By Will Hunter
The Rosellas’ worrying form slump has continued, this time belted by the resurgent Bentleigh to the tune of 71 points at Arthur Street.
Cheltenham were right in the contest in the first half and trailed by just 13 points at the long break, but the Demons took control of the midfield in the third term and never looked back.
Bentleigh then put an exclamation mark on the result with a barnstorming final term, slamming on eight unanswered goals to blow the lacklustre Rosellas out of the water.
Tom Massey booted four goals in a dazzling best afield display, with Ben Cooper (three goals) also having an impact on the scoreboard.
Barama Blow and Josh McGarry were also influential contributors.
James North and Mitch La Fontaine stood out on what was another dirty day for Cheltenham.
Nine goals from Nathan Henley has guided East Malvern to a comprehensive 124-point drubbing of Clayton at the Zoo.
The Panthers were in control from the outset, and by the major break their lead was out to an insurmountable 65 points.
However, Clayton refused to roll over and booted four goals in the third quarter to give their fans something to cheer about.
Henley will likely earn the three votes for his dominant best on ground performance, while Ryan Mullett, Jimmy Dowling and Simon Taylor were also outstanding.
Gary Barton and Matt Wilson were the Clays’ best.
Mordialloc has cruised to a comfortable victory over Port Colts at JL Murphy Reserve to consolidate its position at the head of the Division 1 ladder.
The two sides were separated by just three points after a tense opening term arm-wrestle, but the visitors put their foot down in the second, booting nine goals to enter the sheds 53 points to the good.
The Colts, however, set about making immediate inroads into the deficit upon the resumption, and booted four goals in quick succession to send a scare through the Mordi camp. They finished with five for the term, which saw the margin reduced to 30 points at the final change.
But that was a close as the Colts would get, with an eight-goal final term seeing Mordialloc home by a whopping 79 points.
Big Steve Tolongs had a day out for the winners, booting six goals, while James Pither excelled in the absence of first-choice ruckman Tom McMahon. Dean Miller and Jordan Derbyshire also impressed.
The Colts, meanwhile, were well served by Lewis Mildenhall, Jayme Lawson and Max Mitchell-Russell, who finished with three goals.
The Dogs have maintained their winning run and hold on second spot with a 17-point triumph over Oakleigh District at Princes Highway Reserve.
St Pauls started positively and controlled much of the play in the first half, but were let down by early inaccuracy, which limited their half time lead to just 24 points. The Dogs straighten up after half time, adding 4.2 in the third quarter to extend their lead to a match-winning 36 points.
However, the Districts rallied in the final term, booting four goals to St Pauls’ one, but it wasn’t enough to pinch an unlikely come-from-behind win.
Dogs playmaker Matt Kreymborg was dominant around the ground all afternoon, while Will Clark and Alex Spencer worked hard in defence. Spearhead Steve Muller continued his good form in front of the sticks, bagging five goals.
Paul Fermanis booted four goals for the Oaks to be named their best, while Cory Hutchinson and Daniel Spence were similarly industrious.
The Dingoes celebrated veteran defender Andrew Frost’s birthday and 200 game milestone in style with an emphatic 77-point win over St Kilda City at the Den.
The final margin perhaps wasn’t an accurate reflection of the tightness of the match, with the Saints right in the contest for the first three quarters. City trailed by just 21 points at the final change before capitulating in the final term, which allowed the Dingoes to pile on nine unanswered goals in a blistering quarter of football.
Cal McQueen was again in the thick of the action, finishing with his third six-goal haul in four weeks. Troy MacKenzie again starred in the ruck, while Marcus Freeman, Danny Ades and Trav La Rocca were also prolific.
Nick Perry and Jack Williams were among the best for the Saints, who now cling to fifth spot by a narrow percentage buffer.
By Jason Barbin
The Match of the Round in Division 2 lived up to expectations with Chelsea Heights holding off a fast finishing Keysborough to gain more ascendancy in the battle for the premiership, while another premiership hopeful was upset in commanding fashion.
Chelsea Heights continue to build towards the minor premiership, defeating close rival Keysborough by 13 points at Beazley Reserve.
The Heighters looked like clear winners through three quarters when they led by 25 points at the final break, but had to hold on as Keysborough mounted a comeback.
