Written by Jarryd Barca
The Calder Cannons head into this week’s Development Weekend with two wins in a row after crushing the Dandenong Stingrays by 68 points in Round 13.
Calder soared to a 45-point lead at half time after booting seven of the first nine goals of the clash at Highgate Recreation Reserve, before showing the Stingrays no mercy in a seven-goal final quarter onslaught.
The Cannons were coming off a spirited 22-point win over highway rivals Western Jets last week in Futures Round and backed it up with a similar-looking youthful outfit – electing not to play Vic Metro trio Daniel Mott, Harry Jones and Brodie Newman.
The win sees the Cannons leap frog the Stingrays into 6th spot on the NAB League ladder.
Midfielder Sam Ramsay was again the most prolific player on the ground finding the ball on 32 occasions, while Jackson Cardillo (27 and a goal) and Ned Gentile (23 and two) continued their season-long form.
Running defenders Curtis Brown and Max Simpson provided plenty of drive off the half-back line and had critical synergy with teammates ahead of the ball.
Jake Sutton (17 touches, nine marks and two goals) also played his best game for the club.
Winning every critical stat on the day including disposals (+85) and marks (+34), Calder’s arial prowess shone above all recording 19 for the entire contest – its most in a single game this season.
Talls Mason Fletcher (four goals and six marks) and Jeremy O’Sullivan (two and five) showed that in spades.
Sam Paea in his second game also provided a strong target up forward.
“We had a real emphasis pre-game on contested ball and our pressure around the football and it was terrific for the boys to respond to Ross and the coaches’ messages around these focus areas needing to improve,” Football Operations and Admin Coordinator Matthew Burton said.
“We’re still having lapses at the half time break where we seem to take our foot off the gas a little bit, but the way we started the game and then how we responded after three-quarter time to run out the game really strong was some of the best team football we’ve played all year.
“Two wins in a row with a majority of inexperienced players having played over the past two weeks has been fantastic for the group.
“A good problem to have is when selection becomes really difficult with so many players putting their hand up for selection.
“Our midfielders set the tone on the weekend with Jackson Cardillo playing his best game for the club.
“Sam Ramsay having a change of role this year and becoming more of an inside midfielder has been fantastic.
“Nathan Stewart joining our squad late once the season had started has provided another midfield option for us and has held his own.
“Once again Ned Gentile gave us four quarters of effort.
“It’s one of those weeks where we could honestly mention every player that played. Every player contributed on the weekend which was very pleasing.”
The Cannons will enjoy another week off before making the trek down to Queen Elizabeth Oval to take on the Bendigo Pioneers in an attempt for three consecutive wins.