By Will Hunter
Listen back to this week’s The 5th Quarter podcast, featuring Ashwood President Daniel Egan as the special guest, in the player above.
ROUND 9 REVIEW
Mordialloc 6.12 (48) def Bentleigh 5.6 (36)
The Bloods have held off a gallant Bentleigh outfit, claiming a 12-point win in a low-scoring arm-wrestle at Ben Kavanagh Reserve.
The slippery conditions made it difficult to control the footy and move it with purpose and, combined with some outstanding defensive pressure from both sides, there were stoppages aplenty, particularly in the second half.
It was a gutsy performance from the ladder leaders, who ground out victory despite missing several stars from its best 22 and some stiff resistance from Bentleigh.
Mordi’s inaccuracy kept the Demons in the contest to half time, before a three-goal third term saw the hosts gain the upper hand, and although Bentleigh won the final term, it wasn’t enough to secure victory.
Todd Bastion, Lachie McIver and Tim Kovess were among the best for the winners, with Aaron Kneebone and James Morris their only multiple goalscorers.
For the Demons, champion veteran Scott Lawry led from the front, with Sam Lewin, Liam Hogton-Hewish and Michael Rogers providing ample support.
St Pauls 17.16 (118) def Chelsea Heights 5.6 (36)
Chelsea Heights proved no match for the hard-running St Pauls as they slumped to an 82-point defeat at the Kennel.
The early signs were positive for the visitors as they booted two first-term goals sit 10 points adrift at the first change, but the Dogs responded with five unanswered in the second to open a 41-point lead and effectively kill the contest by half time.
Matt Kreymborg was one of the chief destroyers for the winners, adding three goals to go with myriad disposals, while Steve Muller and Brad Dolan also booted three each. Lachie Butler also continued his stellar form.
Phil Matheson and Daniel Campisano were the standouts for the Heighters.
Port Melbourne Colts 9.6 (60) def by East Malvern 18.22 (130)
The East Malvern juggernaut continues to gather momentum, steamrolling Port Melbourne by 70 points at JL Murphy Reserve.
The win proved a vital percentage-booster for the second-placed Panthers as it looks to bridge the gap between the top-of-the-table Mordialloc in the race for the minor premiership.
The Panthers led from go to woah, extending their lead at every change with Alex Hywood booting five goals in a sparkling best afield display.
Ruckman Chris Carey was a colossus for the winners, with Adam Collinson and Clint Mackie also proving their value to the side with influential performances.
Michael Egan again led the way for the Colts with three goals, while Lew Mildenhall and Josh O’Donnell also had a red-hot crack.
St Kilda City 11.4 (70) def by Cheltenham 11.7 (73)
A stunning final term saw Cheltenham come from behind to upset St Kilda City by less than a kick in a thrilling contest at the Peanut Farm.
The Saints took control of the contest in the second term, booting four goals to give themselves some breathing space at the half. By contrast, the Rosellas had just two majors to their credit at the long break.
Cheltenham lifted its intensity in the second half, but still faced a 16-point deficit heading into the final stanza.
And with their backs to the wall, the Rosellas produced its best quarter of footy for the season, slamming home five goals to run over the top of the Saints and sneak home by three points.
It was a stunning resurrection from Cheltenham, who had few passengers in the second half as they secured a well-deserved victory and keep their finals hopes alive. On the flip side, this was a very winnable game that the Saints would be disappointed they let slip away in the critical moments.
Richard Ryan was the star for the Rosellas, booting four goals - including three in the final term - in a dominant display, while fellow big man Josh Fox booted two. Drew Kelly (two goals) and Tim Bolger were also prolific.
Young livewire Jesse Firebrace produced a coming-of-age performance for St Kilda City, finishing three goals in his best senior game for the club. Troy Parker topped the Saints’ scoresheet with four goals while Nick Perry and Xavier Jordan again stood out.
Oakleigh District 14.7 (91) def Dingley 9.11 (65)
A six-goal masterclass from Jake Mullen has lifted Oakleigh District to a 26-point triumph over his former club Dingley.
The accurate Oaks gained the scoreboard ascendancy in the second term, booting 5.0 to take a 25-point lead into half time, despite registering the same amount of scoring shots as their opponent.
It was a decisive advantage as Dingley halved the contest in a second-half stalemate.
North Melbourne VFL-listed midfielder Nick Hogan returned for his first game in black and white since April and had a massive influence around the contest. Simon Black and Paul Fermanis were also terrific, but it was Mullen’s bag of six that proved the difference between the two sides.
Chris Horton-Milne (two goals), Jack Clausen and co-captain Trav La Rocca were the standouts for the undermanned Dingoes.