Division 1 – Round 16 Review
With Good Will Hunter
BENTLEIGH vs DINGLEY
In football, the one thing that separates the contenders from the pretenders is the ability to stand up against the powerhouse clubs of the competition.
It is for this reason that neither North Melbourne nor the West Coast Eagles will get within a Ben Graham barrel of making the AFL Grand Final this season.
But on Saturday, Bentleigh announced to the SFNL world that it has what it takes to win the Division 1 premiership with a stunning 15.15 (105) to 6.11 (47) victory over flag favourites Dingley at Bentleigh Reserve.
The triumph was the Demons first ever over the Dingoes in the SFNL competition, and while the result may not necessarily have been a shock, the manner in which they clinically dismantled the reigning premiers was certainly unexpected.
The two sides were evenly matched in the tense opening stanza, which ultimately ended in a stalemate.
But from that moment on the Demons were phenomenally impressive, banging on 13 goals to four after quarter time, including five unanswered majors in the second term in to win in a canter and further enhance their premiership credentials.
The Dingoes were disappointing for the second week in a row, and had no answer to the manic pressure applied by the home side across the ground.
Justin Hall, Andrew Walsh and Scotty Lawry were among the standouts, but ultimately the Demons had no passengers in a complete team performance.
Josh Ferguson and Chris Horton-Milne were again leading the way for Dingley.
CHELTENHAM vs EAST MALVERN
Meanwhile, Cheltenham and East Malvern played out Division 1’s first draw of 2016, with the two sides locked at 8.7 (55) apiece after four dramatic quarters at Jack Barker Oval.
There was plenty of thrust and parry between the two sides for the first three quarters before the Panthers booted the first four goals of the final term to turn a four-point deficit at the last break into an 18-point advantage.
The visitors looked like sure things as time on approached, but Jack Gavin and Jake Davis combined to score three goals in the last five minutes to tie the scores and secure their side two points in a thrilling conclusion.
Skipper Jack Worrall and James North were in everything for the Rosellas, while the Sadler boys, Will and Ralph, were among the best for East Malvern.
ST KILDA CITY vs ST PAULS
St Kilda City and St Pauls made history as they played off for the inaugural Pride Shield at a colourful Peanut Farm.
While both clubs collaborated to lend their support the LGBTI community through a number of off-field initiatives, it was the Dogs that ultimately claimed the on-field prize with a come-from-behind 9.9 (63) to 6.4 (40) victory.
City played inspired football early on, and their quick ball movement through the likes of Dylan Sloan and Declan Harrington put the visitors on the ropes. They slotted their sixth goal of the match just after half time, but from there things quickly unravelled for the Saints.
With Brad Gilder’s brilliant ball use out of defence and Callum Cathcart running rampant through the midfield, St Pauls stormed home with the last seven goals of the match to steamroll the hosts.
Bulldog Nick Halliday booted two goals in a best afield display.
CLAYTON vs MORDIALLOC
Over at Meade Reserve, Clayton celebrated skipper Jayden Gilmour’s 150th match with a narrow seven-point victory over top-three contender Mordialloc, 9.7 (60) to 7.12 (54).
The Clays got the jump over their opponents with a four-goal opening stanza, which forced Mordi to play catch-up football for the majority of the afternoon.
To their credit. the Bloods managed to hit the front in the third term and held a slender advantage at the final change, but squandered opportunities proved costly as Clayton over ran them in the last quarter.
Lee Boyle contributed up forward for the winners, booting three goals, while notable contributions also came from Gabby Irons and Daniel Kirby.
Luke Barnhoorn and Simon Fragiacomo stood out for Mordialloc.
OAKLEIGH DISTRICT vs EAST BRIGHTON
The final game saw Oakleigh District dish out a 22.10 (142) to 10.7 (67) thrashing to impending wooden spooner East Brighton at Princes Highway Reserve.
The Oaks were in complete control from the get-go, with a seven-goal opening term ensuring the Vampires were never in the hunt.
