By Will Hunter
Bentleigh has all but secured fourth spot on the Division 1 ladder after outclassing East Malvern by six goals at the Zoo.
With close to its best side out on the park, the visitors took the lead early with four goals in the first quarter and never relinquished it.
East Malvern’s work around the contest for most of the day was exemplary, as they won the clearances and inside 50 statistics for the match, but their inability to convert scoring opportunities proved to be their undoing. They managed just 3.9 in the first half and trailed the Demons by 11 points, despite having four more scoring shots.
The visitors then broke the game open in the premiership quarter with four unanswered goals to build a match-winning 35-point lead by the final change.
Matty Troutbeck was super impressive up forward, clunking several big marks and finishing with four goals. He now has nine majors in the last fortnight since his return from injury.
Veteran Scott Lawry was also outstanding in his first game since Round 14, Jackson Meredith and Michael Rogers both had plenty of the ball and the McGarry boys – Sam and Josh – were valuable contributors around the ground.
For the Panthers, Ryan Mullett again displayed his class, winning plenty of clearances, while Jimmy Dowling and Dean Millhouse also shone.
Mordialloc has held off a dogged Oakleigh District by two points in a thriller at Ben Kavanagh Reserve.
The Bloods got the early jump, racing to an 18-point lead at the first change, but the Districts refused to lay down and set about reducing the deficit. They got the game back on their terms and by three quarter time held a six-point break in a tight and low-scoring affair.
Two consecutive goals to the home side saw them reclaim the lead in the final term, and they held on to an eight-point lead as it ticked over into time on. But with two minutes remaining in the match, Dave Velardo bobbed up with a goal to bring the margin back to just two points, breathing new life into the contest.
Mordialloc then bottled the ball up, forcing several stoppages and holding on for a nail-biting victory.
Todd Bastion was instrumental for the Bloods with his work in the trenches, while Tom McMahon and Aaron Kneebone also stood out. James Morris topped the goalkickers list with three majors.
For the Oaks, it was their big guns in Paul Fermanis, Jake Mullen and Ryan Pearson leading the way.
The Rosellas have kept alive its slim finals chances with a comfortable 41-point victory over St Kilda City at Jack Barker Oval.
Little separated the two sides in a tight first half, with the hosts taking a slender two-point lead into the sheds. But following the resumption, Chelt stamped its authority on the game, piling on seven goals in the third term to blow the Saints away.
Jack Barclay and Dan Harrison led the way for the winners, with Sean McLaren and Ange Soldatos each booting two goals to cap off their great work.
The Saints were well served by Tom Looi and Troy Parker.
The Dingoes have one hand on this year’s minor premiership following a ruthless 204-point demolition of Clayton at Meade Reserve.
The winless Clays were industrious early, booting three of the first seven goals of the match to stay within nine points of the two-time defending premiers at the 22-minute marks of the first term. But few would have predicted the onslaught that was to follow as Dingley piled on the next 30 goals in succession.
Calhan McQueen was the star of the show, finishing with a 10-goal haul, while Kane Davidson and Dan Farmer booted five each. Chris Horton-Milne and Jackson Peet also had heaps of the footy.
Matt Wilson was again his side’s best on what was a dark day for the Clays.
Eight goals from spearhead Steve Muller has guided St Pauls to a massive 97-point demolition of the Port Colts at the Kennel.
It was a clinical performance from the Doggies, who led by 50 points at half time and never took their foot off the Colts’ jugular, and ensures they will enter next week’s blockbuster against Dingley with a full head of steam.
While Muller took the spotlight with his forward line heroics, Matt Brown (three goals), Ashley Munday and Nick Halliday were also influential in the result.
Lewis Mildenhall and Max Mitchell-Russell were Port’s best.
By Jason Barbin
The top five has officially been set for Division 2 in the Southern Football Netball League with Murrumbeena’s win against East Brighton, but one club in the top five will be a man down come September, with a season ending injury to a key player.
A final quarter comeback from Murrumbeena has secured its spot inside the top five, following its 14-point victory against East Brighton, which ended its finals run.
The Beena trailed by 10 points going into the final term, but piled on five goals to just one to secure the win and move into fourth spot.
Jake Semmel was a star through the midfield for the victors, named best on ground alongside Rory Cahalane while Alaster Bradley kicked three goals.
