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Corey Preston celebrates as the final siren sounds.
The Eastern Ranges Under 19 Boys put their season back on track with a thrilling two point win over the Dandenong Stingrays on Saturday 3 July.
The Ranges travelled to Frankston and took a 15 point lead heading into the last quarter after breaking open the game with a three goal third term. But it was the Stingrays who rallied by kicking four rapid goals to take a hold late.
The game looked all but over for the Ranges as an attempted set shot on goal was quickly turned over for a coast to coast goal by the Stingrays, who had all the momentum and a raucous crowd behind them.
But a composed Eastern side weathered the Dandenong assault, kicking the final two goals courtesy of Tyler Charlton and Emi Aleixo and maintained possession until the final siren sounded.
Coach Travis Cloke was impressed with his team’s victory.
“They were outstanding, showed real grit and determination. From both teams, but our boys persevered and got over the line,” he said.
The win came without two of the Ranges senior midfielders Tyler Sonsie, who remains out with bruising to his knee, and captain Josh Clarke, who was called on to play for Sydney’s VFL side on Sunday.
Ball-magnet Jake Soligo and Max Hall were called on to shoulder the midfield load against the Stingrays with both kicking a goal each and being named amongst the team’s best. Hall had a team high 33 disposals, while Soligo collected 28 disposals and took nine marks.
Both had been chosen as Vic Metro representatives in the Under 19 trial matches alongside Jackson Weatherill, Corey Preston and Jake Arundell.
“It feels really good, the boys got up and about. We’ve had a bit of a tough patch, but we’re back in it,” Jake Soligo said
The Ranges have now won back-to-back games after beating the Jets in Williamstown the week prior, snapping a four game losing skid.
That match was won in a similar fashion as the Ranges wrestled a few goals off the Jets to run away with a 27 point win. Josh Clarke led his team with an inspiring 38 disposal, one goal performance in just his second match back from a long-term leg injury.
Eastern Ranges are now set to face Gippsland Power away on Sunday 11 July as they look to move to a third consecutive win.
1.3, 2.5, 5.10, 7.10 - 52
0.3, 2.5, 3.7, 7.8 - 50
M. Hall, J. Soligo, F. Kroeger, T. Charlton, J. Eales, P. Haasbroek, J. Arundell
M. Hall, F. Kroeger, J. Soligo, J. O’Connor, L Hill, J. Diedrich