Paul Fermanis and Khaled Kandakji slotted 10 majors between them, while Under 19 star Liam McCabe also impressed with four goals in his senior debut.
Mark Jamieson’s odds for the Vampires’ Best & Fairest award shortened even further, again named their best player.
Division 2 –Round 18 Review
With Jason Barbin
After 18 rounds of Division 2 action, the top two spots on the ladder are all locked in after the weekend’s results, but a dogfight still remains for positions 3-5.
SKYE 17.7 (109) def HAMPTON 8.10 (58)
What started as a promising first quarter against the third-placed Bombers resulted in a thorough demolition as Hampton’s season was ended by a strong Skye unit to the tune of 51 points. Aaron Pacey was simply outstanding for the victors with four goals during a best on ground performance as Skye held off Caulfield for third position. The Hammers were in with a chance for an upset, only trailing by 11 points at the first change but the Bombers put their foot down with a further 11 goals to four for the remainder of the match to secure the win.
PORT MELBOURNE COLTS 16.15 (111) def BLACK ROCK 10.7 (67)
Port Melbourne cruised to its 17th consecutive victory when it dispatched Black Rock by 44 points. But by no means was this a poor performance from the Rockers and although it is still a loss, it was a promising sign for what could be in season 2017. Four players finished with three goals for the Colts while Justin Taylor was named best on ground after starring in the midfield. The Rockers took it up to the Colts in the first half, only trailing by 14 points at the half time interval but Port Melbourne broke away in the second half, piling on nine goals to claim the win.
CHELSEA HEIGHTS 16.6 (102) def MURRUMBEENA 11.19 (85)
The Heighters overcame a five-goal quarter time deficit to defeat Murrumbeena at and secure their spot on the ladder. Phil Smith was the difference maker in front of goal, snagging six majors while former Melbourne jet Travis Johnstone was named best on ground. The Beena had the game well under control in the first quarter when they led by 30 points at the first change, but inaccurate kicking in front of goal the remainder of the way (kicking 4.13) opened the door for Chelsea Heights and it gladly walked through to come away with the win.
CAULFIELD 13.6 (84) def HEATHERTON 5.8 (38)
It may not have been the most convincing performance of the season, but Caulfield is back on the winners list after a strong second term powered it to victory against Heatherton. Chris Dove was inspiring with four majors while Kyle Maynard finished as the best player on the ground in a match that saw the Bears burst away with an eight-goal to three behind second quarter to establish an unassailable 48-point lead at the main break. Caulfield seemingly took the foot off the gas after half time as it was outscored by Heatherton 4.4 to 4.2. Regardless, the Bears’ second quarter efforts were enough to get them across the line.
HIGHETT 20.13 (133) def SPRINGVALE DISTRICTS 6.7 (43)
Highett has jumped back into the top five after a resounding 90-point victory against Springvale Districts at home. Chad Ryan continued his excellent form in front of goal, adding another eight goals to his season tally while Yianni Pasialis was in sensational form. The Dogs broke away early, booting 13 goals in the first half to wrap the game up by the half time break. Another five goals to Highett in the premiership quarter saw them surge further ahead before they took their foot off the gas in the final term.
Division 3 – Round 17 Review
With Andrew Paloczi
Hallam 31.14 (200) def Sandown 1.4 (10)
Joel Sarlo, an emerging young player for Hallam, showed what he is capable of with a best on ground performance in which he kicked 10 goals.
The Hawks wrapped their talons around the hapless Cobras, crushing Sandown by 190 points.
Such was Hallam’s dominance it climbed from sixth on the ladder to fourth, passing a couple of teams that started the round with a large percentage advantage over the Hawks.
Doveton Eagles 38.14 (242) def Dandenong 1.2 (8)
When Doveton scored the first goal of the match it set the tone for the day.
Coach Corrie Wilson finished with a total of eight majors in a 234-point win over Dandenong.
With so many dominant Eagles on the day, Wilson didn’t rate a mention in his side’s best players. The best on ground honours went to his teammate Brett Hidgcock.
