Northern endured its second loss of the season after an 11-point loss against Sandringham. (PHOTO CREDIT: Rose Zarucky)
DESPITE a dominant first half, the Northern Blues fell short to Sandringham at Marvel Stadium on Sunday.
Coming into the game with winning form, the Blues ultimately went down by 11 points to the Zebras, who ran away with a 12.8 (80) to 10.9 (69) victory.
Looking to continue their positive run heading into the Round 8 clash, Northern wasn’t able to put in a four-quarter performance.
It was a third-quarter collapse which proved costly, with Sandringham running away with the win after the Blues were the better side in the first half.
Northern got off to a great start in the opening quarter, kicking five first-quarter goals thanks to fierce and intense pressure up forward.
The likes of Kym Lebois and Matthew Owies led the way with their relentless approach: they would eventually finish the day with two goals apiece.
Patrick Kerr picked up where he left off from last week, hitting the scoreboard early and finishing the day with three majors after last week’s haul of six. It saw him head to equal-top of the VFL goal-kicking table after eight rounds.
Northern continued to control the possession in the second term, but some scrappy and inefficient disposal meant the Blues weren’t able to put the Zebras away going into half-time.
It was a different story for Northern in the second half, with Sandringham fighting back to hit the front with a run of eight unanswered goals in the second half.
It came about from Northern’s inability to continue its good work from the opening half, with the Zebras gaining the ascendancy in the middle.
Sam Fisher worked tirelessly in the midfield for Northern, with his run and dash instrumental in the Blues controlling the play and possession in the first half.
He finished the day with 26 disposals, while Will Setterfield was strong support act with 23 disposals and a goal. Mason Blakey stood up defensively, but Northern will lament a lack of contributors in the second half.
The Northern Blues will look to bounce back next week and return to the winner’s list when they come up against Essendon in Round 9 at Windy Hill.
SANDRINGHAM 2.2 4.4 10.5 12.8 (80)
NORTHERN BLUES 5.2 7.2 7.6 10.9 (69)
GOALS: Kerr 3, LeBois 2, Owies 2, Keppel, Lang, Setterfield
BESTS: Blakey, Lang, Setterfield, Fisher, Goddard, Lebois