Main content

VFL: Hickey instrumental in upset

Tom Hickey put together a best-afield performance in the Zebras’ upset win over Port Melbourne. - St Kilda Saints,VFL,Tom Hickey,Rowan Marshall,Darren Minchington,Josh Bruce,Jack Lonie,Hugh Goddard
Tom Hickey put together a best-afield performance in the Zebras’ upset win over Port Melbourne.
Ruckmen set the scene in games, and Tom (Hickey) was really strong in the contest.
Aaron Hamill

St Kilda ruckman Tom Hickey has produced a dominant performance in the VFL, pressing his claims for a return to AFL level in the coming weeks.

The 27-year-old was the leading ball-winner for Sandringham on Saturday afternoon, with 34 disposals and 59 hit-outs in an impressive 55-point win over Port Melbourne.

The Zebras dominated the hit-outs (75-27) thanks to Hickey’s presence around the ground, who received support from athletic tall Rowan Marshall, who won 16 hit-outs of his own.

Darren Minchington also made a promising return from injury, finishing with 25 disposals and two goals in a game where he was one of 12 individual goalkickers for the Zebras at North Port Oval.

READ: VFL mid-season review

Josh Bruce competed strongly in his third VFL match, presenting as the main forward target to finish with three majors and seven marks, working well with fellow tall Marshall (1 goal, 23 disposals, nine marks).

Sandringham burst out of the blocks at the home of the ‘Borough, with Jack Lonie booting the game’s first, before Aaron Hamill’s side kicked the last three goals of the opening term to take the lead into quarter time.

The Zebras came into the game fresh off the bye, and the week off paid dividends as they dominated the second and third quarters with 11 goals.

But a trademark Gary Ayres stir at three-quarter time got his side going early into the final term, sending nervous tremors through the Sandringham camp.

Josh Bruce and Sam Gilbert have both been influential for the Zebras in recent weeks.

Port Melbourne kicked the first two majors of the last quarter to reduce the margin to 26 points, but Aaron Hamill’s team dug in and piled on seven of the last eight goals to run away with the game.

Hamill was full of praise for his side in what was Sandringham’s fifth win of the season, especially the endeavour of ruckman Tom Hickey.

“It was a really strong team performance and we know how tough this Port Melbourne opposition are, particularly on their home deck,” Hamill told

“We had to match them inside the contest and also get our outside game going, which is something we haven’t always got right this year.


“Ruckmen set the scene in games, and Tom (Hickey) was really strong in the contest. He worked well with the likes of Darren Minchington, and Nathan Freeman got going for us as well.

“He delivered for us over the four quarters, which is what we expect, and now he certainly puts himself back in the AFL selection frame.”

The ex-Saint also gave praise to defender Hugh Goddard (six disposals) in what he described as a “defensively sound game without high numbers”, while lauding the experience of veteran Sam Gilbert (18 disposals, six marks, four tackles) in the crucial stages.

Sandringham travels out to Piranha Park next weekend, where the Coburg Lions await on Saturday 7 July at 2pm.

Port Melbourne   3.2          6.8          8.9          11.13 (79)
Sandringham       4.2          9.3          15.6        21.8 (134)

Goals: Bruce 3, Lamb 3, Lonie 2, Wright 2, Minchington 2, Seccull 2, Haidon 2, Marshall, Langlands, Gilbert, Phillips, Connellan

Best: Hickey, Gilbert, Bruce, Minchington, Marshall, Seccull