ROUND 17 REVIEW
*Apologies to Heatherton’s Ben Clark-Henry who was incorrectly named as the recipient of a green card in the Round 16 clash with Hallam.
Hallam 5.9 (39) def by Ashwood 7.4 (46)
Accurate goal kicking on a torrid Melbourne day proved the saving grace for Ashwood as it saw off a searching challenge from gritty Hallam.
The Hawks finished the day with three more scoring shots than their opponents.
Hallam was well within striking distance of the Magpies at every change, but once again couldn’t turn a competitive effort into a positive result.
Paddy Carroll played a significant part in Ashwood’s seven-point victory.
He was the Magpies’ best player, helping finish a bitter week for the club on a happy note.
His brother Dale’s appeal against a five-week suspension resulted in it being downgraded to three weeks.
Unfortunately, that was still sufficient to trigger his deregistration, with his total weeks of suspension amounting to 16, one above the maximum allowed by AFL Victoria.
Magpies Ethan O’Connell-Webb (2 goals) and reliable big man Gary McDonagh were solid contributors against the Hawks.
Mitch Rossborough managed a couple of majors for the winning side.
For the valiant but ultimately unrewarded Hallam, Rory McIvor continued his charge towards the club’s best and fairest with another bold display.
He was strongly supported by Dylan Thompson and Ben Coutet.
Endeavour Hills 11.9 (75) def Black Rock 4.5 (29)
A savage, bone-chilling wind made it difficult for players, with the footy’s path hard to predict.
It was even tougher for boundary umpires who struggled to throw the ball into the biting breeze.
Endeavour Hills and Black Rock fought hard for possession in a match that, although not pretty, was highly competitive for most of the day.
When Black Rock’s Cooper Ferries goaled early in the final term it cut the Falcons’ lead to just nine points.
What promised to be a gripping finish failed to eventuate, with Nathan Reid’s quick response for Endeavour Hills sparking an unbroken run of six-straight Falcons’ majors.
That propelled Endeavour Hills to a 46-point win, with Reid playing a starring role and being well supported by the likes of Byron Hoe and Shaun Richards (three goals).
Sam Delosa was also impressive for the Falcons in his senior debut, after playing against East Brighton in the Under 19s earlier in the day.
Darcy O’Brien is slightly built but had a big presence for Black Rock, helping keep his side in the contest for so long.
Big man Sam Nickless was also superb for the beaten Jets, edging out O’Brien on their best players list.
Hampton Park 22.18 (150) def South Yarra 3.8 (26)
Brandon Bird gave South Yarra a stunning start with a goal in the opening moments of the match, putting the Yarras in the lead against Hampton Park.
Sadly for the Yarras, Bird’s goal was the end of their resistance.
Hampton Park slammed on the next nine goals, taking a 53-point lead to the quarter time huddle.
The Redbacks didn’t look back, marching to a 124-point win.
Their star midfielder, Michael Henry, was best afield and booted three majors, whilst fellow spider Cam Williamson (4 goals) was also excellent.
Reece Smart, Daniel Boudoloh and returning Hampton Park skipper Luke O’Brien matched Henry’s three goals.
O’Brien had last played in the seniors in early May, but was sidelined by injury.
Heatherton 4.3 (27) def by Springvale Districts 13.15 (93)
Home side Heatherton was never in the hunt against a ruthless Springvale Districts, slumping to a 66-point loss.
Mladen Josic, Daniel Saldanha and Daniel Morris were all in scintillating touch for the Demons, whilst Stefan Feehan and Lachlan Morrey contributed three goals each to the win.
After missing the previous round due to soreness, Tunners’ skipper Justin Whyte was commendable as his side’s best, refusing to give up despite Heatherton being heavily outgunned.