SFNL Round Reviews are proudly brought to you by Insurance 4 Footballers.
By Will Hunter
There are some matches that mean a whole lot more to football clubs than just the four premiership points on offer.
Last Saturday was one of those for the Port Melbourne Colts, as they renewed a fierce local rivalry with St Kilda City at JL Murphy Reserve.
The Colts not only unfurled their Division 2 Senior and Reserve premiership flag before a massive home crowd, but also stood for a minute silence as a Remembrance Round tribute to former player Marcel ‘Bird’ Bouchard, who tragically lost his battle with brain cancer last month.
The two sides played off for the inaugural Bird Cup, so named in honour of the former Colt, and the home side played like a team possessed in the frantic final term to secure an emotion-charged eight-point victory.
It was a tight, congested arm-wrestle in the narrow confines of their home fortress for most of the afternoon, with neither side able to land a knockout blow. But as the torrential rain and lightning lashed Melbourne during the last stanza, the Colts rose to the occasion.
Port booted two final term goals to reclaim the lead, before they held on for dear life as City made their charge. The Saints pumped the ball inside forward 50 time and again in the final 10 minutes, but the home side showed tremendous heart and commitment to thwart each and every attacking manoeuvre.
Jake Knox was simply brilliant rebounding out of defence with poise and vigour, earning himself best on ground honours, but Stacey Massis and Jake Wood were also influential in the trenches. The mercurial Mitch Clarke was also conspicuous with three telling goals, including the match-winner.
St Kilda City remarkably unveiled more than a dozen debutants on Saturday, with recruits Jaydon Styles, Thomas Motlop and Troy Kelm among their contributors.
Mordialloc has pulled off a big surprise in the opening round by stunning premiership fancies East Malvern by 33 points at Dunlop Reserve.
The Bloods were the stronger side from the outset, and maintained a comfortable buffer for most of the afternoon. They looked fitter, faster and hungrier at ground level, comfortably win the midfield battle despite the dominance of Panthers ruckmen Simon Taylor and Matt Terech.
Aaron Kneebone and Danny Nicholls were both superb through the Mordi midfield, winning plenty of ball, while spearhead James Morris did the damage up forward with five goals.
Jordan Derbyshire went head to head with East Malvern’s star recruit Aaron Mullett and although it was an intriguing battle for most of the day, the former probably shaded and curbed his influence on the contest.
Of East Malvern’s high-profile recruits, it was Dean Millhouse that impressed the most. He was simply electric up forward, finishing with four goals and was clearly their best player.
But the Panthers were again let down by their indiscipline, an issue which has plagued them in the past, and conceded four goals as a direct result.
A poor start and errant goalkicking has proved costly for St Pauls, as they slumped to their third consecutive defeat to arch-rivals Bentleigh, this time by 14 points at Bentleigh Reserve.
A five-goal-to-nil first half was the catalyst for the Demon’s victory as it powered them to a match-defining 27-point half time lead.
The Dogs worked their way back into the contest on the back of a three-goal masterclass from Matty Kreymborg, but their 3.9 thre
Mitchell Smart had immediate impact in his Bentleigh debut, while Scotty Mortimer and Brody Lawford
What promised to be an entertaining contest between the reigning premiers and the up-and-comers didn’t disappoint, with Dingley running out 27-point winners over a plucky Cheltenham outfit at the Den.
The Dingoes made the early charge with the breeze, booting four unanswered goals in the opening term, but the Rosellas hit back with four of their own to all but square the ledger at the main break.
However, as the weather turned feral, it was the home side that negotiated the tricky conditions better in the second half with Lucas Walmsley and Danny Ades (three goals each) the clear standouts.
Former Sydney Swans rookie Sean McLaren didn’t disappoint in his first appearance for the Rosellas, putting in a brilliant performance to be named its best ahead of fellow recruit Jarrad Matheson.
The black and white local derby turned out to be a one-sided affair, with Oakleigh District running out winners by 80 points at Princes Highway.
The Oaks peppered the goals constantly throughout the day, managing a whopping 25 more scoring shots than their opponents, however they perhaps would have won by an even greater margin had they converted better than their opening quarter tally of 5.9.
