Six goals in a brilliant performance from Khan Haretuku was not enough to save the Frankston Dolphins, who went down to the Northern Blues at Preston City Oval on Saturday.
All the action was down in the forward half for the Blues in the first term, as Frankston struggled to find space and players to deliver opportunities. Sam Lloyd eventually found space just before quarter time to get the Dolphins moving.
Carlton big men Shaun Hampson and Robbie Warnock ran riot in both the ruck and up forward, ending up with three goals between them. However, Frankston ruckman Russell Gabriel was up to the challenge and was immensely applauded by coach Simon Goosey post match for his role.
By half time the margin had stretched to 36 points – but the Dolphins were not done with at that stage. Enter Nicholas Graham, the Gippsland Power recruit. He finished with two goals and showed just how accurate his kicking was.
Haretuku continued his fine form in front of goal, while Dolphin David Gallagher was everywhere. Unfortunately, the Blues found the chances at the right time to push the margin even higher.
Ziggie Alwan was valiant, even with multiple opponents thwarting his chances. At the other end, Mitchell opened up with two goals after half time and towered above the contests, with some beautiful strong hands.
A big hit suffered by Blue Tom Temay in the first term did not seem to faze him, and he returned a short while later.
Both the Dolphins and the Blues will play home games next week, Frankston taking on Sandringham, while Northern will return to Visy Park to clash with Williamstown.
QTR by QTR
Northern 5.5, 11.8, 15.10, 19.15
Frankston 1.1, 6.2, 8.5, 11.7
Northern: L. Mitchell 4, S. Hampson 2, N. Graham 2, T. Wilson 2, K. Lambert 2, C. Yarran , J. Laidler , T. Bell , T. Menzel , T. Temay , D. Buckley , R. Warnock
Frankston: K. Haretuku 6, M. Lourey 2, S. Lloyd , J. Williams , S. Simpson