ROUND 17 PREVIEW
Endeavour Hills vs Black Rock (Barry Simon Reserve)
Third-placed Endeavour Hills has won twice as many matches this season as this week’s adversary, Black Rock.
The Jets sit sixth on the table and have not challenged the Falcons in two attempts this year.
Endeavour Hills brushed aside Black Rock by 68 points early in the season and backed that up with a 56-point win when these sides met again in Round 10.
There is minimal reward on offer this time for either side.
Black Rock is striving to finish as the best non-finalist and will hope to at last beat one of the four sides now certain to feature in the post-season action.
Endeavour Hills now looks certain to remain third come the end of the home and away season and will simply be looking to build form and confidence for the finals.
The Falcons will win comfortably.
South Yarra vs Hampton Park (Robert Booth Reserve)*
In its two 2018 matches against South Yarra, Hampton Park’s combined score amounts to 277 points, compared to the Yarras’ 41.
That again shows the unfortunate chasm between the division’s top sides and those in its lower reaches.
The Yarras were never going to be competitive this week, however, a shift to the wide expanses of Robert Booth Reserve makes their task even more daunting.
It will be a surprise if Hampton Park's winning margin doesn't reach triple-figure territory.
*This match has been moved from Fritsch Holzer Park to Robert Booth Reserve due to ground suitability.
Hallam vs Ashwood (Hallam Reserve)
Ashwood will finish in its current ladder position of fourth when the home and away season wraps up next week.
The Magpies will likely take the opportunity to rest some players ahead of the finals with matches against bottom sides in the last two rounds.
This week, Ashwood travels to Hallam to take on a plucky Hawks’ side that plays some good footy, but not for long enough periods.
In two games against the Magpies, the Hawks have managed a total of just six goals, whilst Ashwood has tallied 34 majors.
Ashwood will again win easily.
Heatherton vs Springvale Districts (Ross Street Reserve)
Heatherton has shown improvement as the season has progressed.
It occupies the ladder’s fifth rung, making the Tunners currently the best of the non-finalists, although Black Rock may yet challenge them for that status.
This week’s clash with top side Springvale Districts offers the last chance for Heatherton to get the better of a finals-bound side.
The closest it has got to achieving that was a five-point loss to Ashwood in Round 13.
When Springvale Districts visited Ross Street Reserve earlier in the season, the Demons inflicted a 105-point defeat on the Tunners.
Hopefully Heatherton will manage a more competitive effort this time.
However, a narrow win last round against bottom-placed Hallam doesn’t create a great deal of optimism that the Tunners can push the Demons.
By way of contrast, Springvale Districts enters this contest filled with confidence derived from a big win over Endeavour Hills.