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Division 1 – Round 18 Review
With Good Will Hunter
BENTLEIGH vs MORDIALLOC
Mordialloc will be September spectators for the first time since 2012 after a stunning last quarter from a determined Bentleigh outfit saw them claim a 15.11 (101) to 11.16 (82) victory at a wind-swept Bentleigh Reserve.
The Bloods’ loss consigns them to a sixth-place finish in 2016, and ends their streak of three successive Grand Final appearances.
Despite entering the game with three losses from their last four starts, Mordi jumped out of the blocks, booting six goals with the aid of the wind to charge to a 19-point buffer at the break.
The Demons, however, fought back to get their noses in front by two points at the long break.
But the Bloods lifted again in the third, and although they led by 19 points at the final change, the margin should perhaps have been closer to five goals had it not been for a few missed shots at the sticks. Nevertheless, the Mordi faithful clung to the hope that they had done enough to hold on in the last quarter.
But it wasn’t to be, as Bentleigh went on a final term rampage, piling on six unanswered goals with the breeze to steamroll the Bloods.
The opposing ruckmen, Demon Andrew Walsh and Bloodhound Rowan Andrews, fought out a titanic duel all day, with the former’s three goals ultimately influential in the result.
Matty Troutbeck stood up in Paddy Nicholls’ absence, booting four goals, while Brody Lawford and Scotty Lawry were also superb for the winners.
Todd Bastion and Beau Turner were Mordi’s best.
OAKLEIGH DISTRICT vs ST PAULS
Meanwhile, Oakleigh District have claimed Mordi’s spot in the top three after a ruthless 22.16 (148) to 7.3 (45) thrashing of St Pauls at Princes Highway Reserve.
After an opening term stalemate, the Districts clicked into gear in the second quarter, piling on nine goals to one to blow the game open by half time.
Although the Dogs fought back in the third term through the efforts of James Sziller and Callum Cathcart, it was to no avail as Oakleigh finished the match with nine unanswered goals to send the margin beyond triple digits.
Pleasingly for the Oaks, all of their big guns fired, with Paul Fermanis booting four goals in a best afield performance and Jake Mullen and Dave Velardo each finishing with a bag of five.
ST KILDA CITY vs EAST MALVERN
East Malvern jumped back into the top five with a 12.9 (81) to 9.8 (62) victory over St Kilda City at the Peanut Farm.
But while they were far from impressive against one of the competition cellar dwellars, the Panthers’ line up was bolstered by the return of a host of stars, including Tremaine Tohiariki, Ed Sim, Nathan Robinson and Lachie Dowling.
Tohiariki, Sim and Jimmy Dowling were among the best for the winners, who booted five goals in the opening term before holding the Saints at bay for the remainder of the match.
Aaron Purvis and Keegan Powell were again among the home side.
CLAYTON vs CHELTENHAM
Clayton have secured fourth place on the ladder after a convincing triumph over Cheltenham at Meade Reserve, 14.16 (100) to 7.9 (51).
In doing so the Clays will be finals participants for the first time since their 2010 Division 2 premiership.
The Rosellas were competitive early, but the home side weren’t troubled from quarter time onwards, sealing their eight win in nine games with a six-goal third term.
Gabby Irons and Trent Papworth were among the influential contributors, while coach Nick Scanlon also looked a class above in attack with six majors.
For the Rosellas it was James North and Chris Neophitou keeping them in it.
DINGLEY vs EAST BRIGHTON
The final game went as expected with minor premiers Dingley demolishing the winless East Brighton 22.18 (150) to 4.4 (28) at Souter Oval.
It was a much improved effort from the young Vampires, who were well led by experienced campaigners in Barry Hope and skipper Andrew Jansen, but ultimately the Dingoes had far too much class on every line.
Calhan McQueen was the star of the show, booting 10 goals in a stunning best on ground performance that saw him claim the Division 1 goal kicking title.
Josh Ferguson and Trav La Rocca were also influential for the winners.
Division 2 –Round 20 Review
With Jason Barbin
The final round of Division 2 in the Southern Football Netball League is done and dusted and the top five is locked and loaded ready to go for finals.
Skye 14.7 (91) def Springvale Districts 6.2 (38)
The Bombers did enough to secure a victory against the Districts but missed out on a top three spot by less than one per cent and will tackle Highett in an Elimination Final this weekend. Kyle Gascoigne was in stunning form in front of the big sticks, bagging five majors while Cameron Petrie (three goals) was named best on ground for his efforts alongside Michael Kelly and James Bateman. Springvale did enough to retain hope of causing an upset in the first half, kicking five goals to only trail by seven points at the half time break, but Skye prevailed in a dominant second half and bagged eight goals to one to secure a 53-point win.
Keysborough 5.11 (41) def by Chelsea Heights 16.8 (104)
The Heighters finished off the home and away season in style, recording a comfortable 63-poin win against the Burra and doing their form going into finals no harm. Phil Smith was prolific in front of goal, bagging seven majors while Lachlan Dobson continued to show his worth as a second spot up forward with five goals. Jessie Odell and Jarryd Uren were named best on ground. Chelsea Heights took control of the game from the opening bounce, kicking eight goals in the first half to build a 35-point advantage at the main break before kicking another eight goals in the second half to claim win number 14 for the season.
Port Melbourne Colts 13.16 (94) def Hampton 6.8 (44)
It may not have been their most convincing or polished performance of the year but the Colts maintained their unbeaten run during the home and away season to claim a maiden minor premiership in Division 2. Mitch Clark and David McGregor each bagged four goals and were dangerous throughout the afternoon while Jackson Brown and Stacy Massis were influential with their efforts across the ground. A five-goal second term set up the victory for Port Melbourne as it turned a 28-point half time lead in 58 points at three quarter time, before finishing up 50-point winners.
