Champions: Sorrento celebrates its third straight Nepean League premiership on Saturday. Picture: Rob CarewSORRENTO has won its third straight flag with an emotional two-point victory over Dromana in its MPNFL Nepean League grand final at Frankston Park on Saturday.
The lead-up to the match was shadowed by the tragic death of former Sorrento junior and Port Adelaide player John McCarthy. A minute’s silence was held before the game to honour his memory.
Sharks midfielder Leigh Treeby was named best afield with the former Woodville West-Torrens gun earning the praise of coach Nick Claringbold.
“Leigh Treeby’s four-quarter effort was just phenomenal,” Claringbold said.
Dromana came out baring its claws and keen to break a 41-year premiership drought and took full advantage of a slow-starting Sorrento.
The Tigers were on the front foot early, choking any attempt by the Sharks to move the ball past half forward, defender Adam Hunter not allowing any free movement.
The Tigers’ forward half was busy early with Paul Minchington and Anthony Bruhn making the most of their opportunities, Bruhn getting two of his three in the first term.
The Sharks made up some ground in the second quarter with Dalton Sanderson doing his best to keep the Sharks in touch, but the Tigers held sway taking a 16-point buffer into the main break.
The midfield battle was an arm wrestle. Liam Hogan and Damon Lawrence fought it out for the Tigers while Treeby worked tirelessly.
The momentum changed hands when the Sharks’ playing coach Troy Schwarze made his way into the centre.
The former St Kilda defender gave the Sharks a strong edge in the middle.
“Troy going into the middle in the second half was pivotal,” Claringbold said.
Sorrento surged in the final term, getting two quick goals through ruckman Scott Cameron and Leigh Poholke as the Sharks threatened to take complete control.
Unwilling to lie down, Dromana countered with forward Toby Banks willing his side back into the contest with an inspirational goal.
The defining moment came through Sorrento midfielder Daniel Grant, who kicked the match-winning goal. The vice-captain remained composed despite the intense pressure.
Dromana coach Gavin Artico was devastated with the 10.13 (73) to 10.11 (71) loss but lauded his team’s work to make their way into the grand final and challenge the Sharks, who have dominated the past five years.
“Sorrento are a quality side, so we knew it was always going to be a test,” Artico said.
“It got down to being one of those games where in the wash-up you hope you’re in front, and unfortunately we weren’t.”
■ Frankston Bombers defeated Somerville 11.6 (72) to 7.10 (52) in the Nepean League reserves grand final on Saturday.
The Bombers’ victory was set up by the dominance of Harley Mclenaghan, Shannon Campbell and Travis Reints. Nick Brown and Ben Crowe were the best for Somerville.
As is often the case, the Bombers made their move in the third term with 3.0 to an inaccurate 1.4, extending their margin to 20 points by the final change.
Somerville’s under-18 team brought some cheer to the club with a 15.14 (104) to 10.5 (65) defeat of Red Hill in the final of the under-18s. Somerville blew the match apart with a five-goal second term to take a 19-point lead into half-time.
Red Hill rallied in the the third to trail by just three points at the final change but were overrun in the last quarter.