ROUND 17 REVIEW
How quickly can things change in Division 2 of the Southern Football Netball League, with Hampton seemingly out of the finals race going into the final round after entering Round 17 in fifth spot.
The Hammers loss to East Brighton made life incredibly difficult for them, while giving the Vampires the belief that they can make it into the top five.
In other games, Highett has likely secured a top three berth with a decisive victory against Keysborough.
East Brighton 15.10 (100) def Hampton 8.16 (64)
East Brighton has completed a stunning victory against Hampton, to move up into sixth position and effectively end the Hammers’ season.
The 36-point win drops Hampton to seventh position on ladder and while it is on equal points with East Brighton in sixth, it has trails on percentage.
Both sides are a game behind Caulfield in fifth, but with superior percentage, but with Caulfield hosting East Brighton in round 18, it would take a monumental win from Hampton to make the finals.
Mark Jamieson was inspirational with his efforts, leading all players with five goals in a best afield performance for the Vampires, while Liam McKay and Barry Hope were also influential.
After a solid start gave East Brighton a nine-point quarter time lead, the Vampires made the most of Hampton’s kicking woes in the second (booting 2.8) to hold the momentum with an 11-point half time lead.
The visitors continued to steadily increase their lead, kicking three goals to two in the third, before storming home in the last with seven majors to come away with the win.
James Gascard (four goals) was named Hampton’s best along with Dan Guiry.
Highett 15.12 (102) def Keysborough 13.6 (84)
A barnstorming second half has helped Highett all but secure third spot on the ladder and a double chance for finals, defeating Keysborough by 18 points.
While the win puts the Dogs just a game clear of the Burra, who have superior percentage, the two sides face vastly different opposition in the final round, with Highett playing bottom placed Clayton and Keysborough top ranked Doveton Eagles.
The Dogs trailed by 10 points at half time, but stormed ahead in the third quarter, booting seven of their 10 second half goals.
Kyle Hendy proved to be a match winner, booting five goals in a best on ground effort, with strong support from Tom Brown and Pat Singh.
Keysborough was the slightly better team across the first half of action, booting seven goals to five to lead by 10 points at the main break.
Caulfield 15.13 (103) def Clayton 7.6 (48)
While it wasn’t the biggest win of the weekend, Caulfield’s 55-point win against Clayton was huge for the club, as it climbed back into the top five.
With Hampton faltering, the Bears reclaimed fifth spot with a strong second half performance clinching the victory.
James Backway was the focal point inside 50 for the home side, booting six goals, while Christian Trumble and Chris Ryall named among the best.
Clayton through everything at Caulfield in the first half, but the Bears’ eight goals to five was enough to generate a 22-point half time buffer.
The Bears found their best form during the second half, booting seven goals, but it was their work defensively in restricting the Clays to two, which helped secure the win.
Luke Coad and Glenn Tuckwell were listed as Clayton’s best.
Murrumbeena 12.14 (86) def Skye 8.6 (54)
It wasn’t its best win for the season, but Murrumbeena did enough to secure a 32-point win against a gallant Skye outfit.
The Beena led by 29 points at half time but conceded four goals in the third to have their lead trimmed to 21 before coming home with the win in the last.
Rhys Clayton kicked three goals for the hosts, while Chris Niclasen, Jake Semmel and Dylan Elkman were Murrumbeena’s best.
A blistering start from Murrumbeena, with five goals in the first term, resulted in a 24-point quarter time lead, which stretched slightly to 29 by the half time interval.
Skye was able to reduce the margin back to 21 points with four goals in the third, but the hosts were staunch defensively in the last, restricting the Bombers to one goal while kicking three to come away with the win.
Ben Evans finished with three majors for Skye, while Chase Allan was its best.
Doveton Eagles 19.20 (134) def Mount Waverley 10.8 (68)
It was business as usual for the premiership contending Doveton, comfortably accounting for Mount Waverley by 66 points.
A 10-goal first term was enough for Doveton to secure the win, with the Lions much more competitive in the second half.
Six players finished with multiple goals for the Eagles, with Nick Battle, Nick Beer and Jarrod O’Neil named their best.
A 10-goal to one opening quarter from Doveton gave them a 56-point lead at the first break, which Mount Waverley was able to trim to 47 by half time.
While the Lions were more competitive in the second half, kicking six goals, the Eagles were still too strong with eight goals.
Alex Mullucks bagged five goals for the Lions with Eric MacPhie named their best.