From Frankston Standard Leader
Reported by Paul Amy
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SIMON Goosey’s voice was so gravelly you suspected he ate barbed wire for breakfast.
“I’m so proud of you boys,’’ the coach rasped, prompting another burst of applause for the Frankston players from supporters packed into the changerooms at Casey Fields.
“The Goose’’ was hoarse after an afternoon hollering in the box and then, more pleasurable, singing the club song.
The Dolphins have had some frustrating days this season, dropping matches they ought have won.
But their performance against the Casey Scorpions on Saturday could salve a few wounds from the earlier rounds and was a reminder of their talent and tenacity.
They trailed by 26 points at quarter time, but fought back to claim a six-point victory, sealed when emerging defender Nic Newman drifted forward to nail a running goal at the 28-minute mark of the final term.
It came after stalwart utility Luke Potts kicked his third goal to level the scores, making for a tension-filled finish to what had been a spirited match played on a boggy surface.
The Scorpions had slipped 17 points clear after brilliant big man Max Gawn marked and made a set-shot.
But Frankston came again through goals from Michael Lourey and Corey Buchan, and had a finishing kick for the last few minutes.
Club timekeeper Michael Robinson reports that it was the Dolphins’ first win at Casey Fields and their first victory over Casey since 2006.
After an uncertain start, their leaders marshalled a rally in the second quarter, with the crafty Potts kicking two goals, Scott Simpson becoming a forward threat with his marking and uncompromising tackling, and skipper Leigh Kitchin all hard-won handballs and heart through the middle.
Wingman Josh Tynan and rover Ben Cavarra also got on goods terms with the ball.
By half time the Dolphins had almost achieved parity, pulling the deficit back to one point.
A melee broke out after the siren: there was an edge to the match that stoked memories of some of the bruising clashes between the old Springvale and Frankston.
Casey had the better of the third quarter, a goal after the siren from Jack Fitzpatrick giving it a 12-point break at the final change. But in the end it wasn’t enough to hold off the dauntless Dolphins, for whom Kitchin had 31 possessions, Shane Hockey 29, Tynan 25 and Cavarra 24.
“For once we won a close one,’’ Goosey said amid excited chatter in the rooms. “The boys dug deep.
“It’s a great feeling. Everyone did their bit. Like I said to them, they should be very proud to get that one on the board.’’
Newman, who had his childhood pal and Greater Western Sydney ace Lachie Whitfield watching him and brother Josh from the grandstand, described the win as “pretty special’’.
“We fought and fought and fought. We could have laid over when they got almost three goals up (in the final quarter) but we kept pushing,’’ he said.
As for the matchwinner, he gave credit to Potts for feeding him the ball.
For Casey, Gawn was outstanding with his 22 possessions, 12 marks, four goals and 43 hit-outs, fellow tall Fitzpatrick hauled in 12 marks, Jack Daniel Nicholson had 40 disposals, Matt Jones and James Strauss 33, and Ed Morris 29.
But coach Rohan Welsh was disappointed his team squandered such an assertive start. At quarter time he’d told his players they’d put in their best quarter for the season.
“It was like a different side went out after that,’’ he said.
“We stopped running, we stopped switching the play, we stopped attacking the ball, and we knew they were the areas we could beat them.
“I reckon it’s our most disappointing loss for the year. To have the opposition on their knees and let them back in, that was poor.’’
Welsh said it was a damning stat that Casey had almost 100 more possessions (the Scorpions had the numbers at 419 to 327) but eight fewer inside 50s. “Tells you we’ve got blokes who aren’t using the footy well enough and can’t get it forward.’’
Welsh did find a few positives: Gawn’s towering performance, Jake Best finding some form and first-year players Angus Scott and Bryce Rutherford continuing their progression at senior level.
The Scorpions gave a debut to former Gippsland Power player Nathan Paredes and used ex-Dandenong Stingrays tall Dale Gawley as their 23rd man.
Frankston used Nathan Gardiner as its 23rd player.
Frankston 1.1, 6.3, 8.4, 13.10 (88)
Casey Scorpions 5.3, 6.4, 9.10, 12.10 (82)
Frankston: Potts 3 Harper 2 Simpson 2 Haretuku Lourey Newman Sutton Buchan Coleman
Casey Scorpions: Gawn 4 Petropoulos 2 Scott 2 Clisby Fitzpatrick Best Jones
Frankston: Kitchin Potts Simpson Cavarra Tynan Harper
Casey Scorpions: Gawn Strauss Nicholson Fitzpatrick Morris Jones