READ MORE - Saturday Scoreboard
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STRATHFIELDSAYE hung on doggedly to down a fast-finishing Golden Square by 15 points at Wade Street in the BFNL on Saturday.
The inaccurate Storm asserted their dominance in the second term, adding 3.10 while holding the Bulldogs scoreless.
With outstanding Pioneers ruckman Caleb Ernst winning in centrefield, hauling in marks right around the ground and booting four goals, Strathfieldsaye has blooded an instant senior club star.
And with Storm swingman Harry Conway nailing all three of the second term's majors Strathfieldsaye eased out to a 31-point half-time lead.
But the Bulldogs weren't going to lie down without a contest and spearhead Joel Brett was in full flight as they snagged six goals straight in the final stanza.
Square narrowed the gap to just seven points with four-and-a-half minutes left on the clock.
A clutch Storm major from Lincoln White steadied Strathfieldsaye and the visitors ran out 15-point winners: 12.23 (95) to 12.8 (80).
The first half wasn't notable for much apart from the Storm's woeful inaccuracy.
As running players Jye Formosa and Patrick Blandford provided the drive Storm managed 4.16 from 20 scoring shots, with the Square backline, led by Jon Coe and Will Lee, under immense pressure.
Strathfieldsaye dominated the second quarter's inside 50 count, yet with only seven-and-a half minutes left to play had just 1.10 (16) on the board.
Enter Conway. Twice he marked spot-on passes and kicked accurately and then for his third he pulled in a long James Schischka kick and nailed Storm's fourth major.
But then came a great second half. In the third quarter, the Storm booted 6.5, with the Bulldogs posting 5.4.
Key forward Brett, Square's best player with his six majors, showed why he'll be a handful for opposing defenders this season.
Using the breeze favouring the Maple Street end, he snapped accurately from wide out on the pavilion flank.
Storm co-coach Shannon Geary sent a long bomb in Lachlan Sharp's direction and the agile full-forward marked and then ran into an open goal to keep Strathfieldsaye on top.
Ernst hauled in the mark-of-the-day when he soared high in a big pack, went back and steered home the Storm's ninth major.
As they'd done a week earlier, the Bulldogs made the last term their own. Brett drilled four majors in an outstanding effort as the Dogs closed the margin to a touch more than a kick: 80 to 87.
White sealed the decider after Jayden Burke had passed to Brett with the Square spearhead's shot just fading to the right with four-and-half minutes left to play.
"To win at Square... we're really happy as our players had to ground it out," Storm co-coach Darryl Wilson said.
"Caleb Ernst was playing just his second senior game for us, so from a youth point of view we've got some really good young players coming through."
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