Stonecats sound early warning

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NEPEAN LEAGUE

Grounded: Devon Meadows got to grips with Pearcedale including former AFL Premiership West Coast Eagles player Daniel Kerr, below, making a one-off guest appearance for Pearcedale. Pictures: Scott Memery

FRANKSTON Bombers sounded a very loud warning to the rest of the MPNFL Nepean Division competition when it handed out a 10-goal hiding to Dromana on Saturday.

It may have only been the opening game of the 2017 season, but the Bombers were quick to put the horror of losing the Grand Final to Hastings last year and slip into top gear and put the Tigers to the sword.

If the game wasn’t over at quarter-time when the Bombers booted five goals to one, it certainly was at the main interval when the lead blew out to 53 points.

Jason Kingsbury dominated the time trials during the off-season for the Bombers and he carried that conditioning through to round one with a superb performance, while recruit Corey Buchan booted two goals and was a dominant force.

Corey Micari took great strides as a senior player last season and he kicked off the season in fine fashion, while Sam Fox carried over his form from his 2016 league medal winning season.

The second half wasn’t as entertaining as the first as Dromana tightened the screws and held Frankston to just three goals in the second half.

The Tigers were only able to boot one themselves though and eventually went down 4.7 (31) to 14.16 (100).

Somerville too made it clear to the competition that despite losing a number of key players during the off-season, it is still going to be a tough side to beat in 2017 after smashing Red Hill.

Many, including yours truly, may have written the Eagles off a little too early as they ran out 14.10 (94) to 9.4 (58) winners.

Justin Allsop with three goals, along with Adrian Speedy, dominated for the Eagles.

Only 10 points separated the sides at half-time before the Eagles booted six goals to two in the second hour.

Recruit Ben Hughes was a stand-out performer for the Hillmen with four goals while Jonah Siverson and Michael Mock were superb in defence.

Sorrento went into its match against Rosebud below full strength and still managed to walk away from Olympic Park with a comfortable 37-point victory.

Leigh Poholke booted five goals for the Sharks in his return game and Nick Corp dominated higher up the ground with three majors. Recruits Justin McCleary and Aaron Paxton shone at either end of the ground for the winners. The score was six goals to one at half time and the final scoreboard read 12.12 (84) to 7.5 (47).

Tom Stoffels worked hard for the Buds and was rewarded with two majors while Bart Wallace, recruited from the Yarra Ranges, performed well in his first game for the Buds.

It may yet be another long year for Tyabb after Crib Point handed it a crushing 12-goal hiding.

It what was billed to be a close game of footy, the Yabbies were never in the contest, losing 18.11 (119) to 6.12 (48).

Waide Symes was the best player on the ground with a superb eight goals, while a returning Taylor Stratton (knee) finished with five goals. Dean Warry was also at his magical best.

There’s no doubt that new coach Brad Arnold has the Pies up and about early in the season and with weapons including Symes, Stratton, Warry and Luke Herrington at his disposal, there’s early proof that they could prove to be dangerous.

Pearcedale got its season away to a solid start with a tight win against Devon Meadows under new coach Leigh Stewart.

Whilst the final margin was just six points, it could be argued that the margin should have been far greater given the Dales had 12 more scoring shots, 12.16 (88) to 13.4 (82).

Troy Jacobson proved again that he is one of the most exciting young players in the competition for Pearcedale and Glenn Anderson was a surprise packet in attack with four goals.

Devon Meadows led by 15 points at half-time, thanks largely to five goals each from former St Kilda player Allan Murray and Steve McInnes. Stef Baumgartner was also back to his brilliant best.

Hastings had to wait until the third quarter to shake off a persistent Rye at Barclay Oval.

The Demons jumped out of the blocks and led the reigning premiers by seven points at half-time before the Blues came out in the third and booted nine unanswered goals to blow the visitors away.

It was goal for goal in the last, Hastings going on to win 18.10 (118) to 11.10 (76).

Luke Clark was the best player on the park with six goals for the Blues while Luke Hewitt and Shaun Foster booted three goals each.

Tim Churchin booted a couple for the Demons against his old side while James Appleford and Adam Kirkwood were outstanding.

First published in the Frankston Times – 10 April 2017

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