Division 1 - Round 14 Review
With Good Will Hunter
Gale-force arctic winds proved tough to deal with in Round 14, and the sides that mastered the conditions were able to record comfortable victories.
St Pauls’ finals hopes have been given a much-needed shot in the arm after holding off a fast-finishing Mordialloc to win by just one point at the Kennel. Matt Herbstreit and Kieran Knox were superb in the opening half as the Doggies flew out of the blocks to lead by five goals at the long break. But with Simon Fragiacomo dominating through the middle the Bloods came roaring back into the contest in the second half. Although the Dogs blew some late chances to seal the win, they still managed to hold on in the thrilling final few minutes. However, the win came at a huge cost with skipper Ken Hall suffering a horrific knee injury that will likely end his glittering career.
Meanwhile Bentleigh claimed its fifth win for the year, eclipsing the out-of-sorts Cheltenham by 13 points at Bentleigh Reserve. While just two points separated the two sides after the first half, Bentleigh then skipped away with the breeze to open up a 35-point advantage at the final change. Just three goals were scored at the Centre Rd end of the ground all day, but the Demons last quarter major took the wind out of the Rosella’s sails as they looked to be storming home. Sam McGarry and James Robertson (three goals) were the best for the winners, while Chris Graham starred for Cheltenham.
East Malvern’s charge towards the top three is gathering momentum after a dominant 10-goal win over St Kilda City. With Liam Voigt leading the way the Panthers ran rampant in the first three quarters, opening up an 80-point three quarter time lead. A poor final term allowed the Saints to add some respectability to the scoreboard at the final siren through the efforts of Perry O’Hehir-Vargas. Mark Ryan’s six-goal haul also consolidated his standing atop the Division 1 goalkicking table.
Clayton’s finals aspirations took a devastating blow, smashed by a red-hot East Brighton to the tune of 54 points at Meade Reserve. Nick and Steward Scanlon shared nine of the Clays 12 goals, but they had few winners elsewhere as the Vampires had the match all but won at half time. Phil Smith’s purple patch in front of the big sticks continued, finishing with another five majors, while Toby Mahoney and Ben Douthie were among their best performers.
The final game saw the all-conquering Dingoes streak to another comprehensive triumph, this time thumping the last-placed Heighters by 74 points at Souter Oval. The home side were simply too strong all over the ground, and only wasteful kicking (they registered 15.24) prevented the margin blowing out beyond triple digits. Marcus Freeman and Jake Mullen were the chief destroyers, but Jordy Peryman can hold his head high for the losing side; he was simply electric and booted three of his team’s six goals.
Division 2 - Round 14 Review
With Jason Barbin
Plenty of action both good and bad in division two took place on Saturday as the career of a club great had a heartbreaking finish.
Keysborough may have gotten the four points against Skye, but the win came at a cost as 300-game legend Corey Wilkinson’s career came to an abrupt end with the veteran suffering a horrific leg injury during the third term. The game was subsequently abandoned after a 40-minute delay with the ambulance on the field. Credit to the medical officials from both clubs who assessed Wilkinson and assisted him on the ground before paramedics arrived.
Hampton bounced back into form and looked like a finals bound team after a surprising 27-point win over Caulfield on the road. The Hammers were coming off back to back thumpings but took a two goal lead heading into the final quarter. Forward Scott Fiora dominated the final term, kicking four goals to help Hampton get back into the top five. Darren Harrison was named best on ground for the winners.
Oakleigh Districts eased home with a comfortable 82-point win over an inaccurate Heatherton outfit at Princess Highway Reserve. The Tonners could only manage two goals for the game while the Oaks banged home eight second half goals to maintain top spot on the ladder. Aaron Henneman, who was named best on ground for Oakleigh, combined with small forward for seven goals in the win.
A 31-point quarter time deficit turned into a 35-point win for the now third-placed Murrumbeena, after defeating Springvale Districts. The Beena struggled in the first term in lacklustre conditions but turned their defensive game around to hold Springvale goalless for the remainder of the game. Despite inaccurate kicking, Murrumbeena were able to build a comfortable lead in the final quarter, kicking four goals. Anthony ‘go-go gadget arms’ Ekberg-Weiss was best on ground for the Beena with five goals.
An eight-goal second half has handed Highett a three-goal victory against an inspired Doveton at Turner Road Reserve. The two sides battled it out in the first half before the Dogs were able to pull away in the third quarter, kicking six goals to two in taking a 24-point lead into the final break. Doveton got close during the latter stages of the final term, but Highett was able to hold on for the win. Yianni Pasialis bagged four majors for Highett.
Division 3 - Round 15 Review
With Andrew Paloczi
An enthralling, but low scoring contest hung in the balance as Mount Waverley’s Luke Galle launched a shot on the run in the final seconds of his team’s battle with Black Rock. After Cory Durie put the Jets a point in front 18 minutes into the last term, Galle had his chance at glory, but his shot sailed out on the full. Moments later the Jets were celebrating a commendable victory by the narrowest margin.
Incredibly, for such a close contest the Mountain Lions failed to register a goal in all terms other than the second. They went to the long break in a strong position leading by 11 points after Christopher Filer kicked three of their four goals. The Jets still trailed by 11 points at the last change.
The wind was not blowing straight down the ground and kicking for goal was a challenge for both sides, but the Jets managed three straight goals to Mount Waverley's six behinds in the last quarter. For the triumphant Black Rock, its five goals for the day were all scored by different players.
With Shane Thomas booting five of his team’s seven goals, Hallam celebrated a five-point win after trailing home side Lyndale by a goal at the final break. It was the Hawks’ first chance to sing the club song since round 7. Andrew Daly was chosen as the winner’s best player in a game that was close throughout, with no more than 13 points between the sides at any break.
Playing at home, Ashwood had the chance to make a finals berth a near certainty when it took on sixth-placed Endeavour Hills. As it turned out, the visiting Falcons won the first three quarters to set up a 22-point lead with a term to go, eventually winning by 13 points. Endeavour Hills has now won as many games as Ashwood and is only being kept out of the five by the Magpies’ superior percentage. Neil Peake led the way as the best player for the Falcons, helping to keep their September dreams alive.
With the home ground advantage and the wind behind it, Carrum Patterson Lakes flew out of the blocks, racing to a 40-point quarter time advantage against South Yarra. Although the Yarras fought back in the second term to reduce the margin to 26 points at half time, this blew out to 49 points by the end of the third term. Seven goals to three in the remainder of the game added respectability for South Yarra, but it was still a healthy 26-point win for CPL. Trevor March had another productive day with eight majors taking his total to 69 for the season, 16 goals clear of his nearest rivals.
After a rare bit of joy in Gambling’s Not A Game
Round 14, Sandown was brought back to earth with a thud with a merciless second half from home side Moorabbin. The Kangaroos piled on 12 goals to three after the long break, turning a 20-point half time lead into a commanding 79-point victory. Unsurprisingly, Matthew Johansson was again in Moorabbin’s best as he contributed five goals, but his team mate Jay Milford-Robertson got the nod as best on ground and kicked four majors.