The Northern Blues and Sandringham battled out a grinding draw to open pre-season. (PHOTO CREDIT: Jonathan Di Maggio)
The Northern Blues have started their four game pre-season with a dramatic draw against the Sandringham Zebras.
Under the 25-minute capped quarters, the Zebras used the aid of the breeze to kick the last three goals of the game, ending in a 7. 14. (56) draw.
It was a learning curve for the Blues, who led by 20 points late in a game which was dictated heavily by a swirling wind.
It created for difficulty converting in front of goal, with both sides kicking double the amount of behinds to majors.
In spite of what may have been a scrappy contest to the eye, there were highlights aplenty for many of the young Northern Blues who represented the jumper for the first time.
It all kicked off with Tom De Koning kicked the first goal of the game, on the way to a performance up forward where he crashed contests.
Fellow Carlton draftee Angus Schumacher showed plenty of dash off half back and used his long-raking left boot to rebound from defence.
Making his return to the Northern Blues side after being recruited by Carlton, defender Cameron O’Shea backed up his 2017 form with a fine display in the back half.
Captaining the side on the day, Nick Graham typically was right amongst it, finishing with 30 disposals and a goal.
Northern Blue-listed speedster Ethan Penrith pressed his case for a solid 2018 season with an impressive running goal, bouncing the ball twice before finishing with aplomb from 55m out on the run.
Youngster Jordan Johnston also excited the Blues fans with two goals and impressive additions to the highlights reel in the first practice match of the campaign.
The Northern Blues will announce their upcoming pre-season game in the coming days.
NORTHERN BLUES 3.4 4.7 6.11 7. 14. (56)
SANDRINGHAM 1.3 4.9 4.12 7. 14. (56)
Northern Blues: Johnston 2, Williams 2, De Koning, Graham, Penrith