With just four points separating Cheltenham in fourth spot and Bentleigh in seventh, positions in the top five are well and truly up for grabs in round 14.
East Malvern V Chelsea Heights (Dunlop Reserve)
This game is essentially a mini-elimination final between the fifth and sixth-ranked sides in the competition, so expect a hard-fought, finals-like contest. There’s plenty at stake as a loss for either side puts a serious dent in their chances of seeing September action. The Heighters’ resounding win over the Rosellas last week was proof of its finals credentials and I reckon they might get the crucial four points here.
Cheltenham V St Pauls (Jack Barker Oval)
Just a few weeks ago Cheltenham were looking assured of a finals berth, but last week’s result now puts their spot in the five in jeopardy. Conversely, St Pauls have overcome a slow start to the year and are now building momentum very nicely. A win here over the Rosellas will all but secure them the double chance and on form you would have to think the Doggies will be too good.
Bentleigh V East Brighton (Bentleigh Reserve)
A loss for Bentleigh will be a massive body blow to their finals hopes given their sub-par percentage. They have performed reasonably well at Division One level thus far; however they are not yet up to the standard set by the top sides like East Brighton, who will win this game convincingly.
St Kilda City V Heatherton (Peanut Farm)
Given how tough a year St Kilda City is having, the Tunners will rightly see this as a very winnable game. But last week’s hard-earned win will give the young Saints some much-needed confidence and they should get the job done at home.
Dingley V Clayton (Souter Oval)
Coming off a loss for the first time this year, you would think the Dingoes will come out breathing fire. Unfortunately for Clayton, they will be no match for the flag favourites.
DIVISION 2 -ROUND 14 Preview
with Jason Barbin
With 5 rounds left, the battle for the top 5 is still raging and for some teams, it’s win or go home.
Caulfield vs Skye (Koornang Park Reserve)
Coming off an impressive win against Oakleigh District, Caulfield have shown good form over the last month. The only problem for them is that they come up against flag contender Skye who have been equally as good. This will be a good test for the Bears as they look to keep a hold on 4th spot. This is one of the games of the round. Skye by 17 points
Murrumbeena vs Hampton (Murrumbeena Park)
This is another all-important elimination game for Murrumbeena when they come up against an in form Hampton side. The scenario is the same for them as it was last week. If they lose then they can kiss their finals hopes goodbye. Hampton are in a rich vein of form after an impressive victory against Springvale and their young midfield brigade will be hungry to make the finals. Hampton by 10 points
Doveton vs Highett (Power Reserve)
Doveton are still a very slim chance at a finals berth but they need a victory against Highett if they are any hope at all. Highett have shown that they are the best final quarter team in Division 2 and if Doveton don’t put them away early, Highett will look to steamroll them in the final quarter. Don’t count Doveton out yet. Doveton by 2 points
Springvale Districts vs Mordialloc (Springvale Reserve)
Springvale are the only team to defeat Mordialloc this year but if they play like they did last week, this result will be entirely different. Springvale have proven that they can match it with the best but have lacked the consistency to do it over 4 quarters. They will have another chance to prove themselves as they fight to stay alive in the finals race. With top spot still up for grabs, don’t expect Mordialloc to take this one lying down. Game of the round. Mordialloc by 20 points
Moorabbin vs Oakleigh District (Widdop Crescent Reserve)
With the other finals contenders playing each other, this is a must win game for Oakleigh Districts. A win could see them in 3rd place on the ladder with a percentage advantage of the rest of the finals hopefuls. Moorabbin won’t make it easy for them however as they look to finish the season off strong. Might be a lot closer than people think. Oakleigh by 35 points
DIVISION 3-ROUND 15 Preview
with Andrew Paloczi
In round 15 the top two sides clash in what should be an exciting game at Roy Dore Reserve. Last time they met, Carrum Patterson Lakes looked set to knock off Mount Waverley with a five-goal lead at three quarter time, but the Mountain Lions roared into action in the last term, with eight goals to nil. On home soil CPL can win this time.
Black Rock hosts Ashwood and the Jets deserve to start favourites. However, the Magpies’ form has been impressive lately with five wins from their last six games, and they should challenge the Jets.
Lyndale is at home and takes on the bottom-placed Hallam. The Pumas start as firm favourites, but it will be interesting to see if they can regain their confidence after a disappointing loss.
Sandown has to regroup after a belting, and the Cobras will be happy to be back on their home ground. If Dandenong can put in a four-quarter effort, it may be in with a chance.
After causing an upset, South Yarra needs to maintain its momentum as it hosts the struggling Endeavour Hills.