Round 11 Wrap-Ups
DIVISION 1 with JASON BARBIN
Round 11 saw some big results that have reshaped the bottom half of the ladder.
Cheltenham kept their finals hopes alive with a resounding performance against East Malvern. The Rosellas were dominant from the opening bounce as they recorded an 81 point win to move them into 6th on the ladder with percentage keeping them out of the five at this stage. Chris Neophitou was best on ground with 5 goals.
East Brighton continued their hot form giving St Pauls their first defeat of the season in a tight game at MacKinnon Reserve. The Vampires trailed at all three breaks but came out in the last restricting the Doggies to just 2 behinds. Though the Vampires failed to capitalise on their second half chances kicking 2.9, their backline was outstanding. Key defenders Nathan Stewart and Liam Bowman were among the best on the ground while Kenton Hall was the best for the Doggies.
Dingley scored their biggest win of the season defeating a disappointing Heatherton by a big margin at Souter Oval. The Dingoes kept the Tonners goalless for 4 quarters in the effort which saw them have 12 different goal kickers. Phil Ball and Andrew Frost led the way for the Dingoes with 6 goals apiece.
Chelsea Heights became the 2nd team to reach 10 wins for the season with a comfortable win over Highett on the weekend. The Heighters were never troubled as a solid team performance got them over the line. Six different players bagged 2 goals for the Heighters, who are now only percentage away from top spot.
St Kilda City climbed back in the top 5 with their 3rd straight win. The Saints came back from 16 points down at half time against Clayton who couldn’t stop the Saints momentum in the second half, giving up 12 goals and only kicking 4 goals themselves. Simon Hislop was among the best for the Sainters with 4 goals.
DIVISION 2 with THE FOOTY TRAGIC
Well there are seven rounds until the finals and Division 2 is wide open. Mordialloc and Oakleigh District share the top two positions, split only by percentage. The other three top five players (Bentleigh, Springvale Districts and Murrumbeena) are one win behind the top 2 and one win ahead of 6th placed Skye. Any of these teams falter and Skye win, Skye can jump to 3rd with a far superior percentage. Bentleigh seem safe for the moment, but now that Springvale Districts has joined Murrumbeena in a vulnerable position, they have to keep winning to stay in.
The first game on the fixture last week saw Caulfield travel to Mordialloc to try and cause an upset, like they did against Oakleigh District earlier in the season. Unfortunately for Caulfield, Mordialloc had answers to every challenge and then some. Another day at the office for Mordi, whilst the Bears return home to lick their wounds.
Bentleigh played host to Murrumbeena in a crunch game for Murrumbeena. A loss here would have put them out of the 5, and their form so far this season had been inconsistent and I for one thought Bentleigh would do the job. Murrumbeena had other ideas and proved me wrong again! Murrumbeena were thrashed in Round 2 by Bentleigh at Murrumbeena, but this time they led at every change as they went from strength to strength. Bentleigh won’t be happy this week but I’m sure they’ll bounce back quickly.
Not much to say about South Yarra v Skye except it went as expected. Skye now has a very attractive percentage and if they keep winning they will make the finals, although that can be easier said than done! South Yarra’s job gets harder each week and they almost need a miracle to stay in Division 2 next year.
I tipped Springvale Districts to avenge their Round 2 defeat by Oakleigh District and win by 15 points. Oakleigh obviously had other plans and won by just over 9 goals, placing Springvale Districts’ finals chances up in the air as they now sit only one win away from 6th and a poor percentage compared to Skye, who are poised to pounce at the first opportunity.
The final game saw Moorabbin and Hampton play out a thriller. Moorabbin held sway by 9 points at half time, but Hampton rallied in the 3rd quarter to lead at 3/4 time by almost 3 goals, only to see the Kangas come home with a wet sail and run out 7 point winners at the end of the day. Both these teams have an outside chance at finals but both have poor percentage and cannot afford to lose any more games; if they do their outside chance will become almost impossible.
DIVISION 3 with GOOD WILL HUNTER
In one of the best games of the season, Black Rock pulled off a stunning upset over Dandenong at McDonald Reserve. The Jets had the Redlegs rattled with five unanswered goals in the opening term, and had stretched their lead to 47 points by the final change. Dandenong then staged a barn-storming comeback, booting the last seven goals of the match. But it wasn’t enough; Black Rock held their nerve and claimed a narrow two-point triumph.
Sandown kept its finals hopes alive after overwhelming Lyndale at Barry Powell Reserve. The Cobras held a two-goal buffer at the long break, but the home side fought back to level the scores by the final change. Sandown managed to gain the ascendancy in the last quarter, and although they were wasteful in front of goal, their 3.10 was enough to propel them to a 16-point win. Their victory further underlined my inability to tip the winner of Sandown matches.
Carrum Patterson Lakes’ stellar debut season continued with a come-from-behind 12-point win over Mount Waverley at Roy Dore Reserve. The visitors started positively, opening up a handy buffer by quarter time. The Lions slowly chipped away at the lead before kicking four goals to one in the final term to take the chocolates.
Hallam fought hard, but couldn’t get the job done over Ashwood at Essex Heights Reserve. The gallant Hawks took the fight right up to Ashwood in the first half and the two sides couldn’t be split on the scoreboard at the main interval. But Hallam was left to rue its inaccuracy as the Magpies kicked away after half time to win by 21 points.
The final game was as one-sided as you can get, with Doveton giving the struggling Endeavour Hills a monumental 131-point thrashing at Power Reserve. It was all one-way traffic as the ruthless Eagles conceded just two goals for the first three quarters and cruised to an easy win.
UNDER 19s with GOOD WILL HUNTER
Bentleigh strengthened its premiership credentials with a hard-fought 28-point triumph over fellow contender Murrumbeena at Bentleigh Reserve. After a tight first half, the Demons flexed its muscle in the third term before snuffing out a Beena resurgence. James Watts starred for the winners, while the Turkington boys – Harley and Dechlan – were both among Beena’s best.
At McKinnon reserve, St Pauls solidified its spot in the five with a gritty win over Hampton. The Hammers put up a huge fight for the first three quarters before the Doggies showed its class and pulled away in the final term. Six goals from Shooting Star nominee Connor Wilson helped St Pauls over the line, while James Hickey was a solid contributor for the Hammers.
Down at Roy Dore Reserve, Chelsea Heights’ first half dominance was enough to see it home over Carrum Patterson Lakes. Although Jackson Fry proved the difference between the two sides with nine goals for the Heighters, CPL earned a lot of respect for their fight in the second half, with Alex Bollen again one of their best.
The last game saw Skye cruise to an easy win over Clayton at Meade Reserve. The Bombers had too much class in all areas, with a bag of five goals earning Luke Bailey-Kohne best on ground honours. Big Jack Gavin was a solid competitor for the Magpies in his best game of the year.