Division 1 - Round 15 Review
With Good Will Hunter
Thankfully the rain held off last Saturday and we were able to enjoy some cracking games of Division 1 football.
Mordialloc’s penchant for tight finishes was again on show last Saturday as they prevailed over Clayton at Meade Reserve in yet another thriller. Although little separated the two sides all afternoon, the Clays played the better footy for most of the day and in many respects were a bit stiff not to have come away with the points. Three consecutive goals late in the final term got the Bloods in front and they hung on to win by just three points, with Sean Van Velsen best afield and James Morris booting five sausage rolls. Clays coach Nick Scanlon was also among the goals with four of his own.
Bentleigh got the better of Chelsea Heights at Bentleigh Reserve in the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation’s Match of the Month. The home team looked the better of the two Demons sides early, but a string of 10 straight behinds in the second term ruined their chance to put the game away at the half. The Heighters fought back briefly at the start of the final term, but it wasn’t enough to snatch the win from Bentleigh. Paul Dimattina and Jackson Meredith were outstanding for the winners, while Tyler Cantwell led the Heighters’ resistance.
Dingley’s errant goalkicking has come back to bite them on the backside as St Pauls recorded an eight-point victory at the Kennel. Four consecutive goals in the second term saw the Dogs take control of what was a low-scoring contest, but the Dingoes certainly had their chances to square the ledger; at three quarter time they trailed by two points despite having eight more scoring shots. St Pauls held Dingley at bay in the final term with youngster James Sziller playing his best game for the year and Peter Mercoulia booting four goals. Calhan McQueen scored three majors to be named in Dingley’s best alongside Andrew Frost.
Meanwhile, East Malvern did just enough to get the win in their clash with St Kilda City at Hurlingham Park. The Vampires gained the ascendancy with five consecutive goals in the second term and third terms and simply held the Saints at bay in what proved to be a second half stalemate. Tait Sabec’s dash and drive was pivotal in his side’s win, as were the four goals from spearhead Phil Smith. Daniel Ella stood out in the ruck for City while Aaron Purvis was also influential.
The final game saw Cheltenham thrashed to the tune of 125 points at the hands of East Malvern at Dunlop Reserve. The Rosellas has no answers for the ruthless Panthers, who were simply too strong on every line, and could only manage four goals for the day. Mark Ryan and Clint Johnson were the beneficiaries of their side’s midfield dominance, combining for 12 majors. Jack Worrell was among Cheltenham’s best, while Jack Gavin showed promising signs in his senior debut.
Division 2 - Round 15 Review
With Jason Barbin
Round 15 produced some surprising results as the race for the finals begins to heat up.
Keysborough has kept its momentum going with a commanding 92-point win over Springvale Districts at home. The Burra were challenged in the first quarter but blew Springvale out of the water with a five goal to none second quarter. Keysborough continued its rampage in the second half to record the win and remain within reach of top spot on the ladder. Davor Rajic continued his good form with eight goals for the victors.
Caulfield has taken advantage of an inaccurate Skye to record a 10-point victory and remain in the hunt for a spot in the finals. The Bears led by 16 points at half time and despite only kicking two goals in the second half, remained in front due to Skye kicking 2.13 in response. Caulfield was led by Chris Dove who bagged three goals while Ash Cooper was named best on ground for the winners in his 100th game.
Murrumbeena has overcome a tough match against Highett to move two games clear in third spot after a nine-point win over the Dogs. The Beena looked to be in control after taking a 22-point lead into half time but Highett stuck with them in the second half and reduced the margin to 12 points at three quarter time. The Dogs threw everything at the Beena but it wasn’t enough as Murrumbeena held on for the win. Josh Wright kicked three goals for the winners while Sam Moloney was best afield.
Scott Fiora has kicked Hampton into form with six majors in the Hammers’ 71-point win over Heatherton on Saturday. Fiora produced a stunning effort up forward and almost beat the Tonners single-handed. The Hammers also got good contributions from Justin Isaac, Todd Crane and Josh Kerrigan up forward while Aaron Shedlock and Josh Burbidge starred in the midfield.
Oakleigh Districts has solidified its standing on top of ladder after a 102-point demolishing of Doveton Eagles. The Oaks were challenged in the first quarter and only led by 13 points but that was as close as Doveton got as Oakleigh blew it away, kicking 13 goals to three behinds for the rest of the game including a scoreless second half from the Eagles. Khaled Kandakji was best on the ground for Oakleigh with seven majors.
Division 3 - Round 16 Review
With Andrew Paloczi
Ashwood started strongly in the first quarter of its home clash with Carrum Patterson Lakes. The Magpies led by 25 points at the first change. Seven goals to one in the second term enabled CPL to take an 11-point lead by half time, and the Lions stretched this to 20 by three quarter time. Despite going goalless for the rest of the match, CPL got home by nine points. Trevor March and Joel Dalton each kicked three goals for the Lions. The skilful Adam Lello was chosen as the winner’s best.
A win against the visiting Moorabbin had the potential to put Endeavour Hills into the crucial fifth spot on the ladder. Things were not looking good for the Falcons halfway through the game, trailing by 33 points at that stage. But a big third term saw the home side cut this to nine points with a term to play. The Kangaroos eventually prevailed by seven points. Yet again Matthew Johansson starred for Moorabbin, booting six goals and being the team’s best performer.
After being well behind at every change, a spirited final quarter effort resulted in Sandown putting some pressure on Lyndale. But the Pumas got the job done at home, winning by a couple of goals. The Cobras should be proud of the way they finished the match but will rue their inaccuracy, having more scoring shots than the winning team. Mohammad Babar kicked three majors for Lyndale and its best player was Veton Rexha, who has achieved this feat in four consecutive games.
Playing in the hostile surrounds of Mayfield Park, Dandenong was competitive in the first half, trailing Mount Waverley by just 20 points at the long break. After this the Mountain Lions got more savage, booting nine second-half goals to two to power to a 69-point win. After his first goalless game of the season last week, Luke Galle hit back with five and was named as the Mountain Lions’ second-best player, behind Richard Mathers.
Jay Williams was selected as the best player in a solid team-effort, as Black Rock comfortably accounted for Hallam by 46 points. The Jets were always in control, although the Hawks were able to make them work hard at times. It took over 15 minutes of play before Black Rock kicked a goal, due to a combination of pressure from the Hawks and some inaccurate finishing by the Jets. However, the Hawks were not able to score in the first term and, despite narrowly winning the second quarter, never really looked like threatening the top-of-the-table Jets.