Elastoplast Division 1 Round Preview

By Will Hunter



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Mordialloc V Cheltenham (Ben Kavanagh Reserve)


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The ladder-leading Bloods have now strung together four wins on the trot, including victories over top-five sides in St Pauls, St Kilda City and East Malvern, and are playing some tremendous football at the minute.

And Mordialloc will be hoping to continue its strong recent form this week as it faces its bogey side in Cheltenham, a team that it has not beaten since Round 5, 2016.

The Rosellas will again come into this contest as rank outsiders, as they have done in its three previous head to head meetings. But so far this season Cheltenham have shown an inability to string together four consistent quarters of solid football, an issue that will need to be rectified if it is to record a fourth straight upset over the Bloods.

With its elite midfield group in red-hot form and the most dangerous offensive combo in Morris and Tolongs inside the arc, it’s hard to go past Mordialloc here.

Mordialloc by 32 points.


East Malvern V Dingley (Dunlop Reserve)


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The Dingoes find themselves in unfamiliar territory outside the top five with injuries and unavailability hampering the side so far in 2018. This proud club would be desperate to turn around their fortunes and get its premiership defence back on track, but a tough assignment awaits them this week.

In what is a relatively even top end in Division 1 this year, East Malvern have emerged as a bona fide flag threat. With winners on every single line on the ground, the Panthers have enough firepower to kick a winning score against most of the teams in the competition.

The Dingoes are likely to regain Andrew Frost, who will bolster the team’s defensive structure, and there remains plenty of talent through the midfield that will give the Panthers headaches, however, the side has been well below its usual scoring output following the off-season departure of Cal McQueen and the recent injury-enforced absence of Daniel Farmer.

Back on their home deck after last week’s impressive victory over Bentleigh – the side that rolled the Dingoes the previous week – East Malvern should inflict the Dingoes third straight loss.

East Malvern by 10 points.


Port Melbourne Colts V Bentleigh (JL Murphy Reserve)


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This looms as a bit of a mismatch on paper, with premiership contenders Bentleigh travelling to Port Melbourne to take on a side fighting to stave off relegation.

The Colts have a happy knack of knocking off fancied sides at JL Murphy, including the Demons in their only encounter at the venue in Round 4 last year. But if Bentleigh are fair dinkum about shoring up a top-three spot come Round 18, then this is a game they simply cannot afford to lose.

Expect the Demons to win this comfortably.

Bentleigh by 27 points.


St Kilda City V St Pauls (Peanut Farm)


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Their list may lack the plethora of household names that some of the other Division 1 teams possess, but nevertheless the Saints continue to get the job done week in, week out with minimal fuss.

And after last week’s triumph over Dingley, the boys from the Farm can now be counted among the contenders, should it maintain a healthy list for the duration of the season.

St Pauls, meanwhile, are in the midst of a mini-form slump, with consecutive losses following its impressive 4-0 start to the year. Nevertheless, the Dogs remains a very dangerous team on its day and would be keen to turn around their form around as it sets it sights on a top-three spot.

The Saints and the Dogs are two of the five sides that currently sit on 4-2, making this game a genuine eight-pointer in the context of the season. Tough to pick a winner, but suspect City will play the smaller confines of the Peanut Farm better than the visitors and record a narrow victory.

St Kilda City by seven points.


Oakleigh District V Chelsea Heights (Princes Highway Reserve)


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The Heighters’ gutsy win over the Colts last week has given it a four-point buffer over the bottom-placed Oakleigh District, which was a handy result in the battle to avoid relegation. However, it may have come at a cost, with several key players sustaining injuries, including Lachie Dobson who is likely to miss the remainder of the season.

The rebuilding Oaks have shown plenty of promise in the last few games and a victory here will lift them off the foot of the ladder – should Bentleigh beat Port as expected – which is a massive carrot dangling in front of them.

This will be a tight contest and could go either way, but the Heighters’ injury concerns and the Oaks’ home ground advantage will see the black and whites enter the game as ever-so-slight favourites.

Oakleigh District by two points.

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