Gippsland Power stung by determined Dandenong

DANDENONG Stingrays claimed bragging rights over neighbouring Gippsland Power at the weekend by 21 points in round 10 of the TAC Cup at Shepley Oval.

Due to injuries and Victoria Country commitments, Power went into the match without Christian Bukyx-Smith, Ben Ainsworth, Nash Holmes, Tate Marsh, Sam Skinner, Harrison McKay, Will Leslie and Ryan Hearn.

Selectors added two debutants for the match with Jai Rout and Ben McKay coming into the team.

Rout, a bottom-age player, has come up through the club development program, while McKay, a top age player, was called into the Power squad to cover a vacancy recently.

The Stingrays opened the scoring and it took a long kick by Josh Dunkley to give Ethan Park the chance to level the score.

Some more direct forward play saw Tom Papley rove cleverly off the pack and goal but the Stingrays hit back on the rebound.

Another forward thrust by Rout resulted in a crumbed goal by Park, before Power conceded another, then squandered a handful of attacking chances.

A Tom Hobbs goal steadied the ship and handed Power a six-point lead at the first change.

Dandenong came out firing with the opening two majors of the second term, but Papley again responded with a strong mark and goal.

The sides traded blows on the scoreboard, though Power’s inability to man up on the rebound saw the Stingrays take a slender four-point lead to half-time.

The home side struck first in the third term as well, and despite Ben Dessent goaling at the other end Dandenong seized the momentum with a string of three unanswered majors.

Power kept in touch with 16 points the difference at the last change, but could not chip into the deficit in the final term to go down 16.13 (109) to 13.10 (88).

Gippsland faces Bendigo Pioneers at Craigieburn this weekend.