Sandringham’s return from its lockdown-induced break has culminated in a disappointing 49-point defeat to Carlton at a blustery Wilson Storage Trevor Barker Beach Oval.
The Zebras were caught on the back foot against barnstorming Blues, who capitalised on the windy conditions to register 39 shots on goal – 28 of which were kicked with the breeze – and cruise towards a 9.6 (60) to 14.25 (109) final score.
Jake Batchelor's side managed to pare the deficit back to 15 points after trailing by seven goals at quarter-time, but were unable to match the Blues’ speed and scoreboard ascendancy after the main break.
Dan Hannebery was notable in his second game back from injury, collecting 18 disposals, nine clearances and a goal as he continues to build towards his long-awaited senior return.
Hannebery and Jack Bytel (28 disposals, 11 tackles) led the midfield to initiate clean passages of play from defensive to forward-50, allowing for the Zebras’ run at the scoreboard in the second quarter.
It ultimately wasn't enough to stem the momentum of the Blues, whose impact in front of goal (14.25) was only mitigated their own errant kicking and the determination of Sandringham's backline.
Darragh Joyce made his presence felt across the ground with 23 disposals and six marks to finish the day as one of his side’s best. The 24-year-old was a significant influence in defence with several goal-saving intercept marks before slotting a goal in the fourth quarter to round out his sturdy display.
Nick Coffield (17 disposals, one goal), James Frawley (19 disposals, seven marks) as well as Sandringham listed defender Tyson Milne (25 disposals, four marks) also held firm in the backline, despite the onslaught from Carlton forwards Ben Crocker (four goals) and Andrew Phillips (three goals).
Former Sandringham captain and current assistant coach Trent Dennis-Lane pulled on the boots as a late change to the side to join Darby Hipwell as the Zebras’ multiple goalkickers.
After a disappointing return to the season, Sandringham will look to redeem itself when they face North Melbourne at North Melbourne Recreation Reserve next week.
SANDRINGHAM 0.1 5.3 6.3 9.6 (60)
CARLTON 6.7 6.12 11.22 14.25 (109)
Sandringham: Dennis-Lane 2, Hipwell 2, Lonie, Bayne, Coffield, Hannebery, Joyce
Carlton: Crocker 4, Phillips 3, McGovern 2, North, Handley, Petrevski-Seton, Stephens, Wooller
Sandringham: Bytel, Joyce, Milne, McHale, Frawley, Hannebery
Carlton: Crocker, Parsons, Petrevski-Seton, Phillips, Fogarty, McGovern