By Andrew Paloczi
ROUND 2 PREVIEW
Endeavour Hills vs Springvale Districts (Barry Simon Reserve)
Endeavour Hills commenced its season with a substantial away win over Heatherton.
The Falcons face a more searching examination when they host Springvale Districts.
These sides shape as genuine contenders for the flag and each will be keen to gain an early psychological advantage over the other.
It is difficult to assess how the two sides compare in terms of ability.
How will last year’s Division 3 runner-up perform against an improved version of what was a competitive Division 2 squad?
It will be fascinating to see what transpires, but the Falcons may just sneak home on their turf.
Ashwood vs Hampton Park (Essex Heights Reserve)
Ashwood’s demolition of Black Rock was full of promise for the Magpies’ season prospects, with fierce tackling and impressive ball movement despite trying conditions.
This week the challenge rises several notches against unbeaten Hampton Park.
Expect a ripper contest with the Redbacks starting as favourites.
Before the season commenced, Ashwood coach Mick Rossborough suggested it would be a tough task to get the better of Hampton Park.
Nonetheless, don’t underestimate his side and the substantial improvements he has made through astute recruiting since last season’s disappointing finals performance.
South Yarra vs Black Rock (Fritsch Holzer Park)
Neither South Yarra nor Black Rock commenced the season as finals fancies and their odds have already lengthened.
Both were soundly beaten in Round 1 and this week’s match should be fiercely contested, with each side needing to make a positive statement.
Back on the tight confines of Fritsch Holzer Park, expect South Yarra to be tough to beat.
Hallam vs Heatherton (Hallam Reserve)
Heatherton strung together 17 losses in 2017 and added another against Endeavour Hills to start the Tonners’ 2018 campaign.
The side will never get a better chance to break that dismal sequence than it has against wooden-spoon favourite Hallam.
At least the Hawks find themselves back in the reassuring surrounds of Hallam Reserve, but that won’t be enough to prevent Heatherton breaking its run of losses.