By Andrew Paloczi
ROUND 5 PREVIEW
Ashwood vs Endeavour Hills (Essex Heights Reserve)
Percentage separates Endeavour Hills and Ashwood, with the Falcons one rung higher on the ladder in third spot.
Expect an enthralling avian tussle at the Magpies’ nest.
Endeavour Hills starts as favourite, but must kick more accurately than its wayward round 4 display.
A puzzle the Falcons need to solve is how to contain Ashwood’s rampaging Carroll brothers.
The trio of Paddy, Ryan and Dale contributed strongly in the Magpies’ powerful win over South Yarra.
South Yarra vs Hallam (Fritsch Holzer Park)
Sometimes clashes between struggling teams can produce excellent matches.
Let’s hope that is the case when the division’s only winless sides, Hallam and South Yarra meet.
The Yarras are slightly ahead of the Hawks on percentage and have the home ground advantage here.
South Yarra’s struggles this season stem from difficulties attracting recruits over the offseason.
Hallam’s troubles run deeper, with a list almost unrecognisable from the one that was a premiership threat last season.
The Hawks have little experience left on their list and the Yarras should win comfortably.
Black Rock vs Springvale Districts (MacDonald Reserve)
Black Rock coach Lachie Batt was pleased to get away with the points in a tight Round 4 win over Heatherton.
However, he urged his side to achieve greater consistency in order to beat the top sides.
The Jets let a five-goal quarter time lead slip, and such a lapse against this week’s opponent, Springvale Districts, is unlikely to end happily for Black Rock.
It should be three wins on the trot for the Demons, but the Jets are capable of causing an upset, especially at home.
Hampton Park vs Heatherton (Robert Booth Reserve)
With five-straight wins to start its time in the SFNL, it will take something special for anyone to topple Hampton Park.
Heatherton showed terrific determination to battle back into its Round 4 match after looking nonplussed at times in a torrid first term.
The Tunners must be on their game from the start to have any hope of competing with the Redbacks.
Acts of ill discipline such as giving the umpires lip cost the Tunners dearly last round and must be eliminated from Heatherton’s game.
The Tunners can’t afford to concede any freebies against a side with the class of Hampton Park.
Even a switched on, disciplined performance is unlikely to enable them to inflict Hampton Park’s first defeat, but without such improvements there is no hope.