Star midfielder Ryan Pearson booted five goals in a dazzling best-afield display, while last year’s Leader Shooting Star winner Liam McCabe showed he will be a regular senior contributor with four classy majors up forward.
Clays defender Joel Rigoni was a pillar of strength down back in the face of constant pressure.
By Jason Barbin
A scintillating second quarter performance from the Bombers set up the victory against the Mountain Lions, with Skye booting nine goals to one after trailing by nine points at quarter time.
Cameron Petrie was in good form, snagging four majors while Stephen Hawkins and Brett Dawson each claimed three goals while presenting as dangerous targets up forward.
James Bateman continued his good early season form as best on ground alongside Nathan McConville.
Mount Waverley enjoyed a good start to the match, booting four goals in the opening term but could only manage one goal the remainder of the way as Skye booted 12 to run out 62-point winners.
Michael Dennis and Daniel Thirkell were Mount Waverley’s best.
An impressive second half was enough for the boys from Beazley Reserve to get across the line in this clash, booting eight goals to one after trailing by 11 points at the main break.
Phil Smith was a force inside 50, finishing with six majors while James Robertson chipped in with two goals for the Heighters.
Michael Shaw and Nathan Herrington were both impressive in their roles, finishing as Chelsea Heights’ best on ground alongside Smith.
Keysborough got off to a good start, kicking five goals in the first half to claim an 11-point lead, but three goals in the third term put Chelsea Heights in front before five final quarter goals to just two behinds lifted the Heights to victory.
Riet Pal and Simon Dunn were each named as Keysborough’s best.
It wasn’t the prettiest of performances, but Caulfield got the job done against East Brighton despite only kicking two goals in the second half.
Rowan Clark finished as the Bears’ leading goal scorer with two majors while Andrew Sheed and Alex Cables were named as their best.
Caulfield looked like breaking the game opening during the second quarter, booting five goals to two to create a 24-point lead at the half time interval.
East Brighton pushed back in the second half however, booting four goals to two as inaccuracy hurt the Bears, resulting in the winning margin reduced to 12 points.
Andrew Jansen and Matt Jamieson were named the Vampires’ best.
The Hammers won their second game on the trot, putting together a four-quarter effort to get across the line against the Tonners.
Four players finished with two goals each for Hampton, with Dan Guiry and Ajit Alister leading from the front as best on ground.
Heatherton failed to make the most of its opportunities in the first team, kicking seven behinds as Hampton managed two goals to lead by seven points at the break.
Hampton kicked of four goals to two in the second term to set up a 19-point half time lead, before scoring another five goals to three in the second half to secure a 31-point win.
Shaun Keenan and Jesse Stone were impressive for the Tonners as their best.
Another game which wasn’t pretty, Springvale Districts were able to score its first win of the season, defeating Highett at home by 13 points.
Stefan Feehan continued to show he can be a prominent target up forward for the Districts with three goals while Lance Baptist and Peter Heng were named their best.
In a grinding contest, Springvale led at every change, turning a slender six-point lead at quarter time to 13 points at half time.
Highett fought back in the third quarter, reducing the lead to five points, but Springvale surged home in the final term to a 13-point win.
Tom Brown was best on ground for the Dogs with two goals.
By Andrew Paloczi
South Yarra and Doveton Eagles delivered the expected tight contest, with no more than nine points between the sides at any break.
The Lions prevailed by eight points.
Tom Hanney, Shaheen Merchant and Tom MacDonald delivered up forward with two goals each for the victor.
Eamon Hanney was named South Yarra’s best.
Whilst Endeavour Hills proved too strong, opponent CPL showed encouraging signs.
The Falcons won by 27 points, but CPL was competitive, with young recruit Tyler Neal booting four goals.
For the winner, Adam Walters led the way, being named the Falcons’ best despite not playing a game in the seniors last season.
His teammate Shaun Richards contributed three goals.
Shane Peake enjoyed his first outing for Ashwood, contributing five goals as his side destroyed Dandenong by 144 points.
But a couple of well-established Magpies were also prolific in front of the big sticks.
Paul Wineberg matched Peake’s tally.
Mitch Saunders went a couple better, with seven, in a best on ground display.
