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VFL: Acres stands tall

Saints midfielder Blake Acres is in line for a senior return after a huge performance for the Zebras. - St Kilda Saints,VFL
Saints midfielder Blake Acres is in line for a senior return after a huge performance for the Zebras.
(Acres and Freeman) both performed well for us today, albeit on a hard day at the office.
Aaron Hamill

St Kilda’s Blake Acres was a class above on Sunday afternoon in Sandringham’s 66-point loss to league-leaders Richmond at Trevor Barker Beach Oval.

Finishing with a team-high 36 disposals, Acres was outstanding, along with Nathan Freeman (30 disposals) and youngster Nick Coffield (29 disposals) in what was a frustrating afternoon.

Richmond started strongly, with a nine-goal opening term and 20 inside-50s placing immense pressure on the Sandringham defence, who stood tall after quarter time.

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Irishman Ray Connellan was the only multiple goalkicking Saint with two majors, while the budding Freeman added a single.

Despite the heavy defeat, Sandringham coach Aaron Hamill was pleased with his side’s ability to finish the game strongly but lamented a poor first quarter.

 

“We were certainly found wanting in the first quarter, and it was disappointing we couldn’t match Richmond’s pressure,” Hamill told saints.com.au.

“It’s not hard to see why they’re the ladder-leaders, but we need to be a lot better than the start we put up.

“You can always salvage something out of the wreck, so to win the last quarter and kick five goals from 13 entries was good, but we got taught lessons today defensively and with our work-rate. We’ve got to continue to improve in those areas of our game.”

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Hamill was pleased with the form of Nathan Freeman and Blake Acres in his third VFL game, with both now putting themselves up for AFL selection.

“They both performed well for us today, albeit on a hard day at the office,” Hamill said.

“They’re continuing to build consistency and getting through games well, and their opportunities at AFL level will come.”

Sandringham returns to Trevor Barker Beach Oval for their final home game of the season in round 17, hosting the Box Hill Hawks on Saturday 28 July.

Sandringham       0.0          2.2          4.5          9.13 (67)
Richmond             9.5          10.8        18.12      20.13 (133)

Goals: Haidon 3, Connellan 2, Freeman, Lamb, Langlands, Smith
Best: 
Acres, Freeman, Connellan, Goddard, Coffield, Haidon