Photo: Owen Jones (digital_beard)

By: Daniel Kelly (@UKurrie)

The Frankston Dolphins ran out convincing 52-point winners at home against the Northern Bullants
13.13 (91) to 5.9 (39).
The Bullants debuted two; Ben Nikolovski and John Roumeliotis, after strong showings for Heidelberg
and Essendon Doutta Stars respectively. Peter Gentile also returned for the Round 17 encounter with
their standalone rivals.
The Preston side were missing quality in Jack Barling and Doug Lawrence, as well as the developing Ryan
Gardner.
The Ants were outscored in each quarter and, apart from the first 15 minutes of the third quarter, were
second best across all lines for the evening. The Dolphins, in rhythm with the drumbeat of the bongos
and trumpets on the hill, were in concert with their raucous home crowd who were drinking in
proceedings.
Skipper Tom Wilson led from the front for the Bullants with 30 disposals and 11 marks, Matthew King
was busy in a midfield role (24 possessions, five tackles), and Will Mitchell was industrious (23 disposals,
seven clearances, six tackles).
On a night like this when Frankston had almost 50 inside-50’s, defensive effort needs to also be
recognised. Zac Hart was honest in his defensive duties and rebounded all night (16 disposals), Ben
Hurley competed and cleared well (16 disposals), and Ethan Penrith’s pace and football intelligence
allowed him to clean up problems and rebound.
Coach Ben Hart and midfield coach Jason Williams continue to be creative in the midfield.
Tynan Smith saw a handful of centre bounces early in the match and William (Billy) Murphy played a
majority of time on the ball, rather than his usual small forward role, with his speed and clean skills
constantly in the game bringing promising results.
Two highlights for the Preston side came when both debutantes kicked their first goals for the club in
the second quarter and celebrated with their teammates in traditional fashion.
Both Nikolovski and Roumeliotis showed plenty – 15 disposals for Nikolovski in a mobile role, and three
marks in a physical pack breaking manner from the man known affectionally as Johnny Rombo up
forward.
This capped an eventful week for Roumeliotis who, whilst being in the plans for the Bullants for some
time, was unsigned a week ago. Not even a concerning finger injury could dampen his spirits post-
match.
“It (the game) felt really good,” Roumeliotis said afterwards, “I was pretty nervous at the start but once I
did a few of the little things, like I was told to…it didn’t take too long.”
“I got signed on Monday – that was massive news for me. And then (Thursday) morning Harty rang me
(to tell me that I was playing)…(that) made my day.”
“Through my whole journey it has taken a while to get a game…(so I am) over the moon.”
Mackenzie Doreian, Tom Mills and Tynan Smith also added majors for the Ants.

Frankston’s outside run – most noticeably through the corridor – was too much for the Ants to handle
through the evening. The Dolphins were +59 in disposals compared to the Preston side, with the Ants
down around 30 possessions on their season average.
Frankston scored in some form from 54% of their 48 inside-50 entries, whilst the Ants conversion was at
34%. With 41 entries inside-50 themselves, there were opportunities for the Bullants but they were
unable to convert.
“They were able to get through us too easy,” Hart said post-match. “If we couldn’t score, they would get
through and score reasonably easily.”
“We’re probably not at the level required yet to compete for four quarters. But I can never question
their fight and their want to go about it the right way.”
For half of the third quarter, the Ants did find a foothold in the game. They were moving the ball fast
and through the centre, but the rewards did not come on the scoreboard as the game settled into an
arm wrestle between the arcs.
If anything, the Dolphins were left ruing not extending their lead after missing four shots at goal, all from
gettable positions, across a handful of minutes.
By the late stages of the third quarter, Frankston took up more defensive positions, stifling any run the
Ants hoped to have.
Despite the Preston’s side effort, they were held goalless in the third, as were the Dolphins, but time
was on the home team’s side and the game was over as a contest. The goals which Frankston missed in
the third came in abundance in the final as they emphasised their dominance.
The Bullants return home to Preston City Oval at 12pm on Sunday 24 th July hoping to build some
momentum for the season end against the Box Hill Hawks.
Best: Wilson, King, Mitchell, Hart, Hurley, Penrith
Goals: Doreian, Nikolovski, Roumeliotis, Smith, Mills