K rock Football

Falcons in dramatic draw

Blake Ritchie in action for the Geelong Falcons during their draw with Dandenong Stingrays in Bendigo. (Geelong Falcons Image/Brian Bartlett)

GEELONG Falcons are still searching for that elusive first win after sensationally drawing with the Dandenong Stingrays at Bendigo’s Queen Elizabeth Oval on Sunday afternoon.

The Falcons led by 30 points at the start of the fourth quarter but were unable to stop a resurgent Stingrays from kicking five final quarter goals to level the score after the final siren.

And in a further blow, Falcons co-captain Cooper Stephens’ season could be over after going down early in the game with what looked like a leg injury.

This comes after the news of fellow teammate Jay Dahlhuas’ partial ACL tear last week.

“We’re just looking to find out what that looks like,” coach Luke Daffy said.

“Stephens is in a fair bit of pain with that one.”

For Daffy, the start of the season has proven to be “a couple of interesting weeks,” with the draw following on from the Falcons one-point loss to GWV Rebels in Round 2.

“We’re playing well enough for the majority of the game to get ourselves in a good position. When we play the style of footy we want to, it holds up, and it makes us a really competitive side,” he said.

“The disappointing part was a couple of the decisions we made in the final quarter.

“We struggled to get our hands on it. Dandenong dominated us in the middle and got it in their front half a lot. We just went away from the way we wanted to move the ball.”

With a strong breeze favouring one end of the ground, both teams used the edge to their advantage.

Geelong co-captain Jesse Clark was again at his best in defence with 27 disposals and 11 rebound 50s, while 16-year-old Oliver Henry produced his best game of the season, dominating down forward with five goals.

“Ollie was really impressive,” Daffy said.

“He was playing the first few weeks as a defender, and we thought losing Jay Dahlhaus that we’d try something a little different forward of centre.”

With the opening three rounds of the NAB League Boys competition behind them, the Falcons will now face a two-week break. This includes the bye in Round 4 and a league wide development break the following weekend.

“We’ve got the next two weeks to refine a little bit. A few of our players are going to the Academy camp,” Daffy said.

“We’ll just keep working away and trying to learn from some of the situations we’ve been in the last couple of games.

The Falcons will return to the field in Round 5 to face the also winless Calder Cannons on Saturday, April 27 at RAMS Arena.

Twitter: @megsaultry

GEELONG FALCONS  5.5, 6.6, 11.11, 12.11 (83)

DANDENONG STINGRAYS  3.0, 7.4, 7.5, 12.11 (83)

GOALS: Geelong: O. Henry 5, M. Annandale 2, M. Langan, C. Ham, N. Gribble, G. Bove, S. Ham Dandenong: C. Ellison 3, S. De Koning 2, N. Heath 2, L. Goonan 2, R. Orchard, C. Weightman, A. Bradtke

BEST: Geelong Falcons: O. Henry, J. Clark, N. Gribble, C. Karpala, K. Rayner, H. Stubbings

Dandenong Stingrays: H. Young, M. Riordan, C. Weightman, M. Gregory, E. Cahill, S. De Koning