By Andrew Paloczi
Black Rock 3.5 (23) def by Ashwood 11.10 (76)
Melbourne turned on one of its famously variable days, but the weather proved more dramatic than the contest at MacDonald Reserve.
A dominant Ashwood dispatched Black Rock by 53 points.
That score slightly flattered the Jets who were comprehensively outplayed and may have suffered a heavier loss if not for Daniel Kick’s excellent display in defence.
The Jets’ only three goals for the day came in the third term with a powerful wind assisting them.
Ashwood’s recent recruiting efforts are already reaping dividends.
Paddy Carroll’s strong marking was an impressive feature of the game and he was named the winner’s best player.
Alex Davies, an arrival from the EFL, regularly drove the Magpies into attack.
Chris Grove, who transferred from Hampton, slotted in immediately with three goals.
David Masson, another ex-Hammer, was excellent in the backline.
But there were plenty of impressive performers amongst the more established Magpies.
George Lithotomos caught the eye, particularly with his dashing play in the first term.
He helped his side assume control early, despite the Magpies starting the match against a strong wind.
After being hampered by knee issues last season, Mitch Saunders showed he is back in business with a classy display.
His teammate James Morrey was the most productive goal scorer of the match, with four majors to his name.
Ashwood ruckman Gary McDonagh worked tirelessly throughout the game.
As for the vanquished Jets, highlights were few, however, recruit Jack Reggardo provided a rare moment of excitement for the home fans with a classy set shot goal from near the boundary line.
The only sour note for Ashwood was an injury to Dale Carroll.
Hampton Park 17.23 (125) def Hallam 1.2 (8)
It was a predictably tough introduction to coaching for Hallam’s Ash Allen.
His inexperienced side was no match for Hampton Park, succumbing by 117 points at Robert Booth Reserve.
Nathan Carver booted eight of the Redbacks’ goals, with midfielder Michael Henry named the side’s best player.
In contrast, Hallam managed a solitary major for the day, that coming from the boot of new arrival Billy Athanasopoulos.
Heatherton 3.6 (24) def by Endeavour Hills 18.10 (118)
Endeavour Hills was in charge from the outset against an outclassed Heatherton, registering a 94-point victory.
Falcon Daniel Bartley was best afield, with a couple of off-season additions Daniel Cann and Andrew Vella also prominent for the triumphant Endeavour Hills’ team.
Vella and Jarrod Marolla each contributed four goals to the win.
David White managed a couple of majors for the beaten Tonners, with high-profile recruit Khaled Kandakji scoring their only other goal.
Springvale Districts 14.11 (95) def South Yarra 6.4 (40)
After the disappointment of a loss on Good Friday, Springvale Districts bounced back emphatically.
The Demons comfortably accounted for South Yarra, recording a 55-point win.
Daniel Saldanha was best on ground, demonstrating why Springvale Districts acquired him from Oakleigh District.
Stefan Feehan was one of eight goal kickers for the victorious Demons, topping the list with three majors.