Lyndale’s ground was deemed unplayable, with Dandenong coming to the rescue.
The Pumas made Greaves Reserve home, crushing opponent Sandown by 163 points.
Shannon Rainey booted six Lyndale goals in a best on ground effort, with eight majors from teammate Trevor Kumetaitis.
Hallam dominated the second term to set up a commanding half time lead over Lyndhurst.
At that stage the margin was 43 points.
Lyndhurst kept the Hawks’ winning margin to 44 points.
Phil Ward was best for Hallam, whilst Shane Thomas booted three of the Hawks’ goals.
Will Sanchez helped Black Rock take charge against Moorabbin, and was named his side’s best.
But the weather refused to be upstaged, with lightning forcing players from the field late in the final term.
There was no hint of what Thor had in store when Sanchez marked courageously in bright second-quarter sunshine.
That term proved crucial as Moorabbin failed to capitalise on a strong wind advantage, leaving it four goals adrift at the main break.
Black Rock’s lead increased to six goals with a term to play.
Driving rain then turned the game into a battle of attrition, washing away Moorabbin’s faint hopes.
Lightning forced the umpires to act at the 17-minute mark of the last quarter, leaving the Jets’ winning margin at 35 points.
By Britt Goldsmith
The opening round for the Under 19s saw a variety of results, including some huge defeats and close calls. Strong winds created a challenge for goal kickers and the uncomfortable heat served as a test of pre season fitness and stamina.
St Pauls were ready from the get-go to prove themselves as a force to be reckoned with this season, as they broke away from Bentleigh early in the game. Keeping their opponents to just six points at half time, Bentleigh needed to respond immediately to remain a chance -but a five goal response in the last half was simply not enough against the promising St Pauls.
With a consistent scoring effort every quarter, Bentleigh were able to steamroll to victory, with Ryan Kreymborg, Josh Bull, Dylan Bone and Terry Zisimopoulos leading the way. The strong winds proved to be no concern for Kreymborg, who managed to boot six goals.
In a Grand Final replay, last year’s premiers showed no sign of slowing down in 2017. In another large defeat of the round, St Kilda City piled on the pressure and goals from the start, leaving Hampton stunned and trailing the whole way. The third quarter was where St Kilda inflicted the most damage, leaving Hampton scoreless.
St Kilda’s Ayang Nyanjok had a day out with an impressive six goals, being named best on ground amongst Matt McNaughton and Jye Sujaini, all leading St Kilda to surge to a promising start of the season.
A thrilling match saw these two teams unexpectedly battling it out to the end. The new Parkmore/Springvale Districts were slow off the mark and Oakleigh took full advantage, boasting a seven goal lead at half time. Putting only four points on the scoreboard by half time, the boys from Parkmore/Springvale Districts needed some inspiration, as the margin threatened to become out of control.
After having time to reflect at the half way mark, Parkmore/Springvale Districts managed to muster a remarkable third quarter comeback, leaving the unexpected Oakleigh stunned as they booted six unanswered goals.
Despite being within one point going into the last term, the turn around was just not enough for the Parkmore/Springvale side, and Oakleigh were able to just hang on -prevailing by 11 points.
In one of the most exciting games of the round, Skye left it to the last quarter to come storming home. Skye had a quiet first quarter, not managing to score against Hallam’s 25-point lead. In what was a solid first three quarters for Hallam, it looked unlikely they would slow down.
However, Skye’s persistence and determination proved key to their victory, kicking 3.4 in the last quarter to Hallam’s 0.3 and taking the cake by three points. Erem Vaipo, Craig Dawson and Jake Dunkley were among the best for the winning side.
Cheltenham kept Dingley quiet to two points in the first quarter, getting off to a solid start. However, roles were reversed in the second quarter, seeing Cheltenham scoreless and Dingley up by 12 after kicking 3.8.
Cheltenham reacted in the third term, but struggled to keep in reaching distance as Dingley proved strong and consistent throughout the remainder of the game. New talent from Dingley’s Under 17s 2016 premiership side lead the way to victory, with Luke McLellan, Trong Nguyen, Luke Melnjak and Stefan Lamble. Mason Goldin was impressive with four goals, and Loch O’Halloran was also named among the best on ground.