Oakleigh blitzed their way towards the Preliminary Finals in triumphant fashion, cutting the Dingoes’ finals series short by 62 points.
Aggressive and intimidating, Oakleigh stunned the Dingoes from the get go in this match and got off to a flying start. Immense defensive pressure forced many sloppy errors from Dingley and showed no shred of mercy following turnovers.
Simon Bonacci starred once again for his side, as they boasted a 47-point lead at half time to a shocked and scoreless Dingley.
With nothing to their name at half time, a win for the Dingoes against a dominant opponent was difficult to envision. The numbers however did not deter Dingley’s Taj Lewis, whose tenacious efforts provided a glimmer of hope as he starred for his side.
A different Dingley took to the ground in the second half, providing a new-found contest and rejuvenated hunger for the ball.
Dingley managed to outscore their Oakleigh in the final term, however it was too little too late as Oakleigh’s ability to band together from the beginning proved costly. A rewarding team effort from Oakleigh is evident in the score – two goals each from Daniel Spence, James Boyle, Chris Casset, Daniel West, Luke McCabe and Nathan Peddle.
The final result may have been different here if Dingley’s second half spirit was seen at the beginning, but a combined attack from Oakleigh’s best Simon Bonacci, Peddle and Jacob Garufi-Miles was accepting nothing short of a ticket in the ring with Hallam this week.
A fairy tale finish for Parkmore / Springvale Districts was not to be as their comeback fell short by nine points against Cheltenham.
Leading 25-4 at the first break, the Rosellas were on the front foot early with a steady beginning to the game. Despite Parkmore / Springvale being able to get their first goal on the board in the second term, this was matched by another three from Cheltenham who led by 34 points at the main break.
With best on ground Luke Whalebone and Matthew Beaumont in fine form, and a considerable lead under their belt at half time, Cheltenham looked comfortable for a big win as Parkmore / Springvale remained quiet. However, and to Cheltenham’s dismay, their opponents had one last show up their sleeve.
A remarkable 6.4 effort to Cheltenham’s 5.2 in a high scoring third term saw a huge momentum shift towards an unlikely Parkmore / Springvale. Led by best on ground Lochie Grant and Robert Lega Frost (who booted four goals), a Semi Final comeback was on the cards.
A surging Parkmore / Springvale showed no signs of slowing down against a stunned Cheltenham in the final term, as they made their final endeavour toward a Preliminary Finals seat. Despite again outscoring their opponents, this time 5.2 to 2.2, it was hard work from the Rosellas throughout the games entirety that saved them from a shock upset, as Parkmore / Springvale went down following an honourable effort.
Tom Davis was unstoppable for Cheltenham with five goals to his name, alongside Anthony Malamas who kicked four.