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SFNL MATCH OF THE DAY
CHELTENHAM vs MORDIALLOC
Koornang Park, Koornang Road, Carnegie – 2:15pm
Listen to the SFNL Radio Team’s commentary live on 88.3 Southern FM from 2:00pm or live stream the radio broadcast and get all live scores at sfnllive.com.au
DIVISION 1 – Round 14 Preview
With Good Will Hunter
CHELTENHAM vs MORDIALLOC (Jack Barker Oval)
The Bloods have been building nicely over the course of the last eight weeks, and have emerged as a genuine premiership threat. They are now in the box seat to secure the double chance courtesy of their enormous percentage of 149.09%.
The Rosellas, meanwhile, have injected some youth into the side in 2016 and although they are certainly building, they perhaps lack the class and experience at the moment to challenge the big guns.
Mordialloc should win this comfortably.
ST PAULS vs EAST MALVERN (McKinnon Reserve)
St Pauls has now dropped to seventh on the ladder and has a real fight on its hands to secure a finals berth. The Dogs face three sides above it on the ladder in the run home, beginning with East Malvern at home this Saturday.
The Panthers’ depth is being severely tested in recent weeks, and has been arguable the hardest hit by injury this season. But while it may have blown its opportunity for the top three, its spot in the finals is all but secure.
With so much on the line, you can bank on a spirited performance from the Dogs this week, but if East Malvern’s top-end talent can run into a bit of form on Saturday they will be too good.
CLAYTON vs DINGLEY (Meade Reserve)
This is without doubt the clash of the round as the white-hot Clays test their mettle against the all-conquering Dingoes.
Clayton’s last month has been nothing short extraordinary, notching four consecutive wins, including two against imminent finalists in Bentleigh and East Malvern. After sitting precariously at 3-6, they have rocketed back into finals contention on the back of inspired contributions from their full 22.
But Dingley are edging ever closer to their third straight minor premiership, and are clearly the standout team in Division 1. With a dominant midfield group, and with spearhead Cal McQueen dominating in recent weeks, the Dingoes are looking hard to stop.
This will be an intriguing battle between the two best-performed teams of the last month, but Dingley’s big-game experience will see it claim victory.
ST KILDA CITY vs EAST BRIGHTON (Peanut Farm)
Both these sides have found the going tough in 2016.
The Vampires remain winless, while the Saints haven’t saluted since upsetting St Pauls back in Round 7. Suffice to say, it’s been a long time between drinks for these two clubs.
East Brighton will not get a better opportunity to claim their first victory of the year than this, and after last week’s effort they are certainly a massive chance. However, on their performances so far this season you simply couldn’t tip them.
OAKLEIGH DISTRICT vs BENTLEIGH (Princes Highway Reserve)
Bentleigh is another side that has struggled to get their best side out on the park each week, but it maintains its hold on second spot despite slumping to its third loss of the season.
Oakleigh District, meanwhile, has kept itself in the finals race, but faces a massive test in the coming weeks.
A game outside the five, the Districts simply cannot afford to drop two matches in a row, and with Dingley to come the following week, this looms as a must win clash.
There is plenty on the line for both teams in this one, so expect a fierce contest. However, Bentleigh’s depth will see it prevail in a close one.
DIVISION 2 – Round 16 Preview
With Jason Barbin
With only five rounds remaining, the race for the finals rages on and spots in the top five are at a premium with two games separating second and seventh.
SKYE vs BLACK ROCK (Carrum Downs Reserve)
This should be a relatively straightforward game for the Bombers but as we’ve seen the last few weeks, nothing is relatively straightforward this season.
Skye are the better side and the results should so that on Saturday as it fights to gain entry inside the top three and earn a double chance come finals time.
For the Rockers, relegation is looming likely but an upset win may turn the tables in their favour and set them on the path to stay in division two.
Skye by 33 points.
KEYSBOROUGH vs CAULFIELD (Keysborough Reserve)
A loss to the Bombers at home last week was bitterly disappointing for the Bears and they now find themselves under pressure from the likes of Skye and Murrumbeena.
