The penultimate round of the regular season in the league's top division produced a week with a number of big wins along with a couple of surprising upsets.
Cranbourne Eagles staked their claims as a genuine premiership contender after a whopping 153 point win over the Port Melbourne Colts.
The Eagles came into this clash desperate for the four points to ensure they wrap up second spot and they certainly looked like a team on a mission with the Eagles kicking a huge 25 goals in a dominant display.
The Eagles dominated proceedings all day controlling possession and dictating the temp of the game, they had +106 disposals and 61 more marks than the Colts to reflect the dominance they displayed all afternoon.
The Eagles had 9 different goal kickers with 7 of those kicking multiple goals reflecting the team first attitude that was displayed all day. George Gray led the way in a scintillating best on ground performance booting 5 goals and racking up 25 disposals. Jake Carosella also shone with 3 goals and 28 disposals.
In another one-sided affair a red hot St Kilda City outfit mauled East Malvern by 134 points in a dream day for the Saints.
The Saints who have been the form team of the competition over the last month or so once again showed why they are a serious premiership contender. The Saints with this win have put themselves in the box seat to finish top two whilst for the Panthers they remain winless and at the bottom of the table in season 2022.
The Saints kicked a mammoth tally of 26 goals whilst also doing it at great accuracy recording just the 12 behinds. They dominated many facets of the game all day having +39 inside 50’s, +112 disposals and +22 clearances reflecting their dominance across the whole ground.
Aaron Edwards produced a day to remember coming away with a fabulous bag of 12 and recording 22 disposals thrilling the crowd all afternoon, he received great service from his teammates in particular Dane Swan who finished with 38 damaging disposals and 1 goal.
In what was the tightest game over the weekend, Dingley produced an upset beating St Paul’s McKinnon by 19 points.
The Dingoes came into this clash sitting in fifth and were aiming to pick up the four points to reduce the gap between themselves and the Doggies who sat inside the top four and did that with an impressive victory.
The Dingoes were in control for the whole game dictating play and holding a reasonable lead for most of the day. They recorded 115 more disposals and 19 more inside 50’s reflecting their dominance on the contest.
Lucas Walmsley dominated once again this time recording the 33 touches with Timothy McGenniss arguably best on ground also recording 33 disposals whilst also adding a goal to his name. For the Doggies, Stephen Muller was brave in defeat with 4 goals to continue his stellar goal kicking season.
In an even more surprising result, Bentleigh comfortably defeated Mordialloc by 40 points in a great win from the visiting side who picked up just their third win of the season.
The Bloods started well getting away to an early lead which they were able to hold onto until the main break where they held a 8 point lead. Then the Demons delivered kicking 4 goals to 1 in the third term to lead by 9 points at the final break.
The Demons then produced a stellar last term booting 5 goals to the Bloods 1 to record an impressive victory and away with a comfortable win in the end thanks to a brilliant second half display. Daniel O’Loughlin was dynamite up forward booting 5 goals straight, whilst Joseph Colaciello was just as dominant kicking 4.4 himself.
League-leaders Cheltenham continued on their way this time with a cruisy 50 point victory of the Springvale Districts.
The Districts started very strongly booting 5 goals to 4 and looked as if they were threatening with a big upset however the Rosellas found their groove booting 4 goals to none in the second term and then 5 goals to 2 in the third term to open up a 35 point margin at the final break.
The Rosellas then again dominated proceedings in the final quarter of football coming away 50 point winners against a Districts outfit who showed plenty of fight on the day. William McTaggart impressed up forward with a bag of 6 whilst Oliver Moran was named best afield kicking 2 goals from his impressive 23 disposals.
In quite possibly the upset of the season league leaders Chelsea Heights were defeated at home by East Brighton by 14 points.
Chelsea Heights came into this affair with top spot locked up but didn't play like that, producing a less than impressive display just a week out from a finals campaign. But it should not worry many people involved with Chelsea Heights.
Take nothing away from the Vampires, as they produced a brilliant performance to defeat the league leaders, the Vampires played daring and free flowing footy whilst also shutting down Chelsea Heights' game to record a huge victory.
In a bottom of the table clash between the division lowest ranked sides Skye and Heatherton over the season it gave a chance for both teams to finish off their respective disappointing seasons with a win.
But from the first bounce it was Skye who were dominant and produced a dominant performance all day to come away with a comfortable 40 point victory to record their second win of the season whilst for Heatherton they ended their season without recording a single victory.
The Bombers produced a great team display which was instrumental to their drought breaking victory with the Bombers having 9 different goal kickers to reflect their fantastic team display.
In another upset victory over the weekend Caulfield Bears shocked Doveton Doves coming away with an impressive 20 point victory to continue their strong late season form.
The Doves got away to a perfect start producing a fabulous opening term which saw them boot six straight goals to the Bears’ three. But from that point on it was all Caulfield with the Bears booting 7 goals to the Doves 1 over the final three quarters of the match to come away with a strong victory.
Ryan McDonough delivered a stellar display of forward craft booting 3 goals and being a real handful for the Doves defenders. James Sullivan was arguably best afield racking up plenty of disposals whilst also hitting the scoreboard with two goals.
Keysbourogh staked their claims as a force to be reckoned with in the finals after producing another dominant display and recording another victory this time coming away 37 point winners over Highett.