Murrumbeena was on top throughout the first half in a close matchup, booting five goals to East Brighton’s four to lead by just six points at the main break.
The Vampires broke away during the third term, finding four goals to two from the Beena, creating a 10-point advantage, but Murrumbeena overran them in the last, kicking four goals to one to secure the win.
The clash between Keysborough and Skye was called off after the Bombers’ Matt Haverfield suffered a broken leg late in the first quarter.
Because the match was called off before half time, both sides were rewarded with two points regardless of the score line.
The Heighters capped off their minor premiership with a big 100-point win against Heatherton in their final match of the home and away season.
Matt Baxter booted five goals, while James Robertson, Lachie Dobson and Phil Matheson each booted three in the win, joining gun Nathan Herrington among the best.
Chelsea Heights was in control of the match right from the outset, booting eight goals in the first half to set up a 32-point half time advantage.
The Heighters were even more lethal in the second half, piling on another 12 goals from 21 scoring shots to two goals, setting up the triple figure margin.
Reagan Maddaford and Jesse Stone (two goals) were the Tonners’ best.
A strong second half from Hampton has lifted it to a win against Springvale Districts on the road, a nine-point result in an entertaining clash.
The Hammers trailed by nine points at half time, after the Districts booted four goals to two, but fought back in the second half, mainly the last to secure the win.
Both sides finished with three goals in the third quarter, with the margin remaining at nine points, but Hampton hit the scoreboard in the last, kicking four goals to one in reply, to win by nine points.
Zach Allen was in good form inside 50, booting four goals for the winners while Guy Timms and David West were also impressive.
Stefan Feehan continued his good form this season with a five-goal haul and best on ground honours.
Highett ensured it would finish a disappointing season on a high note, defeating top three side and premiership aspirant Caulfield by 36 points.
The Dogs were too good across the match, holding off a Bears comeback in the third term with a five goal to one final quarter.
Bryce Pewtress, Sam Jackson and Jack Prosser each kicked two goals for Highett, while Mitch Hoar was named best on ground.
After trailing by one points at quarter time, the Dogs sparked into action in the second, booting four goals to lead by 25 at half time.
The Bears came back in the third, reducing the margin down to 12 points, but Highett surged further ahead in the last to win by 36.
Harris Lanyon and Jake Benoiton were named Caulfield’s best in the loss.
By Andrew Paloczi
The home and away season finished with a match fit for a final.
Endeavour Hills earned a double chance with a crucial win over Ashwood.
It was an enthralling contest.
With the Falcons clinging to a seven-point lead at three quarter time and preparing to kick into a challenging wind, coach Rob Dipper urged his side to control the tempo in the final term.
His players were able to put Dipper’s strategy into effect with prudent and accurate passing and impressive teamwork. They refused to be rushed, but just as importantly continued to play in a positive fashion.
Nathan Crutchley inspired Endeavour Hills, working tirelessly in the ruck and around the ground throughout the game. He was his side’s best, but had plenty of support.
Jake Van Hoesel’s nickname of ‘Priddis’ likely stems from the similarity of his hair to West Coast Eagles’ Brownlow star. However, he lived up to the association with an inspirational performance.
Shaun Richards was another excellent contributor to the Falcons’ 16-point win, showing composure in the backline and also having an impact in other parts of the ground.
But as Dipper suggested, it was no easy task to select the best players given he had so many eager contributors.
For the beaten Magpies, Gav Mahony was a standout.
He regularly cleared the ball from the backline, and was crucial in keeping his side in the hunt.
Ashwood undoubtedly missed the presence of backline general Matt Maginnes, who didn’t play.
Doveton dominated from the outset, crushing Sandown by 206 points at Edinburgh Reserve.
Russell Robertson booted 11 of the Eagles’ goals, but was only listed as his side’s fifth best player.
Teammate Nick Bark was best afield and kicked a couple of goals.
Unfortunately for Doveton, Endeavour Hills’ win consigned it to fourth place and an elimination final.
South Yarra’s season ended with an emphatic 61-point home win over Lyndhurst.
The Yarras took charge early and never let up, with Kieron Finlayson (six goals) again their best.
Black Rock’s victory over CPL ensured there would be no finals appearance for South Yarra.
It will be a long off-season for the Yarras who were confident of building on last year’s elimination final appearance.