If it’s to finish inside the top three and secure a double chance, Caulfield needs to win this match, otherwise a form slump could spell disaster.
The Burra are kind of in no man’s land at the moment with finals, while mathematically possible, highly unlikely and relegation very much doubtful.
It hasn’t been its season but Keysborough would like to create a stir in the top five by earning a victory at home.
Caulfield by 29 points.
PORT MELBOURNE COLTS vs HEATHERTON (Murphy Reserve)
The Tonners may be riding the high of more than likely securing their spot in Division 2 for next season but they run into the roadblock that is the Colts.
An undefeated home and away season is on the horizon for Port Melbourne and it should have no trouble dispatching Heatherton along the way.
Port Melbourne by 50 points.
SPRINGVALE DISTRICTS vs HAMPTON (Springvale Reserve)
The Districts find themselves two games clear of the Rockers for next to last on the ladder and face a Hampton side full of confidence after upsetting Chelsea Heights last week.
The Hammers still find themselves outside the top five however, so another win is important for their finals aspirations.
While this game may be closer than the ladder positions show, Hampton has enough firepower to come away with the win.
Hampton by 22 points.
HIGHETT vs CHELSEA HEIGHTS (Turner Road Reserve)
Easily the game of the round and definitely the hardest to tip based on each side’s form this season.
Both teams have lost games they shouldn’t have and won games many thought unlikely and this match will have a big impact on ladder positioning.
With the team surrounding them on the ladder having easier games, this looms as one of the most intriguing and important matches of the season.
A win for Chelsea Heights and it remains in the top three, while for the Dogs, with Murrumbeena having a week off, a chance to move into the top five beckons.
Highett by five points.
DIVISION 3 – Round 15 Preview
With Andrew Paloczi
LYNDALE vs ENDEAVOUR HILLS (Barry Powell Reserve)
Despite starting its last game in the five and winning, Lyndale was bumped down to sixth on percentage.
The Pumas host Endeavour Hills, a side that is fourth on the ladder, but has won the same number of games as Lyndale.
Last time these teams met the Pumas pulled away for a 21-point win after a tight first half.
This time, the visiting Falcons may just scrape home.
ASHWOOD vs DANDENONG (Essex Heights Reserve)
Ashwood needs to bounce back after a poor showing in its last match and will do so emphatically when it hosts Dandenong.
The Redlegs are one of an alarming number of sides in the division struggling to compete this season, and a respectable loss is the best they can hope for here.
When these teams clashed in Round 4, the Magpies triumphed by 111 points and it is unlikely to be much different this time.
SOUTH YARRA vs HALLAM (Fritsch Holzer Park)
Although sitting seventh on the ladder, South Yarra is just one game and a little less than five percent behind fifth-placed Hallam.
This promises to be reminiscent of a final and should be low scoring on South Yarra's tight ground.
The side that can apply the fiercest tackling pressure is likely to triumph.
The Lions usually play well on their home turf and will pip the Hawks.
LYNDHURST vs CARRUM PATTERSON LAKES (Marriott Waters Reserve)
This is a match with no relevance to the finals, but Lyndhurst has probably surpassed its expectations this season, whilst Carrum Patterson Lakes has endured a dramatic slide down the ladder.
Lyndhurst will prevail by around five goals.
DOVETON EAGLES vs MOUNT WAVERLEY (Power Reserve)
Although there are a few rounds to go before finals, it will be a surprise if Doveton and Mount Waverley don't face each other in the Grand Final. They have been the division's best sides by a considerable margin.
Expect Mount Waverley to win again as it did earlier this season, but it should be tighter than the 10-goal win the Mountain Lions enjoyed on that occasion.
MOORABBIN vs SANDOWN (Widdop Crescent)
It is all about pride in this contest between two of the division’s struggling teams, Moorabbin and Sandown.
Sandown has managed some competitive quarters lately and must surely be getting close to its first win this season.
Admittedly, Moorabbin won the last clash between these adversaries by 52 points, but this tipster is punting on Sandown to win this one.