Division 1 - Round 18 Review
With Good Will Hunter
With most positions on the ladder already locked in, a couple of Round 18 matches effectively became dead rubbers. However, with several bottom-five sides keen to finish their year on a positive note, we again saw some unexpected results.
East Brighton consolidated second spot on the ladder with a comfortable 51-point victory over Mordialloc at Ben Kavanagh Reserve. The Bloods dictated the play in the first term, and two late goals saw them lead at the first change. But the Vampires had the game played on their terms in the second, and took control of the match with their dominance around the stoppages. As the game opened up in the second half the visitors were able to streak away with it, with Phil smith kicking five goals. Giant Vampire Hamish Dahl was named best afield after a dominant performance in the ruck, while Bloods duo James Morris and Matt Ravenall were solid in attack despite limited opportunities.
Meanwhile Dingley's 10-goal win over East Malvern at Souter Oval saw them claim their second consecutive Division 1 minor premiership. The Dingoes were again red-hot from the outset, slamming home seven goals in a blistering opening quarter that set the tone for the rest of the afternoon. Ruckman Steve Gaertner was sublime for the winners with three goals, while Calhan McQueen booted five. Gaertner's opposing ruckman Matt Terech was again named the Panthers' best.
Cheltenham ended its 10-game losing streak in impressive style with a hard-earned eight-point win over Clayton. The Clays led for the entire first half before the Rosellas booted six of the first seven goals after the long break to regain control of the contest. Three final-term majors to Pat Nicholls (four for the match) were crucial in getting the home side over the line while Andy Dewar was also influential. Gaby Irons and dean Scanlon both starred for the Clays.
St Pauls claimed the bragging rights in the local derby after defeating Bentleigh by 27 points at Bentleigh Reserve. The Dogs were slow out of the blocks, allowing the home side to hold an advantage for much of the first half. But with Liam Wilson finding plenty of the ball and Nick Halliday dominant in the ruck, St Pauls banged on six goals in the premiership quarter to gain the ascendancy. Another five majors in the final term saw off the Demons, who were well served by Scott Lawry and Sam McGarry.
The final match of the round saw wooden-spooner Chelsea Heights upset St Kilda City by 41 points at Beazley Reserve in Phil Matheson’s 150th game. The sides could not be split as they entered the sheds for the main break, but a stunning third term that netted eight goals had the Heighters well on their way to their second victory of the year. Michael Shaw and Bryce Atherton were outstanding for Chelsea Heights, who end their difficult season on a positive note. Aaron Green was the Saints’ best.
Division 2 - Round 18 Review
With Jason Barbin
The 2015 Southern Football Netball League Division 2 home and away season is over and the top five is set for what will be a ripping finals series.
Centre-half-forward Anthony Ekberg Weiss kicked four goals in a stunning best on ground performance for Murrumbeena as it toppled Doveton by 106 points. The Beena never looked in doubt as they displayed offensive firepower in the win that saw them kick 13 goals in the second half. It was a disappointing end of the season for Doveton which will see it drop back down to Division 3. For Murrumbeena the stage is set for a Semi Finals match-up with Keysborough.
Caulfield sealed its place in the top five with an upset four-goal win over Oakleigh District. Adam Connell bagged five majors while Corey Barter was best on ground for the Bears as they broke away to a 15-point half time lead that was never relinquished. It was a must-win game for Caulfield while Oakleigh remains the minor premier despite the loss and will have the week off in the first week of finals.
Keysborough has ensured that it will go into its first finals campaign in winning form after a comfortable 36-point victory over Heatherton. The Tonners had the better of their opponents for the majority of the first half but the class of Keysborough shone through in the second half as they were able to retake the lead and break away for the win. Mathew Collett kicked five goals for the winners while Ryan Goodes was best on ground.
Hampton will miss out on the finals despite defeating Springvale Districts by 16 points away from home. The Hammers were well served by Scott Fiora with four goals while Matt Digby put in a best on ground performance. Hampton trailed by a point at half time but grinded out a victory in the second half thanks to some quality work around goals by Fiora. While Hampton will be disappointed about not making finals, it was able to finish the season on a good note.
