By Andrew Paloczi
Listen back to this week’s The 5th Quarter podcast, featuring Ashwood President Daniel Egan as the special guest, in the player above.
ROUND 9 REVIEW
Heatherton 8.8 (56) def Hallam 7.13 (55)
The SFNL radio team was drawn to Ross Street Reserve by the prospect of a scrumptious president’s lunch.
But the contest between Heatherton and Hallam proved an inspired choice for match of the day.
Hallam coach Ash Allen surprised in Round 8 by pulling on the boots, and again had an onfield view of proceedings, this time against the Tunners.
He was in the action regularly and nearly saw his team claim an upset win.
Tom Bradley was the Hawks’ only multiple goal scorer with two, and he had a chance to add another in the dying seconds.
His missed shot allowed Heatherton to sneak home by a point.
Heatherton coach Shayne Sheedy admitted it should have been his Hallam counterpart Allen celebrating a win.
“Their structure was good. They outworked us,” Sheedy conceded on air.
The Hawks will rue inaccuracy in the second term, when they controlled the play but managed just six behinds.
The Tunners’ 14-point advantage at the long break proved just enough.
Mark Stevens’ defensive work was crucial in enabling the Tunners to withstand the Hawks’ challenge.
David White also had a big day, kicking half of Heatherton’s eight goals.
Hallam’s Rory McIvor grabbed the radio team’s ‘player of the day’ honours.
Springvale Districts 6.8 (44) def Endeavour Hills 3.8 (26)
Springvale Districts triumphed in a low-scoring tussle with Endeavour Hills.
The Demons allowed the Falcons just three majors for the day, but still won by only 18 points.
Demons’ coach Kris Thompson summed up the nature of the contest.
“We felt we kept them at arm’s length the whole day. In saying that, they probably beat us on the outside and we probably won the inside battle. It was a battle of the defences.”
Thompson was delighted with the resilience his side showed when challenged by injuries.
Defender Nathan Brown suffered broken ribs in a collision early in the match, ending his game.
Steve Comino, having just returned for the Demons after a shoulder injury, went to Brown’s opponent Daniel Morrison.
Comino shut Morrison down for the rest of the day.
Districts finished with just one player on the bench in Damian Stoter-Rainer.
Fondly known as ‘Two Dads’, he played two games for the day, having received a last minute call-up to the seniors after completing the reserves match.
21-year-old rising star Jack Allender was dazzling for the Demons and his coach considered him the clear best on ground.
“He played through the midfield and his kicking efficiency was great with his forward entries. And he also played a role across halfback where he was able to pick up a heap of the footy, and just used the ball really well,” Thompson declared.
Thompson also paid credit to the efforts of Endeavour Hills.
“They played our ground really well. They spread really well. We really respect them as a team.”
Hampton Park 5.14 (44) def Ashwood 5.9 (39)
In slippery conditions, Hampton Park edged out Ashwood by five points.
Magpies’ coach Mick Rossborough was disappointed his boys couldn’t find another goal in the final minutes, despite having the footy in their forward line.
But he was proud of his players’ efforts and impressed by the standard of footy.
“It was just tough. Every bloke that played had a crack and that’s both sides,” he said.
Rossborough paid tribute to Hampton Park, indicating they are as tough as any team he has coached against, but that the game was played in the right spirit.
Jake Chapman impressed for the narrowly defeated Ashwood, with an accurate 55-metre shot in the second term a highlight.
Paddy Carroll again starred for the Magpies, despite the best efforts of Redback Cory Phillips who stuck close by him all day.
“Paddy’s inside work today at stoppages and his tackling was just outstanding,” Rossborough said.
Taylor Rainey helped the Redbacks retain their unbeaten home record as his side’s best contributor.
Peter Bastin was the winner’s only multiple goal scorer with two, on a day in which the teams managed just five goals apiece.
Black Rock 12.7 (79) def South Yarra 7.13 (55)
Black Rock prevailed by 24 points after taking charge of the match during the third term.
Still, South Yarra mounted stubborn resistance for much of the day despite being severely hampered in terms of player rotations.
The Yarras’ bench was quickly reduced to one.
Eric Ghasperidis and Nick Pane suffered game-ending hamstring problems in the first quarter, whilst Blake Tolley sustained a knee injury.
Black Rock hasn’t had much luck on the injury front this season either, and Jake McMahon didn’t make it through the first term against the Yarras.
However, the Jets had much more versatility and opportunities to rest players than South Yarra.
Lachlan Mooney was best for the victorious Jets and contributed a couple of majors.
Fellow Jet Tom Dewar topped the game’s goal kickers with three.
Paddy Johnson was commendable for South Yarra in his senior debut.
He has mostly played in the Yarras’ Thirds team, but rose to the challenge, earning praise from coach ‘Daisy’ Stegehuis.
Another Thirds regular, Alby Evans was also terrific, finishing in South Yarra’s best and booting a long set shot goal in the third stanza.