Rays setting the pace

Ned Cahill (left) - who dominated against the Jets - celebrated a goal with Bryce Millford recently. 192826 Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS

The Dandenong Stingrays continued their unbeaten start to the 2019 NAB League season, disposing of the Western Jets on the road on Saturday afternoon.

After conceding the opening goal of the game, the Stingrays responded – via a Ned Cahill goal – and when the young gun slotted his second major of the game at the 18-minute mark of the term, Dandenong led by 10 points.

While controlling much of the second term, the Stingrays were unable to totally shake the Jets and at the main break, led by 22 points, 7.9 (51) to 4.5 (29).

With Hayden Young and Mitch Riordan getting plenty of the ball, the signs were good for Dandenong, but they just needed to finish off their work up forward.

In the third quarter it was the Jets squandering opportunities in front of goal. They had their chances to trim the lead to under three majors, but the Stingrays’ defence held up relatively well to force Western into tough shots on goal.

With a quarter to play, Dandenong led by 24 points, 9.10 (64) to 5.10 (40).

With the game in the balance at the start of the fourth quarter, of course it was Cahill who delivered the killer blow.

Kicking the first two goals of the fourth quarter, Cahill’s class and clean hands shone through on a day when others had trouble in front of goal. With Dandenong’s lead out to 36 points, despite an answering goal from Western, it was one-way traffic from then on.

The Stingrays would go on to kick seven goals to one in the fourth – a truly dominant quarter of football from the reigning premiers.

Dandenong ran out 63-point winners, 16.13 (109) to 6.10 (46).

Ned Cahill (19 disposals and four goals) was sublime in another eye-catching performance, while Hayden Young (26 disposals) and Mitch Riordan (25 disposals) were involved in everything.

Reece Orchard (13 disposals and nine tackles) was relentless all day and Bailey Schmidt’s ruck work was a highlight.

Dandenong remains on top of the ladder with five wins and one draw and will travel to Hobart this weekend to take on the Tasmania Devils (3-3) on Saturday afternoon.