ROUND 16 REVIEW
Chelsea Heights 11.14 (80) def by Oakleigh District 15.7 (97)
The Heighters were in the contest all day but couldn’t finish off the job as Oakleigh District saluted by 17 points down at Beazley Reserve.
Chelsea Heights came out firing in club champion Phil Matheson’s 200th game, going goal-for-goal with the Districts in an entertaining opening stanza that saw a combined 11 majors scored.
After holding a six-point buffer at the first change, the visitors then applied the clamps in the second term and grabbed control of the contest. Three goals to the Heighters’ one extended the District’s lead to a match-defining 15 points, a margin aided by the host’s inefficiency up forward.
From there, the second half became a stalemate, with the torrential rain that fell in the final term helping Oakleigh District protect their lead.
Districts star Ryan Pearson continued his good form, putting in another superb display through the midfield. Dave Velardo and the evergreen Paul Fermanis booted four goals each.
Callum Dodson was clearly the best for Chelsea Heights, finishing with four goals, while Michael O’Driscoll and Jak Hancock also worked hard for four quarters.
Bentleigh 17.16 (118) def Port Melbourne Colts 6.4 (40)
A shocking start proved no hinderance for Bentleigh as they crushed the Colts by 78 points at Arthur Street.
The Demons opened their account with a staggering 11 consecutive behinds in a woeful display of inaccuracy, 10 of which came in a goalless opening quarter. However, their found their range in the second, booting eight goals to lead by 46 points at the half.
From there, Port were simply never in the contest as Bentleigh flexed its muscle and ran out emphatic winners. Pleasingly, Bentleigh’s accuracy improved markedly after the long break, finishing with 9.2 in the second half.
Sam McGarry booted five goals in a clear best afield performance for the winners, but it was a day in which they had few passengers. Chris Yenofkian, Brodie Lawford and Brett Cooper were all valuable contributors, while Under 19 ace Michael D’Rozario was given his first crack at senior level and finished with a goal.
Nathan Doble, Josh O’Donnell and Michael Diaz stood out for the vanquished Colts.
Cheltenham 10.9 (69) def Mordialloc 7.6 (48)
The Rosellas have again produced an upset victory over bunnies Mordialloc, running out 21-point winners at Jack Barker Oval to ensure its finals chances maintain a pulse.
A pair of quick goals ensured the Bloods were fast out of the blocks and looking dangerous, but their momentum was short-lived as Cheltenham began to reel them in.
From quarter time onwards, the Rosellas looked more committed at the contest and as a result they assumed control through the midfield. Their efforts then began to reap rewards on the scoreboard, with seven goals to three thereafter delighting the Cheltenham faithful.
In the end, they played with the sort of hunger and desperation expected of a team fighting to keep its season alive, while Mordi could not muster a response in a disappointing second half.
Jack Barclay, Brendan Dillon and Daniel Harrison helped the Rosellas on their way with inspired performances around the ground. Josh Fox slotted three majors and the irrepressible Drew Kelly added two in another demonstration of his tremendous work rate.
Bloods skipper Todd Bastion led by example in the trenches, while Ben Humphrey and Hamish Curtis also impressed.
St Pauls 4.4 (28) def by St Kilda City 9.11 (65)
St Pauls’ nine-match winning streak has come to an end, humbled by St Kilda City at the Kennel.
The Saints were electric right from the word go, booting the only three goals of the first quarter to get the jump on the sluggish Dogs early.
With Ray Lengyel dominating in the ruck, City won the lion’s share of the clearances and possession, which denied the hosts the opportunity to work back into the contest. As such, St Pauls could only manage one goal in what was a disappointing first half, and in the end left themselves with too much to do, eventually going down by 37 points.
City’s slick ball movement through the middle was a highlight and exposed the Doggies’ undermanned and undersized defence. Shem Tatupu and Troy Parker took full advantage with several big contested grabs, while Ryan Carroll finished with three goals.
Aaron Purvis was also a force off half back, while Cam Hansen and Jackson Vargas won plenty of the pill through the middle and finished with two goals.
Brad Gilder was one of the few stars on an off day for the home side, with support also provided by Connor Byrne and Curtis Murfett. Steve Muller also supplied three of the side’s four goals.
Dingley 5.12 (42) def East Malvern 3.9 (27)
The Dingoes prevailed over East Malvern, finishing 15 points to the good in in a low-scoring slog at Souter Oval.
The win was an important one for Dingley, as they maintain fifth spot ahead of the fast-finishing Cheltenham. Conversely, the Panthers’ loss sees them drop out of the top three.
While the endeavour from both sides could not be faulted, their execution in the slippery conditions left a bit to be desired at times and consequently goals were at a premium – just eight were scored by both teams for the entire day in what was a scrappy contest.
The Dingoes’ second term, which yielded two goals, proved the difference in the end as the second half ended a stalemate.
The dreadlocked duo of Lucas Walmsley and Josh Ferguson were prominent all day for the winners, racking up countless disposals for the afternoon, with the former also finishing with two majors. Jack Clausen was exemplary in a defensive structure that kept East Malvern to three goals for the match.
Dylan Morton was named the Panthers’ best ahead of Luke Duffy and Steve Brewer.