Phil Smith was the player of the day for the radio crew, doing what he does best, booting six goals while Joel Williams and Nathan Herrington were also impressive.
The first quarter was highly competitive with scores level at the first break, before Chelsea Heights kicked away with five goals to three in the second to lead by 12 points at half time.
Momentum carried for the Heighters in the third term as they increased their lead to 25 at the final change, but the Burra did their best to comeback, but their four-goal to two final quarter wasn’t enough, eventually going down by 13.
Chris Bryan kicked three goals for Keysborough while Tim Werner was named its best.
Make no mistake, this was one of Mount Waverley’s best performances of the season, upsetting premiership hopeful Skye by 49 points at home.
With both sides inaccurate at times, the Lions made the most of their opportunities when it counted, booting seven goals in each half.
Alex Mullucks now has 12 goals in two weeks after a superb seven-goal haul, subsequently giving him best on ground honours alongside club legend Jarrod Wilkin.
After an even first quarter, which had the scores locked at 17 apiece, Mount Waverley took control in the second with 4.6 to 1.5, resulting in a 25-point lead at the main break.
The lead continued to grow in the third as the Lions slammed home five goals to two, before they sealed the 49-point triumph in the last with two goals to one.
Jordan Thomas led the way for the Bombers with three goals and was best on ground with Nathan McConville.
Caulfield ensured it kept the pressure on Keysborough for a shot at top two courtesy of a comfortable 30-point win against East Brighton.
The win was secured by a seven-goal second half, although the Vampires acquitted themselves well in the last quarter with four goals.
Adam Cables was in outstanding form for the Bears, named their best on ground alongside Chris Lewis while Chris Dove booted three goals.
Caulfield started the game positively, booting three goals to one in the opening quarter to lead by 15 points, before extending its lead narrowly to 18 by half time.
The Bears pulled away in the third, slamming on four goals to one to lead by 37 points at three quarter time, before holding on to win by 30 in the last, with East Brighton kicking four goals to three.
Andrew Jansen and Adam Governi (two goals) were named the Vampires best.
Hampton moved into fifth spot on the ladder following a strong finish against Heatherton, resulting in a 40-point victory.
The Hammers were held in close check by the Tonners for much of the match, only leading by 23 points at three quarter time, before kicking five goals to two in the last.
Pat Bolger and Zach Allen combined for eight goals in the win, while Dan Guiry and Luke Hayes were named best on ground for Hampton.
Heatherton enjoyed a solid start to the game, leading by two points at quarter time with each side kicking three goals, before Hampton pulled away with three goals to one behind in the second, creating a 16-point lead.
The Hammers grinded out two more goals to one in the third to slight extend their advantage to 23 points, before putting the game away in the last, with five goals to two.
Blake Cochrane and Craig Hunter were listed as the best for the Tonners.
The Districts remain in the hunt for finals contention, moving into seventh spot on the ladder following a thrilling two-point win against the Dogs on the road.
Springvale looked down and out at three quarter time, trailing by 24 points, but charged home with four goals to zero in the last to complete the comeback.
Stefan Feehan and Matt Thompson combined for six goals in the win, while Under 19s star Robert Lega Frost and Steven Comino were named best on ground.
Springvale got off to a strong start, leading by 14 points at quarter time, courtesy of a four-goal to two effort, before Highett hit back with three goals to one in the second to lead by six points at half time.
The Dogs took advantage of the momentum in the third to kick five goals to two and extend their lead to 24 points at the final change, but switched off in the last as Springvale prevailed with 4.2 to 0 to win by two.
By Andrew Paloczi
Trevor Kumetaitis took his season tally to 45 goals, adding another six in a comfortable Lyndale win over Sandown.
The Pumas triumphed by 51 points and Kumetaitis leads the division’s goal kicking table by 11 majors.
For the second time in the last three weeks Jayden Malek was the Pumas’ best player.
Sandown can take encouragement from registering eight goals for the day, a far better return than the Cobras have managed in most games this season.
Ashwood returned to winning ways against Dandenong.
The Redlegs’ four goals all came in the third term.
Surprisingly, the Magpies lead was only 29 points at the long break, but this blew out to 77 points by game’s end.
Ashwood’s Jake Chapman displayed his class with a best on ground performance.
Dale Carroll topped the winner’s goal kicking with four.
