By Will Hunter
ROUND 3 PREVIEW
Bentleigh V Chelsea Heights (Bentleigh Reserve)
You will see few better quarters of football than the seven-goal opening stanza the Demons produced last Saturday against the Rosellas, and it was a tantalising glimpse into the sort of footy they are capable of playing on their day.
Make no mistake, that brand of footy will beat any side in the competition, and Bentleigh will have their confidence up after such an impressive performance against a likely finals contender.
The Heighters, while soundly beaten by the Saints, have shown competitiveness at this level so far this year. However, the Demons at Arthur Street will prove a particularly tough assignment and should get the chocolates.
Bentleigh by 33 points.
East Malvern V St Pauls (Dunlop Reserve)
Two of the competition’s undefeated teams do battle this week in what looms as a tremendous contest at the Zoo.
East Malvern looks to have more than covered what it has lost during the transfer period, and was very impressive in accounting for Mordialloc last week. In particular, the Panthers have shown an even spread of goalkickers in both of its wins, which is hard for any team to stop.
The Dogs are on a roll after toppling two of the premiership fancies in Bentleigh and Dingley in successive weeks, and a third straight victory over a strong East Malvern side will see the club well placed with matches against the Colts and the Districts in the following fortnight.
This one can genuinely go either way, but St Pauls to win in another thriller.
St Pauls by six points.
Port Melbourne Colts V Mordialloc (JL Murphy Reserve)
Touted as flag favourites before Round 1, this powerful Mordialloc side unexpectedly finds itself winless after two games. The lack of a home venue may have played a role in their patchy form, however, last week was a game they would feel they should have won.
The Colts, meanwhile, broke through for their first win of the year with a thrilling one-point away victory over Oakleigh, and would take much confidence from the positive result.
Traditionally the Colts have proven tough to beat on their home venue, with many opponents coming unstuck on the small deck. However, Mordi’s bigger bodies in the engine room should hold them in good stead within the narrow confines, and they should bounce back this week.
Mordialloc by 26 points.
Oakleigh District V St Kilda City (Princes Hwy Reserve)
The winless Oakleigh District were left gutted after last week’s heart-breaking loss, but they have an opportunity to turn things around this week when they host St Kilda City.
City have been one of the early surprises of Division 1, currently sitting atop the ladder courtesy of two big wins to start the season.
The young Oaks have been competitive but have been outpointed by the more mature bodies at various stages throughout the year. There are plenty of encouraging signs, but unfortunately the Saints will be too strong.
St Kilda City by 23 points.
Dingley V Cheltenham (Souter Oval)
After back-to-back losses to start the season, Cheltenham finds itself ninth on the ladder and desperate to turn things around. Unfortunately, assignments don’t come much tougher that the Dingoes at the Den.
Dingley will also be keen to atone for its loss last week, and despite again being pipped at the post by the Dogs, it remains as formidable an opponent as you will find in the Southern league.
It will also be the first time that Dingley forward Will Edmunds lines up against his old side, adding extra spice to what looms as a terrific contest.
Cheltenham are always competitive against the Dingoes, and this week should be no exception, but with greater depth of midfield talent it’s hard to go past Dingley, especially at home.
Dingley by 16 points.