Elastoplast Division 1 Round Preview

By Will Hunter


Chelsea Heights V Bentleigh (Beazley Reserve)


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Now consigned to the foot of the ladder and with the worst percentage in the competition, the Heighters now face an uphill battle to avoid relegation. And the loss of star spearhead Lachie Dobson has exposed their lack of scoring options with the side booting a paltry 14 goals in its last four matches.

After three consecutive losses, Bentleigh’s season-defining win over the Rosellas last Saturday will give them plenty of confidence heading into this week’s clash at Beazley Reserve. They should have far too much class across the park here as they look to secure the four points and a percentage boost, which will hold them in good stead as they stake their claim for a finals berth.

Bentleigh by 38 points.


Mordialloc V Port Melbourne Colts (Ben Kavanagh Reserve)


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The Colts would be buoyed by their victory last Saturday, which has seen them leapfrog Chelsea Heights into ninth spot. However, the ladder-topping Mordialloc will be a big jump up in class this Saturday.

Hard to read much into the Bloods’ performance last round, given the quantity and quality of players missing from the East Malvern line-up, however, a nine-match winning streak speaks for itself. Should they convert most their chances in front of goal, a massive thumping for Port is on the cards.

Mordialloc by 50 points.


Cheltenham V Dingley (Jack Barker Oval)


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A huge contest in the context of the season, with the finals hopes of both clubs potentially hinging on a positive result.

Victory here for the Dingoes will see them overtake Cheltenham into sixth spot on percentage, while Cheltenham need the four points to keep pace with fifth-placed Bentleigh, to whom they are conceding four points and nearly 25%.

With plenty on the line, this is a contest that could go either way.

Cheltenham’s best footy is certainly good enough, however, we are yet to see enough of it to really gauge where they are at. A full four-quarter performance could see them claim victory on their home deck and give us a glimpse of their finals credentials.

Meanwhile, the Dingoes side has lacked depth in recent weeks and resulted in a string of losses from which they would be desperate to bounce back. The club will be bolstered by the returns of star duo Danny Ades and Lucas Walmsley after their standout performances in Sunday’s AFL Victoria Community Cup, which may just swing the match in their favour.

Dingley by three points.


St Pauls V East Malvern (McKinnon Reserve)


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The second-placed Dogs play host to the third-placed Panthers in what looms as a titanic contest between two of the leading premiership contenders.

It was almost a second-string side that East Malvern fielded last week, such was the spread of top-end talent missing from its first 18, however, its competitive performance against the Bloods is a credit to the clubs’ new-found depth.

Ruckman Chris Carey and hard-working mid Luke Duffy will slot back into the side, although defender Lucas Hall may miss after injuring his shoulder in Vic Metro’s loss to Vic Country on Sunday. Regardless, the Panthers possess enough talent on each line to cause problems for the Dogs.

The Doggies have now won five on the trot and with confidence sky-high, will look to claim another scalp as it sets its sights on the minor premiership.

St Pauls gave East Malvern a pasting in their previous meeting back in Round 3 but expect a much closer encounter this time around.

Weather permitting, expect an enthralling, high-quality contest between two of the most skilled teams in the competition, but gut feel says East Malvern in a thriller.

East Malvern by one point.



St Kilda City V Oakleigh District (Peanut Farm)


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The Oaks would be smarting following their dismal final-term fadeout in last week’s clash with Port Colts, which cost them four points and set them back in their fight for an unlikely finals berth.

Another loss this week to the Saints will almost certainly be the final nail in the coffin for that dream and consign the Districts to another season as also-rans.

City have now recorded big wins over the bottom two sides in consecutive weeks, which has resulted in a significant percentage boost as Richard Houston’s men look to cement themselves in the top five.

The Oaks have played better footy in the last month than their eighth-place suggests, and will provide a sterner examination than ether the Heighters or the Colts, but will need to pull a performance out of the top drawer to knock off St Kilda City at the Farm.

St Kilda City by 27 points.

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