Listen back to this week’s The 5th Quarter podcast, featuring Hall of Fame inductee Alan Flint as the special in-studio guest, in the player above.
ROUND 13 REVIEW
Ashwood 16.12 (108) def Heatherton 15.13 (103)
Heatherton stormed back from a 39-point half time deficit, overtaking Ashwood at the 15-minute mark of the final term.
The Magpies responded, seeing off the challenge with the crucial last-term heroics of Jeremy Nelson.
Nelson booted the Magpies’ only three majors of that frenetic quarter, finishing with four for the day.
His teammate Tim Smith celebrated his 200th game in style, named second behind Nelson in the Magpies’ best, and slotting a couple of goals.
In the first half Ashwood capitalised on Heatherton’s mistakes, booting an accurate 11.3 (69).
Tunners’ coach Shayne Sheedy shuffled his magnets during the long break, with several moves paying dividends when play resumed.
Defenders Mark Stevens and Stefan Harris were swung forward, with Stevens providing the attacking focal point his coach desired at full forward.
Harris and Stevens each finished with two majors for the game.
Callum Cusack was entrusted with significantly greater responsibility in the ruck in the second half, having earlier spent time up forward.
This change proved decisive, with Cusack making a dramatic impact in the centre.
“In the second half he just took control in the midfield and he’s the sort of ruckman that’s really good in the air, but when it hits the deck he’s like a midfielder,” Sheedy declared.
“If he wasn’t winning the tap to one of our blokes, he was either tackling or picking up off the deck and feeding out like an inside midfielder.”
Cusack’s sterling ruck work and midfield grunt enabled teammates Reagan Maddaford, Ben Clark-Henry and Mehdi Daoud to seize control in the middle of the ground.
Ashwood’s lead was cut to 23 points at the final change.
An early last term goal gave the Tunners hope, but Nelson answered for the Magpies.
Heatherton then kicked the next four majors, snatching a one-point lead.
Up stepped Nelson again, booting the game’s next couple of majors.
The Tunners responded, cutting the margin back to five points.
They surged forward again.
A short pass inside Heatherton’s forward arc missed its target and Ashwood forced a ballup.
The siren sounded seconds later, allowing the relieved Magpies to cling on by five points.
South Yarra 3.5 (23) def by Endeavour Hills 19.22 (136)
Tom Gillies and Sam McLean shared equally in eight majors as Endeavour Hills destroyed an undermanned South Yarra side by 113 points.
Injury has so decimated the Yarras’ squad, three players backed up in the seniors after playing in the reserves. They were Geoff Zach, Shane Myers and Kevin Pereira.
During the match, South Yarra’s already thin line up was eroded by further mishaps, to such an extent the team ran out of interchange players.
Lately, South Yarra’s casualty list has become the main talking point in its matches.
This week’s most gruesome addition to that list occurred during the second term.
Anthony Pane ran from the field having suffered a compound fracture to a finger.
For the victorious Falcons, Jayson Bruce was in commanding form, whilst Daniel Soar again impressed in the ruck and around the ground.
Andrew Vella was another Endeavour Hills’ player South Yarra couldn’t restrict, as he created numerous opportunities for teammates.
For the beaten Yarras, Eric Ghasperidis was a solid contributor.
Dean Mendes was valiant in what was a severely overworked South Yarra backline.
Hallam 10.6 (66) def by Black Rock 13.12 (90)
Black Rock was in charge for three quarters, setting up a 37-point buffer at the last change.
Hallam provided belated entertainment for the home fans, booting four last-term goals to the Jets’ two.
Black Rock was forced to make do with a 24-point win.
Despite the Jets’ disappointing season, ruck recruit Sam Nickless continues to be a beacon of hope for the future.
Nickless again shared ruck duties with skipper Tom Dalton and also spent time in the forward line.
That proved successful with Nickless topping the Jets’ goal kicking list with three majors.
Hallam’s Tom Bradley matched that figure.
Surprisingly, Black Rock veteran and scrupulously fair player Kelly Spratt was shown a green card late in the game.
Rory McIvor was again the best contributor for the still winless Hawks, with his last quarter goal on the run a highlight.
Black Rock’s Darcy O’Brien impressed the SFNL radio team with a solid four-quarter contribution, being selected as player of the day.