the ‘Rays once again not finding their range in front of goal, kicking 2.4 for the third quarter while the Cannons piled on 4.2 to lead by 11-points.
With a spark needed, Alex Young finally found the goals early in the fourth, igniting three majors in the space of nine minutes – with two to Lachie McDonnell in quick succession – to completely run away with the contest.
They changed their game style to bring their runners into the game in the final quarter, with the ‘Rays playing a more direct, fast and quick style of play.
Solid midfielder Will Hamill was a constant presence around the ground winning plenty of the football to be named best, Lachlan Young’s impressive month continued with another polished display, skipper Josh Bateman won plenty of the footy, while big man Riley Bowman was a rock, especially early when the Cannons peppered the goals.
The ‘Rays remain in fifth spot with an 8-4 record, and are breathing down the necks of Sandringham and Murray Bushrangers in third and fourth.
The Stingrays have a massive chance to climb into the top four next round when they host the Northern Knights at Shepley Oval on Saturday.
With the Development Rounds over and the Under 18 Championships finishing up last week, all TAC Cup clubs have a full list to choose from for the rest of the season.
CALDER CANNONS 4.3 4.4 8.6 8.7(55)
DANDENONG STINGRAYS 1.1 3.9 5.13 10.18(78)
GOALS: L. Sholl 2, J. Firebrace, N. Walsh, C. Taylor, I. Moussa, B. Caluzzi, J. Riccardi.
BEST: B. Bernacki, B. Caluzzi, L. Sholl, L. Cavallaro, M. Fletcher, C. Taylor.
GOALS: B. Schmidt 2, J. Plumridge 2, A. Young 2, L. McDonnell 2, R. Bowman, R. D’Arcy.
BEST: W. Hamill, R. Bowman, L. Young, J. Bateman, D. Frampton, M. Cotter.