South Yarra 12.8 (80) def Endeavour Hills 7.14 (56)
With a solid team performance, South Yarra led at every break on the way to a four-goal win at the expense of Endeavour Hills.
The winner’s best Tom Hanney, Joseph Smith and Cory Brady each kicked three of the Lions’ goals.
The win kept South Yarra in fifth place on the ladder and it should make the finals.
However, the Falcons tumbled from third to sixth.
Lyndale 8.11 (59) def by Mount Waverley 16.11 (107)
Lyndale’s finals hopes slipped away as the Pumas were outclassed by Mount Waverley.
The Mountain Lions won by eight goals.
James Gough advanced his tally for the season to 97 majors, with five against Lyndale. His teammate Chris Jeffries kicked four goals and was named the winner’s best.
Lyndhurst 6.8 (44) def by Ashwood 8.13 (61)
Ashwood did enough to win a low-scoring affair against Lyndhurst.
The Magpies made a decisive break in the third quarter, adding three goals whilst keeping Lightning scoreless.
At that point Ashwood led by 22 points and it eventually prevailed by 17.
Paul Wineberg was the main goal scorer for the winner with four and Matt Maginnes was named its best.
The victory has Ashwood sitting in third place.
Moorabbin 16.14 (110) def Carrum Patterson Lakes 13.14 (92)
This game was in the balance at the last change, with Carrum Patterson Lakes leading by five points.
Eventually, Moorabbin overcame the Lions to win by three goals.
Jack Williams was the Kangaroos’ best player and managed seven majors for the day, the third time this season he has achieved that number of goals.
The Kangaroos finished their last home game for the season on a positive note and this should offer them some encouragement during the off season ahead.
Under 19 – Round 16 Review
With Alex Charles
Round 16 presented another chance for contenders to prepare for finals football. Many of these sides took this opportunity as it was one of the closest rounds this season.
Hallam entered the round looking to solidify themselves as a genuine premiership contender. After managing four early goals at home to Dingley, the Hawks were unable to stem the flow during the second and last quarters with the Dingoes capitalising on some poor defending to win by 23 points.
While out of the finals race, Dingley played a high standard of football to ensure they have their say on the season. The result is promising for them moving forward, but for Hallam it is clear they will need to regroup as the result leaves them sitting precariously close to dropping from the finals race.
The side closest to the Hawks, Endeavour Hills, comfortably accounted for Highett. The 128-point victory leaves the Falcons one win and percentage out of a finals berth. It was a timely result and the all-round team performance ensures a seven-horse race for finals positions. Highett will look to build on another difficult yet more competitive season in next week’s game against the Vampires in what will be their final game for the year.
In a similar situation to Highett, Carrum were faced with the tough task of slowing Cheltenham’s attack. To their credit, the Lions managed six goals in an 86-point loss to a side tipped to go far in this season’s finals. Cheltenham didn’t let inaccuracy dampen a solid result as Bradley Parker once again starred with a six-goal haul to continue his form heading into the toughest part of the year.
Meanwhile, we were treated to two of the season’s best matches.
St Kilda City downed St Pauls 89-83 in a tight affair. St Pauls jumped out of the blocks and led throughout the entire first half but another incredible individual effort from Mykelti Lefau saw his side prevail. The eight-goal haul was only just enough to take the four points and top spot on the ladder. Both of these sides are expected to feature deep into the season and after this fixture, we simply cannot wait to see what happens!
The other of the two games was between Hampton and Oakleigh District. This was another match that could have gone either way but two brilliant quarters from Hampton was just enough to grab a 13-point win. Following a 36-point deficit at quarter time, Oakleigh clawed their way back to reduce the margin by five at half time. However, the Hammers brought their best to the third term to lead by 37 going into the last.
Despite the result seeming clear, a resurgence from Oakleigh saw them trail by one point with five minutes left to play. Crucial goals from James Gascard and Izaiah Elisaia stopped the Oakleigh run and it now leaves Hampton sitting on top with a game in hand over most rivals.