Elastoplast Division 1 Round Preview

By Will Hunter




Chelsea Heights V Mordialloc (Beazley Reserve)


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Just two wins in seven games, several of its brightest stars in the casualty ward and the worst percentage in the comp, its fair to say it hasn’t been an easy reintroduction into Div 1 footy for the ninth-placed Heighters in 2018.

At the other end of the ladder, Mordialloc are sitting pretty on top, and enter this clash in sizzling form and full of confidence with a five-game winning streak behind them.

There is a big gap in class between these two sides, with one contending for a premiership and the other likely to fight to remain in Division 1 in 2019 and, unfortunately, this could be another tough day at the office for the injury-hit Heighters.

Mordialloc by 41 points.


Bentleigh V Oakleigh District (Bentleigh Reserve)


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A big win last week was just what the doctor ordered for the Oaks, which lifts the club off the bottom of the ladder. With their stars all firing and their kids growing in confidence and experience every week, the future is looking rosier at Princes Highway.

However, they will likely be brought back to earth this week as they face Bentleigh at Arthur Street, a tough assignment for any side.

As one of four teams locked on 5-2 in an even top half of the ladder, the Demons will be see this game as a golden opportunity to gain a percentage boost, which will likely come in handy come the end of the year with so many clubs locked in a tight race for a top three berth.

Oakleigh District will have a fair dinkum crack, but hard to see Bentleigh dropping this one.

Bentleigh by 30 points.


East Malvern V St Kilda City (Dunlop Reserve)


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Without doubt the game of the round sees the red-hot Panthers play host to a Saints outfit looking to bounce back after last week’s loss to the Dogs.

So impressive is East Malvern’s form that it has now established itself as one of the leading contenders for this year’s flag alongside the powerful Mordialloc. St Kilda City, while perhaps lacking the top end talent the Panthers and the Bloods possess, aren’t too far behind and have been the real surprise packet of 2018.

Both sides have emerged as two of the higher-scoring teams this season, with both looking to move the ball quickly at every opportunity, which means this clash could turn out to be a highly entertaining shootout.

Troy Parker has been a real focal point for the Saints over the last few weeks, booting 16 goals in his last five outings, including five in the loss to St Pauls, to sit fourth on the league table. The Panthers would be keen to lock down on him and force the Saints to find alternate avenues to goal.

Conversely, East Malvern have shared the scoring load with multiple goalkickers each week, which is much harder to curtail.

Expect a quality contest between two terrific sides, but East Malvern should have too much firepower.

East Malvern by 24 points.


Cheltenham V St Pauls (Jack Barker Oval)


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The Rosellas will be quick to move on from their Round 7 belting – albeit at the hands of one of the competitions premier teams in Mordialloc – recharge and reset over the bye weekend and attack their Round 8 assignment with a full head of steam.

They have been one of the competition’s biggest disappointments, Cheltenham, who sit seventh on the ladder, and need to turn their form around quickly if they are to have any chance of making the finals.

The Dogs made a welcome return to form with victory over the Saints, and coach Jason Heffernan would be well pleased with the even spread of contributions – something that has been sorely lacking at Jack Barker Oval at various stages this season.

On paper, Cheltenham have the talent to make a real contest of this if they can play four quarters of consistent footy with everybody playing their role, but we simply have not seen enough of their best to be able to tip them with any confidence.

The Dogs should have the Rosellas’ measure as they look to secure a spot in the top three.

St Pauls by 18 points.


Dingley V Port Melbourne Colts (Souter Oval)


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It has been a long while since we have seen Dingley locked in a battle to make the finals, but injuries and form have played a significant part in the three-time reigning premiers’ slide down the ladder in 2018.

However, the Dingoes have a golden opportunity to snap a rare three-game losing streak when the bottom-placed Port Colts visit the Den.

Port have secured just one win in seven matches; however, they have been competitive in its recent defeats with losing margins of two points, three points and seven points in the last three games.

The Colts are a big-bodied team of blue-collar battlers that aren’t afraid to roll their sleeves up and showcase their strength at their contest, which is a great advantage on their diminutive home deck. The Dingoes meanwhile still have their fair share of classy midfield operators that relish the wide open space at Souter Over, so expect them to run the visitors off their feet if they can win enough ball on the outside.

Dingley by 28 points.

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