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Division 1 – Qualifying/Elimination Final Review
With Good Will Hunter
Bentleigh 10.9 (69) def by Oakleigh District 15.6 (96)
The Districts’ flag tilt is gathering some serious momentum after an impressive 27-point victory over Bentleigh at Springvale.
Their seventh consecutive win ensures the Oaks will progress through to the third week of September at a minimum, and sets up a blockbuster clash with minor premiers Dingley next week for a spot in the 2016 Grand Final.
It was Bentleigh that started the stronger of the two sides, dominating possession and causing the District headaches with their run through the midfield. They were rewarded with the first two goals of the game in quick succession through Matty Troutbeck, whose scintillating opening term was largely the difference between the combatants.
Oakleigh District then sprung to action in the second term on the back of some Khaled Kandakji magic. Three electrifying goals in five minutes to the diminutive livewire provided the spark for the Districts, who went on to register seven in a dominant quarter of football and swing the game firmly in their favour.
The Oaks continued their assault in the second half, extending their 24-point half time lead to 40 by the final change. At various stages, the difference threatened to blow out past 10 goals, and it perhaps would have had it not been for the resistance led by Andrew Walsh, Scott Lawry and Ben Morrison (four goals).
Kandakji, Dan Kiellerup and Dave Velardo were the chief destroyers up forward with four goals each, while Jake Mullen and Ryan Pearson ran rampant through the midfield.
But with Bentleigh comfortably winning the clearances and inside 50 stats, it was the Districts’ backline that perhaps deserves the biggest credit. Pat Carroll, Nathan Brown and Brody Hodic were towers of strength and repelled everything kicked in their direction.
However, the Districts’ victory has been soured by a hamstring injury to veteran playmaker Paul Fermanis, the severity of which is yet to be determined.
Listen back to the SFNL Radio Team's call of the Division 1 Qualifying Final in the player below.
Clayton 6.11 (47) def by East Malvern 16.11 (107)
East Malvern has rediscovered its early season form, pulling out a top-shelf performance to thrash arguably Division 1’s most in-form team, Clayton, by 10 goals at Springvale Reserve.
The Clays entered the clash on the back of eight wins from their last nine games, but it was clear from the outset that they weren’t going to have it all their own way.
East Malvern’s ferocity at the contest prevented Clayton from getting any clean outside ball, resulting in a dour, physical contest for the majority of the opening term.
More than 18 minutes had elapsed before Panthers defender Ralph Sadler snuck forward to pop through the opening goal of the game, and by quarter time East Malvern were out to a 17-point advantage and looked like taking control of the contest.
And after the resumption, that is precisely what they did. The bigger-bodied Panthers dominated in the midfield, despite the absence of star ruckman Matt Terech. With Jimmy Dowling and Ed Sim monopolising the clearances, East Malvern added three goals in the first five minutes to blow Clayton out of the water.
Conversely the Clays struggled in the front half, and too often turned the ball over inside 50 with wayward passes. Consequently, they were held goalless to halftime, while seven second-term majors up the other end had the Panthers ahead by 59 points at the long break.
To their credit, the Clays fought back with five goals in the third, but in reality this was a deficit they were never going to overcome.
While much of the damage was done in the trenches for the Panthers, impressive youngster Jack Hammond provided plenty of run on the outside, while up forward Mark Ryan returned to form with five goals.
Gabby Irons and Matt Wilson worked hard all afternoon, and did their best to spark the Clays into action with three brilliant goals in the third term, but unfortunately they received little support.
Division 2 – Qualifying/Elimination Final Review
With Jason Barbin
The first round of Southern Football Netball League Division 2 finals is done and dusted with one team preparing for Mad Monday and four gearing up for next week’s games.
Chelsea Heights 13.8 (86) def by Caulfield 19.13 (127)
The Bears got a season best game from Andrew Sheed with eight goals to roll over the Heighters and move on to the Second Semi Final a chance at a Grand Final berth.
Sheed’s best on ground performance came at the right time with Caulfield coming to the game with average form at best.
Caulfield led by only a point at the first before an eight-goal second term powered them to a 34-point lead at the half time break.
Chelsea Heights took advantage of the favourable conditions during the third term to cut the margin down to 22 points off the back of a four goal to two quarter.
In the end, the Bears proved to have all the answers as they piled on another seven goals to four in the final term to blow the Heighters out of the water and record a 41-point win and a clash against Port Melbourne Colts.
Phil Smith was the figure head up forward for Chelsea Heights with seven majors while Andrew Cupit was also impressive.
Skye 14.3 (87) def Highett 9.11 (65)
In one of the best comebacks of the season, Skye turned a 25-point quarter time deficit into a 22-point victory against Highett.
The forward combination of Kyle Gascoigne, Ben Walker and Brett Dawson proved the difference in the end as the trio combined for nine majors to push the Bombers across the line.
The tireless work from Nathan McConville and James Bateman worked wonders for the Bombers as they booted three goals to three behinds in the second term to cut the lead from 25 points down to only nine at the half time interval.
A further six goals to its tally gave Skye all the momentum as Highett could do little to change the game.