Highett who have endured a less than impressive season, looked determined to finish their season on a high in front of their home crowd as they started the contest on fire kicking 3.6 to the Burra’s 1.4 to hold a lead going into the first break.
But then the Burra's produced a stellar second term which saw them kick 7.5 to Highett’s 1.2 to take control of the game handing them a solid 25 point halftime lead. The second half brought about a very even contest with neither side being able to get on top in the second half leading to a pretty much dead even second half.
Matthew Carnelley starred again up forward this time booting a bag of 6 in a dominant display whilst Geoffrey Humphreys was named best afield following a brilliant display seeing him kick 2 goals and having plenty of the footy.
Top of the table Murrumbeena continued their brilliant season defeating premiership challengers Ashwood by 71 points away from home.
The Beena produced a strong four quarter team display to come away with a very comfortable win, with the damage being done before the main break with the Beena recording an impressive 10 goal to 4 goal first half to put themselves in a winning position at the main break.
They then continued on their way in the second half restricting the Magpies to just two second half goals to further increase their lead with Steve Tolongs once again being the star of the show kicking 6 goals this time out.
Premiership contenders Black Rock did their chances no harm over the weekend recording a comfortable victory over bottom placed South Yarra, coming away 63 point winners in a scrappy affair.
With the conditions for the game being wild it made for a real scrappy game with a high pressure and stagnated contest being played out for majority of the game. However Black Rock’s class ultimately shone through as they fought the conditions and a spirited opposition to come away with a comfortable win.
Ned Fallon and Taylor Meyer produced standout performances for Black Rock with the pair booting 3 and 2 goals respectively whilst also recording plenty of possessions.
In a nail biting affair Carrum Patterson Lakes held off a spirited Clayton outfit to record an important 15 point away from home victory.
CPL came into this clash desperate for the four points to ensure they locked away a top four finish but were met with fighting Clays outfit who looked as hungry as ever to end their poor season with a win at home.
CPL held a slim lead all day with conditions being not ideal for the most part of the game which showed on the scoreboard with a low and inaccurate scoring first three quarters, but the last quarter displayed a much cleaner and high scoring term with the Clays kicking 5 last quarter goals to CPL’s 4 but was not enough as CPL held on for a gritty win.
In the game of the round between two mid-placed teams, Endeavour Hills defeated the Narre South Saints by 2 goals in a thrilling affair at Barry Simon Reserve.
The Falcons got off to an impressive start, getting on top of the Saints in most areas and converting their chances into scoreboard pressure as they dominated the first half to take a 34 point lead into the main break and then a 27 point lead into three quarter time.
The Saints then found another gear in the last term threatening to stage a stunning comeback which however just fell short. The Saints kicked 4.5 to 2.2 in the last term to give themselves a real chance in the dying stages, with the Falcons being able to hold on in the final moments to record a much needed win.
South Mornington Tigers recorded a thumping win over the weekend coming away with a ginormous 171 point win over Doveton Eagles.
The Tigers started the game on fire with a 6 goal first term and then produced a brilliant 10 goal second term to hold a huge lead heading into the main break. They then continued on their way in the second half to come away with a huge win.
The Tigers had a trio of players kicking bags with Josh Abela and Jordan Waite booting 6 goals with Leon Grant kicking a bag of 5 of his own whilst Brett Mccleary was named best afield following an impressive display.
Hallam Hawks showed their class, dispatching the Dandenong Redlegs by 47 points in a cruisy affair for the visiting side.
The Hawks raced out of the blocks early kicking 7 first quarter goals to the Redlegs one to set up the win, with the final margin essentially ending the same as it was at the first change highlighting the impressive and important start from the Hawks.
Tom Bradley starred up forward with 5 majors whilst Alex Kerr and Rory McIvor both chipped in 3 goals each to complete a dominant team performance.
In what was the closest game of the round and provided a brilliant game of footy, Cerberus held off Hampton to come away 17 point winners in an upset.
The game provided a real arm wrestle of a contest with neither side being able to take control of the game and break away with any sort of substantial lead however, Cerberus did hold the lead all day and looked the more polished side
Kyle Schmidtke produced a stunning best on ground display booting 4 goals whilst also recording a number of possessions, Charles Dowling also produced a standout game booting 3 majors of his own.
The undefeated Frankston Dolphins continued on their merry way smashing Lyndale by 91 points to take their winning streak to an extraordinary 17 in a row.
The Dolphins jumped away to an impressive start booting 6 goals in the opening term to immediately put some distance between themselves and Lyndale. They then continued their dominance for the remainder of the game to once again show why they are red hot premiership favourites.
The Dolphins had an impressive 11 different individual goal scorers to reflect a solid team performance and the selfless brand of footy they have displayed all season. Jackson Smith was once again named best on ground following another brilliant performance.
Lyndhurst have received a massive confidence boost as they came away with a huge 120 point victory over the Moorabbin Kangaroos at Marriott Waters Reserve on Saturday afternoon.
They came out firing on the weekend producing a brilliant and dominant display which comes out a good time a week out from finals, with the result sure to give them extra confidence and belief that their brand can stack up in finals footy.
The Lightning held a comfortable lead all day but it was their last quarter which was most impressive which saw them boot 8 majors in the last term alone to see them come away with a big victory.
Jarryd McGrath produced a mouth watering display once again this time with a 9 goal haul to take his season tally to an extraordinary 78 goals in 17 games.