ROUND 4 PREVIEW
Chelsea Heights V Dingley (Beazley Reserve)
The Heighters responded to their disappointing defeat at the hands of St Kilda City the previous week with a promising performance against Bentleigh last Saturday. Although they were unable to secure the four points in the end, it was nevertheless a vastly improved effort, and would give them confidence heading into this weekend’s clash with the Dingoes.
Dingley were rather sloppy with their ball use against the Rosellas last week and can ill-afford more scores like the 1.11 they registered to half time in that clash. However, that they have conceded just 128 points in three matches – which includes a loss – is a positive sign that its defensive pressure remains top class.
Unfortunately it is hard to see Chelsea Heights kicking a winning score here, so expect the Dingoes to chalk up their third win of the season.
Dingley by 38 points.
Mordialloc V Oakleigh District (Ben Kavanagh Reserve)
After hitting the winners’ list in comprehensive style last week against the Colts, Mordialloc now turns its attention to the visiting Oakleigh District in the hope of continuing their recaptured form.
A return to Ben Kavanagh for the first time in 2018 is also a blessing, a venue in which the Bloods are particularly tough to beat.
The rebuilding Districts remain winless at the foot of the ladder and have been thoroughly outclassed by more experienced opponents in two of its three defeats. Mordialloc will be their toughest assignment yet, and Oakleigh District simply won’t have the talent or experience to match it with them.
Mordialloc by 50 points.
Cheltenham V East Malvern (Jack Barker Oval)
The competition’s other winless side, Cheltenham, is out to break its duck when it hosts East Malvern at Jack Barker Oval.
The Rosellas have so far failed to fire a shot in 2018, with their goal scoring woes of particular concern. They have so far managed a total of just 126 points for (ranked 10th in the competition) in their three matches with a cumulative score of 15.36, which represents a conversion rate of just 29.4%. This is an issue that will need to be addressed if Cheltenham are to arrest their winless streak.
East Malvern meanwhile have made a positive start to the 2018 season, with last week’s loss to the rampant St Pauls the only blemish on their record. It’s victory over Mordialloc was a fortnight ago was tremendous, with its ability to bottle up the footy and win the contests strangling the life out of their opponent.
On the basis of evidence presented so far, it’s hard to see Cheltenham winning this, however, expect them to be right in the contest for the entire day and give East Malvern a run for their money.
East Malvern by 14 points.
St Pauls V Port Melbourne Colts (McKinnon Reserve)
Like Winx one out, one back at the turn, the Dogs are traveling beautifully at the minute. Unbeaten after three games, including victories over 2017 finalists Dingley, Bentleigh and East Malvern, St Pauls are emerging as one of the competition’s early front runners.
Conversely, the Colts have hardly set the world on fire and with just one win to their credit – a one-point victory over the winless Oakleigh District a fortnight ago – may have their work cut out for them to make finals this season.
The Dogs have shown a remarkable ability to overrun their opponents in the second halves of games, and although they don’t often blow sides off the park, they will do enough to secure another win at the Kennel.
St Pauls by 24 points.
St Kilda City V Bentleigh (Peanut Farm)
The Saints have made a flying start to 2018, sitting atop the ladder with a whopping percentage of 279.63%. However, their wins have come against three of the current bottom four sides, which inflates their average somewhat.
A sterner test in Bentleigh awaits this week at the Peanut Farm, which will give us a better indication of where City sits in the context of the season.
The Demons have won their last two matches, but for the most part they have done so without really getting out of second gear. The first quarter of the Cheltenham game a fortnight ago gave us a tantalising glimpse of their best footy and suggests there is plenty more improvement left in the side as their new players continue to jell.
St Kilda City will be up for the challenge, but Bentleigh may just sneak home in a thriller.
Bentleigh by six points.