As for Lightning, it finished eighth, as was the case last season, but managed one more win this year.
Black Rock secured a spot in the finals with a 46-point victory over CPL.
The Lions offered resistance early, leading by a goal at the first change, but the Jets opened up an 18-point advantage by the main break.
They maintained control in the second half.
Brenton Rafferty was the winner’s best and steered through six goals.
There was no hint of home-ground-advantage as Dandenong found itself on the receiving end of a footy lesson from Hallam.
The Hawks won by 132 points, keeping Dandenong to a dismal one behind for the day.
It was a stark illustration of the gap that exists between the division’s top and bottom sides.
Rob Mackay finished with five goals for the triumphant Hawks, whilst Matija Sigeti was their best player.
The biggest margin separating Moorabbin and Lyndale at any break was the Pumas’ nine-point three quarter time lead.
James Parker and Dylan Bone finished the match with four goals each for the Kangaroos, but it wasn’t quite enough to edge out Lyndale.
The Pumas were fortunate to win after an inaccurate second half in which they managed just three goals from 16 scoring shots.
Jayden Malek was their best player, helping them to a five-point victory.
Lyndale finished seventh on the ladder, but was four wins short of a finals place.
By Britt Goldsmith
A thrilling final quarter comeback saw Oakleigh District snatch a win from Endeavour Hills, getting over the line by just one point in a jubilant home performance.
Endeavour Hills led Oakleigh by three, eight, and five points respectively at each break, and a repeat of the first three terms would have ensured a win on the board for the visitors.
However, the home side were in no mood to let this game slip away at three-quarter time. A shift in momentum, led by Oakleigh’s Regan Peddle and Simon Bonacci, saw Endeavour Hills’ hard work throughout the match come undone, falling agonisingly short by the barest of margins after being outscored by six points in the final term. (1.6 to 1.0)
Scott Myers was best for Endeavour Hills in a highlight performance, including two goals.
St Pauls knocked over Skye at McKinnon Reserve, getting up by 23 points in what turned out to be a relatively comfortable win.
Both sides got off to a slow start, with St Pauls leading Skye four points to zero heading into the first break. It was at quarter time where St Pauls began to kick start their game, booting 3.2 to Skye’s 2.3 and holding an 11-point lead at the main break.
St Pauls began to break away from their opponents in the third quarter, leading by 21 points going into the final term.
Despite a hopeful scoring effort from Skye in the final term (3.0), it was not enough to match St Pauls (4.2), whose ability to remain consistent throughout the game’s entirety earned them their feat.
Sean Herbstreit was a stand out for the winning side, and Benjamin Schweigert was influential in the forward line with four goals. Mark Ingmire was best for Skye, next to teammate Craig Dawson.
Hampton were unable to back up their efforts from Round 16 as they took on Parkmore / Springvale, going down by 58 points in a goalless game at the Springvale Reserve.
Despite the best efforts of Sean Butler and Jack Reed, Hampton were no match to a dominant Parkmore / Springvale, whose excellent defence kept the Hammers to a score of just one point in each quarter.
Steven Abouri led the charge for Parkmore / Springvale, and teammate Jordan Waite was notable with three goals to his name.
A reinvigorated Dingley have emerged in the competition after their unlikely defeat over Hallam at home.
Dingley, who have struggled against top sides in previous rounds, trailed by 13 points at the first break. In the second term, they were able to level scores and match Hallam to 21 points apiece at half time.
Anthony Basile starred for the home side, who in the third quarter outscored Hallam by one goal. Inaccuracy in front of goal in the final term (1.7) prohibited what could have been a comeback win for Hallam, as Dingley managed to hold on and take the result by seven points, in a positive note heading into finals.
Remmi Faulkner-Wood kicked three for the winners, and Taj Lewis was also a highlight amongst Basile.
Cheltenham are charging towards their finals pursuit, toppling over top side St Kilda City by 35 points.
Cheltenham were ready from the get-go as the underdog in this match, jump starting the game with 5.1 to City’s 2.0 heading into the first break. After this initial blow, City just couldn’t keep up as an impressive Cheltenham preceded to run over their opponents, improving on their score consistently with each break.
A solid indicator of Cheltenham’s dominance come finals, this result will send City back to the drawing board, as the pair remain likely to cross paths again in September.