From Bayside Leader
Reported by Paul Amy
Full Story Click Here
SUPPORTERS formed a line extending from the fence of the Trevor Barker Oval to the changerooms, clapping, cheering and whistling.
The Sandringham players they were showering in admiration wore a satisfied glow, knowing they'd pulled off a splendid victory over the Northern Blues.
At the 20-minute mark of the third quarter of Sunday's match, the Blues went 38 points clear when Luke Mitchell kicked his third goal.
But Sandy turned their desperate position into a 13-point win that will long live in the memory.
"Oh mate, how good was that!" captain Marcus Marigliani said, peeling off his jumper.
"Have a look around. It means a lot. The club needed this. The alignments can be tough. This will bring people together."
The Blues had controlled things for most of the day, looking too clean, too quick, too classy.
Even at quarter time, with his team 15 points down, Sandy coach Simon McPhee was telling his players they looked like they were asleep and if they didn't wake up they'd get a fair old caning. He pinpointed Cameron Shenton and Trent Dennis-Lane for poor efforts.
The Blues continued to forge ahead. And when they put through five of the first seven goals of the third term it appeared there was no way back for Sandy.
And then the match turned.
Goals from Tom Curren, Dennis-Lane, Tom Hickey and Dennis-Lane again reduced the margin to 20 points at the last change. Suddenly Sandy had some get-up-and-go. They'd woken up.
Myke Cook and skipper Marcus Marigliani trimmed the lead some more early in the last quarter.
And then it was goal for goal up until the 25-minute mark, when Curren snatched back the lead with a goal from 50m, answering Levi Casboult's fourth for the Blues.
Behinds from Tom Ledger and Curren took it to seven points, and a snap from Jackson Ferguson was the exclamation mark on a sterling comeback.
At the suggestion the Zebras had pinched it, McPhee fired back: "We didn't pinch anything, mate. We earned it!"
"We stayed in it. We shouldn't have been in at half time," he said.
"We were completely outplayed in the first half but we dug in during the third quarter to give ourselves a chance.
"I thought it was a great win."
He said a smother from Curren set the example in the final term.
Marigliani, all perspiration and inspiration, had two goals to go with his 27 possessions, and Adam Cockie, Hamish Shepheard and the nippy Chris Michaliades were influential too.
Michaliades was added to the state squad this morning ahead of Saturday's match against the WAFL.
Saints stalwart Jason Gwilt was a steadying figure in defence and young Saints Curren and Sam Dunnell made a good impression again.
There was a brotherly battle in the coaching box, with Sandy assistant coach Ryan Webster going up against sibling Luke, the Northern Blues' senior coach.
Bragging rights were with Ryan, who said it was a tough loss for the Blues and he was feeling for his brother.
"But he always seems to have one-up on me. I suppose I got him this time," he said.
Sandringham 2.1 7.4 13.6 20.10 (130) d Northern Blues 4.4 10.7 15.8 18.9 (117)
GOALS: Sandringham: Cook 3 Marigliani 2 Hickey 2 Michaliades 2 Ray 2 Curren 2 Dennis-Lane 2 Ferguson Shepheard Dowler Shenton Lever. Northern Blues: Casboult 4 Mitchell 3 Buckley 2 Totevski 2 Bell Thomas Wilson Lambert Taglieri Rowe Menzel
BEST: Sandringham: Michaliades Shepheard Curren Dunell Cockie Ray. Northern Blues: Bell Lambert Collins Casboult Meese Joseph