Strathfieldsaye co-coach Darryl Wilson described Friday's win over Sandhurst as one of the best home and wins he's been involved in.
The multiple BFNL and HDFNL premiership coach feared his side was in trouble when Sandhurst kicked the first two goals of the final quarter at the QEO to hit the front.
However, the Storm - led by experienced duo Lachlan Sharp and Shannon Geary - dug deep in the final 20 minutes to run away 26-point winners, 16.12 (108) to 12.10 (82).
"Given we went into the game with a number of players out, and we were down to one rotation in the final quarter, it was a gritty and gutsy win,'' Wilson said.
"It's one of the best (home and away) wins I've been involved with. We looked like we were going to run out of puff, but we ran on top of the ground late.
"It was one of those games where everyone played a part. It certainly wasn't a four-quarter performance, but when we needed it guys stood up."
The Storm overcame the loss of key midfielder Cal McCarty (calf), who had 17 possessions before sitting out the second half.
The Storm's execution and decision making with the footy in the final quarter proved to be the difference as Sharp, Geary and Jye Formosa produced big final terms.
"We had to rotate heavily through the midfield and Sharpy played further up the ground as well,'' Wilson said.
"He's such a beautiful kick and he set up a couple of goals with his field kicking."
Sharp (17 possessions, nine marks) kicked five goals, while his two young sidekicks inside forward 50 - James Schischka and Caleb Ernst - had a major impact on the game.
Centre half-forward Schischka was arguably the most influential player on the ground with 17 disposals, nine marks and four goals.
Ernst also had 17 touches and took nine marks, but his kicking let him down.
"Schischka's form is unbelievable...he was awesome,'' Wilson said.
"His two games this year have been terrific. We're playing him forward because we're a key forward short.
"Ernst played on the back of playing no pre-season footy. His kicking was off, but I thought he was really good.
"Schischka and Ernst are going to be really important for us because you can't just rely on Sharpy when he regularly has two defenders on him."
Jake Moorhead was the Storm's best four-quarter performer with 26 kicks and 10 handballs.
For the second week in a row the Dragons were competitive against a team expected to go deep into September.
While they have no points to show for it, Dragons' coach Ashley Connick said the signs were promising.
"We were disappointed not to go on with it (after hitting the front in the final term), but we feel as though we've proved the first two weeks that we're around the mark,'' Connick said.
"Our execution and decision making cost us for sure. There's plenty of things we need to work on and, if we can get those things right, we'll be winning games of footy."
The stats backed-up Connick's thoughts on his side's execution.
Sandhurst had 42 less effective kicks than the Storm, which didn't help Sandhurst's forwards.
The Storm took 27 marks inside 50 to Sandhurst's 14.
Noah Walsh led the way for Sandhurst with 22 kicks and nine handballs, while young half-back Cooper Smith picked up 27 possessions.
Lee Coghlan was the Dragons' most creative player, kicking two goals in his 25 disposals, but the 2009 Michelsen Medal winner looked very sore in the final quarter.
Ruckman Hamish Hosking backed-up his good performance in round one with 16 possessions and 47 hit-outs.
Despite Hosking's hit-out dominance, the centre clearances were split 14-14.
Disposals - Sandhurst 346, Strathfieldsaye 369.
Marks - Sandhurst 79, Strathfieldsaye 98.
Inside 50s - Sandhurst 51, Strathfieldsaye 63.
Clearances - Sandhurst 51, Strathfieldsaye 37.
Turnovers - Sandhurst 77, Strathfieldsaye 72.
Tackles - Sandhurst 54, Strathfieldsaye 42.
Pressure acts - Sandhurst 78, Strathfieldsaye 63.
Free kicks - Sandhurst 26, Strathfieldsaye 21.
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