Murrumbeena 8.10 (58) def by Highett 8.16 (54)
This match lived up to the hype as both sides threw everything they had at each other in order to secure a coveted finals position. In the end the Dogs were able to secure the four points and fifth spot on the ladder after holding off a fast finishing Beena outfit. Charles Kinsey was in strong form with two goals while Yianni Pasialis was named best on ground for his efforts as Highett held a 14-point lead going into the half time break. In a day which saw the victors waste several opportunities in front of goal, the Dogs were able to keep the Beena to just one behind in the third term but failed to capitalise with only the one major increasing their lead to 22 points. Determined to not let its season slip away, Murrumbeena came roaring home in the final term, piling on four goals to get within reach of Highett. It was almost enough but in the end, one major from the Dogs was able to ensure they got across the line and into fifth spot on the ladder.
Division 3 – Qualifying/Elimination Final Review
With Andrew Paloczi
Doveton Eagles 6.14 (50) def by Ashwood 11.9 (75)
Underdog Ashwood turned the tables on Qualifying Final opponent Doveton, after the Eagles recently defeated the Magpies by eight goals.
The Magpies were well organised and determined, combining well in defence to bring many Doveton attacking efforts unstuck.
Matt Maginnes’ ability to mark in the backline promised to be an important factor in this match and he didn’t let his Magpie mates down.
He played well throughout the day, and defensive marks he took in the second quarter helped keep the Eagles at bay when they threatened to score crucial goals against the breeze.
The Eagles finished the match with nobody available on the bench.
Midfielder Stuart Johnson was stretchered off with a shoulder injury.
Fellow Doveton players Enayte Samadi, Sean Paynter and Matthew O’Callaghan also suffered injuries.
Compounding this, Doveton lacked discipline conceding far too many free kicks and 50-metre penalties.
But it would be wrong to take away credit from Ashwood for its win.
The Magpies took advantage when they had the wind behind them and this factor became more crucial in the second half as the breeze increased in strength.
Doveton was plagued by inaccuracy throughout the contest, with Adam Read a major culprit in a spree of behinds.
The Magpies won by 25 points.
Wearing number 45 instead of his customary 2 had no ill effect on Paul Wineberg as he helped set up the Magpies’ win with four goals.
His teammate Mitch Saunders kicked a couple of goals and was the winner’s best.
Doveton’s Brett Hidgcock was named the player of the day by the SFNL radio team.
South Yarra 10.9 (69) def by Hallam 10.12 (72)
Spring announced itself early as bright sunshine greeted the Elimination Final crowd.
A two-goal lead to South Yarra at half time was the biggest margin between the sides at any of the breaks.
Their opponent, Hallam, pulled the deficit back to three points by the final change.
When play recommenced, the Hawks continued to apply pressure, but South Yarra’s defence was resolute.
South Yarra’s Joey Smith typified the spirit of players from both sides.
He spoiled his opponent after Manny Peresso kicked long into the Hawks’ forward line. When the ball ended up in Hallam hands, Smith applied fierce pressure, forcing a poor kick.
Neither side relented, and Hallam was soon rewarded for its efforts with a goal and a narrow lead.
The sides then went goal for goal until the decisive moment arrived at the 19-minute mark.
Kevin Atkin marked for Hallam in the forward line, with his side trailing narrowly.
His accurate shot was the final score, giving the Hawks a three-point win.
Hallam’s Daniel Chin was outstanding throughout the contest and was clearly the winner’s best player.
Shane Thomas’ marking and goal kicking proved critical and he finished with six of the Hawks’ 10 majors.
Under 19 – Round 17 Review
With Alex Charles
The final round of an incredible season took place on the weekend. With finals places sorted, the weekend was more about the top five fine-tuning their plans for next week. For the lower half of the ladder, the final game posed a chance to look ahead to season 2017.
Cheltenham officially secured fifth position and the last spot in the finals with a resounding 88-point win over East Brighton-Bentleigh. With 14 scoring shots, the Vampires ended a difficult season in a respectable manner, but were unable to match Cheltenham’s class.
Troy Davis continued his stellar form heading into finals football with five majors to take his tally to 38 for the year. And his performance was necessary, as his side trailed by two points at the main break. Fortunately for them, Cheltenham outscored the Vampires 94-4 during the second half in what was a great way to prepare for next week.
Hampton made sure of top place and a deserved minor premiership with a 72-point win to end a fantastic season by the Hallam Hawks. The Hammers now get the crucial week off in what could prove vital for their physical and mental state come the last two weeks of the season.
Their finals counterparts, Oakleigh District and St Pauls, were fortunate enough to meet on the eve of finals. The Bulldogs were way too strong with a 62-point win but it was only two quarters where their intensity proved too much to handle.
Oakleigh’s finals opponents, St Kilda City, downed Carrum by 164 points, thereby putting the side on notice to be on their game. The defending champions are looking ready to go as we head into the pointy end of the season. Incredibly, Mykelti Lefau kicked 25 goals. This feat has earned him the top spot in the goal kicking and it should be emphasised just how amazing the effort is!
Lastly, Dingley and Endeavour Hills ended their season with a scrappy affair as the Falcons prevailed by 37 points. The Dingoes had an indifferent campaign after being a regular finals side but the side has done well given the player exits from seasons gone. For Endeavour Hills, their 2016 campaign ensures they have plenty to work with for 2017! They could definitely be a team for the future.