ROUND 1 REVIEW
Dingley 12.15-87 def East Brighton 0.0-0
Dingley gave East Brighton a tough welcome to the competition, trampling over the visitors by 87 points in a promising home performance.
Dingley’s score line was a credit considering Saturday’s horrendous conditions, with towering forward Jack Farrington (Under 17s 2017) showing the new comers no mercy and booting five goals in a simultaneous best on ground performance and Under 19s debut.
Despite great efforts from East Brighton’s Liam Reidy and Myles Chamaa, the team struggled from the get-go with Dingley’s dominance overall proving too strong for their opponents.
Farrington and Brody Stainer were Dingley’s best, with four of their six best players also junior pickups from 2017.
St Kilda City 7.16-58 def Keysborough 1.2-8
2017 minor premiers St Kilda City took their first step towards Grand Final redemption as they ran over a deflated Keysborough by 50 points.
Inaccuracies early on left City with only a 0.5- 0.0 lead going into the second term, but the visitors were able to gradually build on the damage, including two goals apiece from Oliver Woods and Matthew McNaughton.
City’s trademark defensive pressure made it impossible for Keysborough to make a move in this match, keeping them to just two points until Alex Tisi managed to boot their first and only goal of the game in the final term.
Zachary O’Farrell was a stand out in what was a rough start to 2017 for the competition’s debutants, and James Van-Minnen was impressive for the victors.
Parkmore / Springvale Districts 5.15-45 def Oakleigh District 5.3-33
Parkmore / Springvale knocked off last year’s champions Oakleigh District in a stunning first round feat, stealing the four points in a highly competitive clash.
2017 Leader Shooting Star recipient Robert Lega-Frost was up to his usual tricks with a solid start to his year, including a best on ground display and three goals to his name as Parkmore / Springvale shocked the previous premiers.
Oakleigh led in the first term, restricting the home side to just two points, but a turnaround for Parkmore / Springvale was sure to follow when they answered back with a score of 2.4 to 1.0 in the second term.
A solid hit out between both sides continued well into the third term, with Oakleigh’s Zion Nelthropp starring as his side managed to hold on to an eight-point advantage approaching the final term.
However, Parkmore / Springvale began to capitalise when Oakleigh were unable to retain their form for the game’s remainder, keeping their opponents to no score and piling on a score of 2.8 – with inaccuracies preventing what could have been a significantly larger feat.
Oakleigh’s absence of last year’s premiership players was notable, with last year’s equal fifth Best and Fairest Liam McCabe taking the step up to seniors along with Simon Bonacci and Christopher Casset.
Lega-Frost and Dylan Hettiarachchi starred for the unsuspecting Parkmore / Spingvale, and Yianni Billias was a force to be reckoned with at Oakleigh’s scoring end with a four-goal haul.
Bentleigh 8.8-56 def Hampton 3.5-23
Bentleigh starred at home in convincing style over Hampton, taking the cake by 33 points in a positive start to their 2018 season.
Kicking with the aid of the breeze, the Demons booted 4.5 to 0.0 in the opening term to race to an early lead, before Hampton hit back with the only two goals of the second to get within 14 points at the long change.
The home side stretched their lead in the third with another four unanswered goals, and although the Hammers held them goalless in the final term, it was enough to ensure they took the four points.
Hugo Ferdinand was Bentleigh’s best with two goals and a best on ground effort, alongside Jackson Byrnes and Patrick Franklin. Jack Reed was a highlight for Hampton.
Endeavour Hills 8.10-58 def Cheltenham / St Pauls 6.10-46
Endeavour Hills secured their first four points of 2018 in a narrow victory over the newly formed Cheltenham / St Pauls.
The home side bounced to a promising start, kicking 5.2 to Cheltenham / St Pauls’ 2.1-13 and leading by 19 points approaching the first break.
However, Ashley Becker and Anthony Malamas (Under 19’s Best and Fairest recipient) led a charge for the visitors in the second term, with Cheltenham / St Pauls biting back in a 20-point turnaround, leaving Endeavour Hills scoreless.
With one point dividing the sides at the main break, the game was anyone’s for the taking, and Endeavour Hills took the chance with two hands.
Harrison Malone was a clear standout for Endeavour Hills, as they proceeded to stack on 3.5 to Cheltenham / St Pauls’ 0.5 in the third term – proving to be irreversible damage despite an honourable last quarter comeback by Cheltenham / St Pauls (1.4 to 0.3).