A last quarter effort from Moorabbin added respectability to the score, after Black Rock had led by eight goals with a term to go.
The Kangaroos were beaten by 33 points, after booting five goals to two in the final stanza.
Black Rock is just a game and percentage behind fifth-placed South Yarra.
Adrian Lane, Jordan Boggie and Kristian Bliesner snagged three goals each for the Jets.
Teammate Brenton Rafferty was best afield.
With just percentage separating Doveton and South Yarra, the clash of these sides was highly anticipated.
After a tight first quarter, a dramatic development ensured the rest of the contest would be as dreary as the winter weather.
At the first break, a goal umpire reported an incident early in the quarter to the field umpires.
A red card was then issued to South Yarra’s Adam Villella for striking Eagles’ skipper Corrie Wilson.
Wilson went on to be the standout player in the match, booting four goals, and was rampant in the second quarter.
His team raced to a 35-point half time lead.
The Yarras battled hard in the third term, managing two goals to three, despite being a man short on the field.
Eventually the Eagles prevailed by 59 points.
After a close first term, Endeavour Hills emphatically dispatched CPL.
The Falcons tightened their grip on a finals spot with a 109-point win.
Daniel Morrison and Stefan Krull had a day out, booting 13 majors between them.
Fellow Falcon, Daniel Soar was best on ground.
Matt Melrose led the charge in a 139-point win for Hallam against a hapless Lyndhurst.
Ten Hawks featured on the goal kickers list, with four of them nailing four majors apiece.
By Britt Goldsmith
St Kilda City proved themselves as a force to be reckoned with in finals, knocking off Oakleigh District and sitting comfortably on top of the ladder. A confident Bentleigh claimed their second win of the season, as Doveton remain in pursuit of their first win yet.
Hallam handed St Pauls their fourth consecutive loss of the season, taking the win by 17 points at the McKinnon Reserve.
Only one point split the teams at the first break, however it was from then that Hallam were able to continually build on their lead, eventually leaving a dogged St Pauls behind.
Despite St Pauls ability to outscore their opponents in the final term, it was Hallam’s early workload that secured their win, shooting them to fourth position on the ladder.
In a bottom end clash, Bentleigh were able to claim their second win of the year, leaving Doveton to reconcile after what seemed to be an opportunity to claim their first win yet.
There was simply no stopping a rejuvenated Bentleigh outfit, who jump started the game with 27 points to one and never looked back – booting 16 goals to Doveton’s two.
Thomas Dennis was Bentleigh’s best, and Samuel Ozaydin was a highlight with nine goals to his name.
Despite having the upper hand in the first break and leading by three points, Oakleigh District were run over at home as St Kilda City stormed to victory by 32 points.
A formidable City defence were able to restrict Oakleigh to 1.3 in the second term, and went into the main break with a ten-point lead. In a high scoring third quarter, Oakleigh came out firing with a four-goal effort, but this was only to be matched by City – led by Nathan Dawson who was pivotal in the forward line.
A 4.6 scoring effort from City to 1.1 in the final term saw Oakleigh lose hope of coming out on top, despite best attempts from Brett Crane and Bayley Kay-Glover.
Jye Sujaini was the player to watch for City, followed by teammates Dhanesh Jayaselan and Febrick Addi.
Skye were hopeful early in their clash against Cheltenham, but their inability to stay consistent across all four quarters cost them as they went down by 43 points at Jack Barker Oval.
Led by best on ground Dayton Woodham, Cheltenham retaliated after a sleepy start to the match, turning a seven-point deficit at the first break into a five-point lead at half time.
Skye lost grip in the third term, kicking 1.1 to the Rosella’s 3.3, and could not hold on as Cheltenham proceeded to pile on the scoreboard for the game’s remainder – with a notable four goals from Tom Davis and three from Woodham.
Dingley handed Parkmore / Springvale Districts a third consecutive loss, with an impressive defensive effort holding their opponents to just one point up until the main break.
Trailing by 33 points, Parkmore / Springvale were able to gather themselves after the main break in a notable effort and outscoring their opponents 3.3 to 2.0. However, they were unable to back up their hard work in the final term as Dingley proceeded to run out the match by 30 points.
Luke Melnjak was a highlight for a strong Dingley outfit, followed by Taj Lewis and Anthony Inglis.