By Will Hunter
Listen to the podcast of Sunday's episode of The 5th Quarter in the player above.
ROUND 2 REVIEW
East Malvern 11.7-73 def Mordialloc 8.8-56
East Malvern remains undefeated in season 2018 after upsetting Mordialloc by 17 points at Dunlop Reserve.
The Panthers led from go to woah, conceding just one goal in the opening half as they accrued a 24-point advantage heading into oranges.
A spirted fightback in the premiership quarter that yielded five goals saw the Bloods work their way back into the contest. By the final change, they were just 10 points adrift and well and truly in the contest.
But the Panthers held firm, booting three final-term goals to see off the Mordi challenge and claim their second win of the season.
Luke Duffy continued his stellar early season form with a BOG performance, while Brady Corso and Ben Timms also excelled. Again, the hosts shared the load in front of the uprights with eight individual goalkickers.
Ben Humphrey and Aaron Kneebone were again among Mordialloc’s best, standing up in the absence of star midfielder Danny Nicholls, while American ruckman Buddy Spohn was also super impressive in just his second game of Division 1 footy.
Cheltenham 8.9-57 def by Bentleigh 13.10-88
The Demons have reclaimed the RSL Cup in 2018 after recording an impressive 31-point victory over Cheltenham at Jack Barker Oval.
Bentleigh took control of the match from the outset, booting the first seven goals of the match, including four in the opening five minutes, in a sizzling 25 minutes of footy.
The shell-shocked Rosellas simply could not get their hands on the footy and found themselves 44 points behind late in the term before a goal to Will McTaggart in the shadows of quarter time opened the hosts’ account.
Cheltenham found their groove after quarter time, and after a break-even second term, they made their move in the third and began chipping away at Bentleigh’s lead. The ball spent much time in the Rosellas’ forward half, but unfortunately they couldn’t capitalise, booting a wayward 3.5, which simply wasn’t a just reward for their efforts.
Bentleigh had no shortage of contributors, with Tom Cunningham and Tom Massey leading the charge through the middle, however, Mitch Smart capitalised on the absence of Cheltenham big man Sean McLaren and was by far the most influential player on the ground.
Jack Worrell and Jack Barclay impressed from the home side, while McTaggart (two goals) proved a constant threat up forward.
St Pauls 7.11-53 def Dingley 7.8-50
The three-time defending premiers have fallen to their bogey side St Pauls for the third consecutive time in what was a thrilling contest at the Kennel.
And the Dogs did it in style, overcoming a 10-point deficit at the final change to storm home and pip the Dingoes by three points in a manner not too dissimilar to the corresponding clash at McKinnon last season.
It was a tight, low scoring affair for much of the contest, but the slick Dingoes kept their noses in front at each of the intervals, thanks mainly to their run and clean ball use.
But the Dogs would not lie down and continued to press and lock the ball down in their forward half throughout the final team. Two quick goals late in the piece saw the home side claim the lead for the first time in the match, and, slender though it may have been, it was one they weren’t to relinquish.
Curtis Murfett was best afield in the Doggies' victory, while Christian McCarthy and Matt Herbstreit were also among the standouts. Steve Muller also contributed up forward with three goals.
For the Dingoes, ruckman Simon Hallsworth stood tall, Will Edmunds booted three goals before coming off late in the finals term with a gash above his eye and youngster Rory Goldsmith showed he is a star in the making, with the 17-year-old impressing in just his second senior game.
Oakleigh District 9.14-68 def by Port Colts 9.15-69
Port Colts have staved off a spirited final term fightback by Oakleigh District, holding on to claim victory at Princes Highway Reserve by the barest of margins.
The tough, physical contest was perhaps not pretty viewing for much of the afternoon, however, the match nevertheless delivered an exciting grandstand finish.
Staring at 14-point deficit at the last change, the Oaks roared back into the contest in the final stanza and hit the front late in the game. However, a late goal to the Colts saw their lead restored, and they managed to hang on for dear life in a frantic final minute.
Sam Mitchell, Jackson Powell and Jayme Lawson were simply superb for the winners, while Tom Nicholls impacted the scoreboard with three majors.
Jake Mullen was Oakleigh’s best, but there were plenty of contributions from its youngsters including Daniel Spence and Nathan Peddle. Milestone man Paul Fermanis also booted three goals in his 150th game.
St Kilda City 11.19-85 def Chelsea Heights 5.3-33
City have risen to the top of the SFNL ladder courtesy of their 52-point demolition of Chelsea Heights at the Peanut Farm.
In the end, it was City’s inaccuracy that kept the final margin respectable from the Heighters’ point of view, with home side registering 30 scoring shots to just eight. The bulk of the damage was done in the final term, with City booting 3.10 to 0.0.
The improving Nick Perry was best afield in the Saints’ big win, with the Vargas brothers – Perry and Jackson – also industrious.
Veteran Phil Matheson (two) was among the best on what was a tough day at the office for the visitors, while Harry Czarnecki also stood tall against his old side.