STRATHFIELDSAYE held Golden Square to its lowest ever score at the Tannery Lane oval on Saturday, restricting the Bulldogs to just three goals.
While the Square battled to get the ball past the half-forward line the ladder-leading Storm ended up with 13 majors.
Storm coach Troy Coates was again full of praise for his back six, with Jayden Donaldson and his co-defenders holding Dogs’ spearhead Dylan Johnstone goalless.
The wild weather, with rain coming in sideways early on and a blustery wind favouring the Tannery Lane end, didn’t deter the Storm as they eased home 13.13 (91) to 3.6 (24).
The signs were ominous for the Dogs from the very start of play.
Key forward Bryce Curnow slotted the Storm’s opening major with just 47 seconds on the clock.
Lachlan Sharp screwed home an around-the-shoulder shot and it took Adam Baird to land the Square’s first major with just four minutes left to play.
As the rain intensity lifted as the second term opened, the Storm made light work of the atrocious conditions. Curnow hauled in a diving mark and from an acute angle was accurate with his 25m shot.
Fergus Payne steered home Strathfieldsaye’s fourth goal, while Hugh Robertson, courtesy of a 50m penalty, and hard-running midfielder Trent Donnan popped through two more Storm goals.
Donnan was prolific in the number of midfield possessions he collected, Tommy Dowd was a key playmaker off his half-back flank, while Lachlan Wallace was also a four-quarter contributor.
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The gap between the two sides widened in the third term. Small mids Coates and Josh Formosa banged home majors for the home side as the margin grew even larger.
Finally promoted under-18 player Mitchell Christensen landed Square’s second major, but by then 21 minutes had elapsed in the third term.
With a nine-goal lead at the last change, the Storm played out time with a flourish.
Despite Jonathan Coe’s desperate work for the Bulldogs in the back half the Storm added 3.3 to 1.2 in the final quarter.
Lachlan Wallace from a standing start, Joshua Martyn with an around-the-corner snap and Shannon Geary, returning to play after a heavy knock earlier, all added to Storm’s goal tally.
Skipper Jack Geary was the only player able to reply for the Dogs after receiving an over-the-shoulder free kick on the half-forward line.
Once again Geary and Baird had to shoulder most of the in-and-under work for the Square as their defenders were bombarded by Strathfieldsaye’s constant forward pressure.
Coates said it was great to have assistant coach Donaldson back in the side to lead the backline, setting up play as a defensive unit from their 50m arc.
“And Caillum Brady came back in there for his first game of the year and didn’t look out of place so it was great to have him back.”
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