The writing on the wall continued to be written in the final term as the Bombers piled on another four goals while restricting the Dogs to just two to ring in a 22-point triumph.
Mitchell Hoar (three goals) was named as Highett’s best on ground alongside Reece Schuth.
Listen back to the SFNL Radio Team's call of the Division 2 Elimination Final in the player below.
Division 3 – Semi Final Review
With Andrew Paloczi
SECOND SEMI FINAL
Mount Waverley 20.13 (133) def Ashwood 4.7 (31)
Mount Waverley seized control from the outset against Ashwood.
Any thought that the weight of favouritism, or a week off would dull the Mountain Lions’ focus was rapidly dispelled.
They mauled the Magpies all over the ground.
Drew Macrae got things underway, snapping the Mountain Lions’ first goal moments into the game.
Ashwood struggled to penetrate a disciplined Mount Waverley backline.
The Mountain Lions cleared the ball from defence with aplomb and were often quick to take it down the other end.
James Gough rewarded the hard work of his teammates, kicking a couple of first term goals.
Although the Mountain Lions led by just 17 points at quarter time, the signs were ominous for the Magpies.
The Mountain Lions were urged at the huddle to maintain their intensity.
They heeded the advice and Gough soon booted the ball between the big sticks and into the neighbour’s yard.
A few Ashwood players may have already wished it was the only ball and that it couldn’t be found.
The margin continued to grow, reaching 74 points by the final change.
Another Macrae goal during the final term pushed the lead to triple figures and the Mountain Lions prevailed by 102 points.
Daniel Thirkell and Dylan Cincotta both impressed for the winner.
Cincotta set the tone early, showing dash and clearing the ball effectively from defence.
Up forward, Gough finished an authoritative display with eight goals and Ian Taylor kicked three majors.
The pressure he applied to keep the ball in the forward line and his skilful passing made Taylor a major contributor.
Michael Keem was named second best, behind Gough.
FIRST SEMI FINAL
Doveton 15.8 (98) def Hallam 9.18 (72)
A behind to Hallam seven minutes into the third term closed Doveton's lead to a couple of points.
An expectant crowd at Keysborough seemed set to be treated to a close finish.
Suddenly a transformation came over the game. Doveton shifted into a higher gear and the Hawks couldn't match this increased intensity.
Incredibly, an Eagles’ goal at the 18-minute mark blew the margin out to 32 points.
Doveton had kicked five unanswered majors into the wind in 11 minutes of dominance.
A Steve Sigeti goal broke the sequence and gave Hallam a glimmer of hope.
With a term to play, the deficit was still an imposing 23 points.
The Hawks were instructed to “run and carry at all costs” as they faced a make or break term against the wind.
In the final term, early chances resulted in just a couple of Hawks’ behinds.
When Doveton's Adam Read ran into an open goal 10 minutes in, the task was beyond the Hawks.
Doveton won by 26 points.
The season of Eagles’ forward Peter Dye appeared to have been derailed by a knee problem.
He had managed just two games since the start of June and had not played since mid-July, but Doveton backed him to stand up to the pressure of a final.
He rewarded this show of faith with six goals.
Nicholas Beer was named the winner's best.
Five of Hallam's goals came from the boot of strong-marking forward Shane Thomas.
Daniel Chin and Manny Peresso performed well and were listed as the Hawks’ best, although the efforts of fellow midfielder Phillip Ward also deserves mention.
Under 19 – Qualifying/Elimination Final Review
With Alex Charles
Springvale Reserve once again played host to the Under 19 finals series. Hampton had the week off following their deserved minor premiership and it was up to the remaining four sides to play-off in the Qualifying and Elimination Finals.
St Kilda and Oakleigh took to the field to play in the Qualifying Final with both teams knowing they had a second chance. The Saints entered the fixture in much stronger form but Oakleigh would be no pushover. However, St Kilda used their finals experience and as reigning champions, took a comfortable 36-point lead into the main break.
The Saints continued their impressive form into the second half to prevail by 59 points – setting up a fixture with Hampton in the process. Oakleigh’s inability to hit the scoreboard proved too costly as they only managed 5 goals for the game. Nevertheless, they will get another shot next week.
Oakleigh’s week two opponents, St Pauls, made light-work of Cheltenham in the Elimination Final. The Bulldogs brought some of their early season form to the table when it mattered most, managing a 22-point lead at half time. Their ability to restrict Cheltenham’s scoring in a similar fashion to St Kilda City a day prior was a key component of this win.
With a five-goal lead at the final change, the Bulldogs kicked the next four goals to end Cheltenham’s season. However, they never gave up and limited the final margin to just 50 points. Having uncovered plenty of future stars including Brad Parker, Tom Davis and the three Kilner brothers, the future is certainly bright. For St Pauls, a match against Oakleigh during the season’s only Semi Final will be very significant as they seem to be the finals darkhorse.
Both games weren’t too close but supporters managed to bring a great atmosphere and we anticipate more of the same in the coming weeks! We’d also like to congratulate the remaining four sides along with Cheltenham, who were far from disgraced against the Bulldogs are a wonderful season.