B-team brings A-game for Sunshine Kangaroos

Sunshine's Benjamin Christodoulou was one of the standouts on SaturdayPic Marco De Luca

It was the attack of the killer B’s for Sunshine Kangaroos in a 24-point win over Altona Vikings in the Western Region Football League division 1 on the road at Grant Reserve on Saturday.

Three Bens – Dessent, Christodoulou and McInneny – dominated for the Kangaroos, who out-lasted the Vikings in a finals-like penultimate round encounter.

“There were some individuals who really ticked some boxes today,” Kangaroos coach Brendan Hallinan said.

“Guys stepped up in critical moments and really performed well.”

It was Ben Dessent who took the game by the scruff of the neck and said ‘follow me’ to his teammates. Dessent’s willingness to perform in any role asked of him makes him such a valuable asset for Sunshine.

“Ben’s a quality footballer, a smart footballer,” Hallinan said.

“It doesn’t matter where you throw him, he’ll know what to do and do a great job of it.

“He’s really lifted his game to another level.”

Christodoulou, who kicked three goals, has “really stood up” for Sunshine in the past two matches, following a flat patch.

McInneny was the game’s top goalkicker with four majors for the Kangaroos.

The conduit between Sunshine’s midfield and its forwards was Darren Haby. The hard working centre half-forward never stopped presenting on the lead and making a contest in a pack situation.

Really, it took a team effort for Sunshine to get over a hungry Altona, which is still playing for a finals’ berth.

Hallinan walked away as happy as he has been at any time after a game this season.

“It was as nearer to a four-quarter effort as I could’ve asked for as a coach,” he said.

“Our intensity from the first quarter set the scene for a finals-like win.

“Credit to Altona, they were in the game as long as they possibly could, but we just got over them in the second half.

“We were able to get the ascendancy through the midfield and it put us in good stead.”

Sunshine will have its double chance destiny in its own hands going into the final round of the season.

The only catch, if they are to remain third, is that they are likely going to have to beat minor premiers Deer Park at Kinder Smith Reserve to secure that double chance, with fourth-placed Hoppers Crossing to face bottom side Wyndhamvale on Saturday.

Instead of focusing solely on the possible outcome of the Kangaroos home-and-away campaign come 5pm this Saturday, Hallinan reflected fondly on where they have come from in the space of 12 months.

“Of course there’s a lot to play for next week, a double chance is at stake and we want to test ourselves against the best,” he said.

“Remember that we only won five games last year and now we’ve won 12, so we’ve come from a long way back.

“We’re pretty happy with how the season is panning out this year and we’re going to have a nothing to lose attitude [against Deer Park] and everything to gain by giving it a red hot crack.”