Highett will finish 2015 on a high after an upset 12 point win over Skye in its final home game of the year. Yianni Pasialis booted four majors for the winners while Ary Friedman and Tom Brown were excellent around the ground as the Dogs had to overcome a stingy comeback from the Bombers in the third quarter to prevail with four final term goals to two to seal the victory. Skye remains in fourth spot despite the loss.
Division 3 - Qualifying/Elimination Final Review
With Andrew Paloczi
Qualifying Final (Mount Waverley vs Moorabbin)
In Saturday’s Qualifying Final, Mount Waverley was in ominous form and imposed itself on a determined, but outclassed Moorabbin. The Mountain Lions displayed their premiership credentials in a breathtaking 63-point victory. They marked strongly throughout the match and subjected Moorabbin to sustained pressure all over the ground.
Such was the dominance of Mount Waverley, it had 23 more scoring shots than its opponent. Were it not for Moorabbin's impressive accuracy, the margin would have been far greater. The Kangaroos registered a solitary behind for the day to go with their 11 goals.
The return of ruckman Liep Kuel enabled the Kangaroos to get plenty of hitouts, but they were unable to take advantage of these as Mount Waverley dominated play for most of the day.
The third quarter proved decisive as the Mountain Lions turned a convincing 22-point half time lead into a daunting 45-point buffer at the last change.
Moorabbin enjoyed some early success, but a Luke Galle goal put the Mountain Lions in front close to time on in the first term.
They never surrendered the lead. Galle continued to menace the Kangaroos’ backmen and finished with five majors. He had abundant support, with 11 teammates kicking at least one goal each.
Mount Waverley’s Jarrod Wilkin was named the winner’s best player.
Matthew Johansson is a crucial part of the Moorabbin side and although he returned from injury for this match and kicked a couple of early goals, he struggled as the game progressed. He spent the last quarter on the sidelines.
The Kangaroos have a chance to bounce back against Ashwood in Sunday’s Semi Final.
Mount Waverley moves on to the challenge of playing minor premier Black Rock for a spot in the Grand Final.
Elimination Final (Carrum Patterson Lakes vs Ashwood)
Ashwood played passionate, committed team football to dispatch Carrum Patterson Lakes from the finals. The Magpies won by 38 points, but the margin flattered the Lions who were comprehensively outplayed all over the ground for most of the match.
From the opening bounce Ashwood was switched on, although it took seven minutes to produce the game’s first goal. This came from the boot of Jeremy Nelson after he marked Jake Chapman’s pass.
It was surprising that when the quarter time siren sounded Ashwood had not added another goal. Despite looking the better team, it was six points down at the first break.
The Magpies didn’t allow missed opportunities to rattle them and led by 16 points after Nelson drilled another goal from a set shot after the half time siren. Earlier in the second term, Chapman produced a dazzling goal on the run.
Any thoughts that CPL would be able to lift its intensity after the long break were quickly dispelled as Ashwood scored a couple of quick goals. The Lions gave their supporters a glimmer of hope with the next two majors. However, by the end of the third term the margin was 27 points in favour of the Magpies.
The Lions gathered in a tight bunch around coach Omar Ak at the three quarter time huddle. They managed the first goal of the final term through Steve Cormack, but Ashwood kicked the next three to stamp its authority on the game.
Chapman was superb all day and was selected as the player of the day by the radio commentary team. His teammate, Matt Maginnes marked strongly and cleared the ball impressively from half back. Ruckman Matthew Menzies also impressed, as did Jason Toan. But it was a committed team effort from all the Magpies.
Trevor March was a bright beacon on a disappointing day for CPL, adding four of the team’s nine goals.
The Lions were no doubt bitterly disappointed in their performance, but Ashwood deserves credit for delivering a lesson on the right way to play finals football. The Magpies have thrown their hat into the ring, showing they are right in the premiership race.