WET, COLD and MUDDY were three words that summed up Round 9 of the TAC Cup.
With the weather struggling to hit the teens and constant rain, it made it the first weekend where no team hit 100 points.
In the opening game of the ground, an undermanned Sandringham Dragons accounted for the Eastern Ranges by 43-points.
The Dragons put the foot down in the second quarter with seven goals to two, ensuring they’d collect their sixth win of the season.
Corey Lyons was one of the Dragons’ best players, with 18 disposals and three goals in one of his best performances to date. In the wet, Thomas North threw his body around for the Ranges laying 11 tackles and collecting 27 disposals. Josh Begley too continued his good form with 24 disposals spending more time in the midfield for the second week in a row.
In what turned out to be the match of the round, Calder Cannons came from behind to knock over the Oakleigh Chargers, thanks to a superb individual effort from Muhammad Saad.
After quarter time, Calder’s intensity and pressure lifted and was better than their opponents in the wet with the Cannons outscoring Chargers by four goals to one after half time.
Saad’s incredible afternoon finished with seven goals, taking some nice marks overhead despite the weather. Zach Guthrie continued his strong month of football with 28 disposals, using the ball well off half back.
— Peter Bonadio (@PeterBonadio) June 4, 2016
Left out of the Vic Country side, Willem Drew proved the selectors wrong with a 21 disposal display but it was Rebel James Gow who claimed best-on-ground claims with 29 disposals and three goals.
The 174cm midfielder is one of the better kicks in the draft pool and performances like Saturday’s will continue to push his name come November.
Jacob Wheelahan was the other multiple goal kicker for the Rebels, kicking three goals from his 21 disposals.
Despite the loss, Power small Will Stephenson had 37 disposals and laid an incredible 17 tackles in his best game for Gippsland.
A low scoring first quarter saw just two goals kicked- but an eight goal to three second half by the Knights gave them their second win of the year lifting them off the bottom.
Knights player Patrick Lipinski had his best game for the season with 30 disposals and seven tackles, while James Hewson kicked a bag of five goals.
Connor Griffiths (27 disposals) and Brodie Romensky (25 disposals) were two of the Jets who dug deep all day.
In Saturday’s other game, Geelong Falcons and Murray Bushrangers had plenty to play for with the winner claiming top spot on the ladder.
The Bushies led all the way up to three quarter time, leading by a point, before Geelong kicked three goals to one, to finish victorious by 14-points.
Doulton Langlands had 28 disposals in the midfield for the Bushies, while forward Esava Ratugolea kicked four goals in the absence of Zach Sproule & Todd Marshall who were representing the Allies.
With Xavier College having the bye, Falcons ruckman Sean Darcy was dominent all day in the ruck with 40 hit-outs, allowing for Geelong to have first hands on the ball.
Cassidy Parish (younger brother of Essendon’s Darcy) had 21 disposals and kicked two goals.
In the final game of the round, Dandenong Stingrays collected a win, with an unconvincing performance over the Bendigo Pioneers.
The Stingrays kicked 9.23 and rest assured they’ll be working on their goal kicking practice at training over the next two weeks!
Charlie Martello and Dan Allsop kicked three goals for the visitors who sit in second place, trailing the Falcons by four points.
Two of Bendigo’s 19-year-olds Jack Exell (34 disposals) and Jamieson Sheahan (29 disposals) fought hard for the Pioneers, but they were unable to notch their fourth win of the year.
This weekend, the TAC Cup have a development weekend meaning no games will be played. However, the best Victorians will be battling it out on Queens Birthday Monday at Simonds Stadium, with Vic Country U18s playing Vic Metro U18s.