ROUND 18 PREVIEW
The final round of the season is here and while the top four is locked, it’s do or die for those still in the finals race.
East Brighton v Caulfield (Hurlingham Park)
Game of the Week
The scenario is simple, win or go home – or in Caulfield’s case, win/draw or go home. Either way, it’s do or die for these two sides in the standout game for the weekend.
Caulfield leads the finals race by a game, but with an inferior percentage, simply can’t afford to lose, while all East Brighton needs to do is win, doesn’t not matter by how much.
These are the kinds of games where the cream rises to the top, so who stand up and lift their side across the line and into the finals.
East Brighton by 10 points.
Skye v Hampton (Carrum Downs Recreation Reserve)
While it is still mathematically possible for Hampton to make the finals, my maths skills are nowhere near good enough to calculate how much it needs to win by, so let’s call it a lot.
The Hammers will be rueing last week’s missed opportunities and if they are to achieve a miracle, they can’t afford to kick 16 behinds again, unless its accompanied by 20 or 25 goals.
Unfortunately, I can’t see it happening with Skye likely to go into lockdown mode and play spoilers.
Hampton by 40 points.
Keysborough v Doveton Eagles (Keysborough Reserve)
Any other round and this is the clear game of the week, but with so much on the line for East Brighton, Caulfield and Hampton this game takes a step back.
It isn’t without its importance however, as Keysborough need to win to have any chance of finishing top three (depending on other results), while a victory for Doveton secures the minor premiership and the week off.
Whether these two sides will accept their current positions and rest key players heading into finals is another factor that needs to be considered and could alter the result.
Doveton Eagles by 16 points.
Mount Waverley v Murrumbeena (Mayfield Reserve)
This is a tough game to judge, with a win for Murrumbeena potentially securing the minor premiership, while the Lions can only play spoilers.
The Beena haven’t been at full strength in recent weeks however, and with a top two spot guaranteed, this may be a good chance to rest some players in time for finals.
An upset win here for the Lions would be a fantastic finish to what has otherwise been a very difficult season at Mayfield Reserve.
Murrumbeena by 27 points.
Clayton v Highett (Meade Reserve)
A game with likely no bearing on finals placings, the third ranked Highett just need to win against Clayton to secure the double chance.
With the Burra facing a likely difficult prospect in ladder leaders Doveton, the Dogs – like many of the top four clubs – could choose to rest any players with niggling injuries.
Clayton has endured a rough year that has not yielded a win, so a victory here would be nice even though I can’t see it happening.
Highett by 30 points.