Elastoplast Division 4 Round Preview

By Lincoln Edmunds



Carrum Patterson Lakes V Lyndhurst


Saturday 25 August - Keysborough Reserve

Last three meetings:
R16, 4 August 2018 – Carrum Patterson Lakes 10.9 (69) def Lyndhurst 6.5 (41).
R9, 16 June 2018 – Lyndhurst 7.11 (53) def Carrum Patterson Lakes 3.3 (21).
R2, 14 April 2018 – Carrum Patterson Lakes 6.7 (43) def Lyndhurst 3.5 (23).

After 18 long rounds we are finally at the business end of the season and what a huge clash awaits us to kick off the Division 4 finals series. Carrum Patterson Lakes and Lyndhurst will battle it out in a high-stakes match up with a prized place in the Grand Final up for grabs.

Both sides’ form has been a bit hot and cold leading into finals but expect all that to go out the window come the first bounce on Saturday. CPL have been the most consistent team in the competition this season and despite their narrow loss last weekend, will head into this clash as slight favourites.

The Lions are hard to stop when they get the game on their terms, consistently slicing through opposition defences to clock up big scores. Their offence is the best in the competition with an impressive average of 100.5 points per game. Much of their scoring potency is due to their deadly forward duo of Alex Wilson and Brenton Rafferty.

Both finished inside the top three in the competitions leading goal kickers with 47 majors apiece. Similar to a familiar phrase found in cricket circles, ‘if Wilson don’t get you, Rafferty must’. The Lightning defenders will have the tough task of shutting these two down, but they are the most equipped side in the competition to do so.

Lyndhurst’s game style is built around their defensive structures with the club only conceding 41.3 points per game on average. Their defensive structures should hold them in good stead in a finals environment with plenty of contested football.

The team was able to keep the Lions forwards quiet during their sole victory over CPL back in Round 9, with Rafferty and Wilson only kicking one goal between them. The Lightning will also be buoyed by the fact they have the leading goal kicker in the competition in their colours, with Hamish Browning booting 50 goals from 16 appearances.

However, their forward line is not quite as potent as the Lions, averaging 74.3 points per game in comparison. They will need plenty of other contributors to help Browning out, otherwise expect them to struggle to kick a winning score.

Whilst the double chance means neither team can be eliminated, the week off after a long season could be crucial in a competitive finals series. On paper and form CPL probably have the slight edge but finals footy is a whole new ball game.

Expect this to be a low scoring tussle for the majority of the day but the Lions array of options in the forward line should eventually see them kick clear.

Carrum Patterson Lakes by 12 points.



Cerberus V Frankston Dolphins 


Sunday 26 August - Keysborough Reserve

Last three meetings:
R16, 4 August 2018 – Cerberus 8.8 (56) def Frankston 4.6 (30).
R9, 16 June 2018 – Cerberus 8.6 (54) def Frankston 5.10 (40).
R2, 14 April 2018 – Frankston 12.7 (79) def Cerberus 4.6 (30).

It’s do or die when Cerberus and Frankston clash in a knockout final at Keysborough Reserve on Sunday afternoon. In some ways it’s the battle of the newcomers, with Frankston in their inaugural season and Cerberus returning to senior football for the first time since 2011.

Both of these sides have had a very good year to date but for one of them the journey will end come 5pm. The Dogs will enter this clash with plenty of confidence having won their past nine games in a row, including two triumphs against the Dolphins in that time.

The team did not get to run around last weekend following a bye and the effects of this right before finals is unknown. Following an intense back half of the season the extra rest could provide them with a chance to freshen up any fatigue or injury niggles present in the group.

However, on the other hand, the club will be hopeful that the unplanned rest will not disrupt any of their winning momentum they had heading into finals.

It’s no coincidence that the Dogs started to win games once their scoring output started to increase, the club averaging 84.8 points per game since Round 9. It’s a stark difference to the 53.7 point average the team was dishing up in the first eight rounds, with their win-loss record sitting at 3-5.

But when looking at their forward line there is no obvious target to shut down. Michael Schwarz is the club’s leading goal scorer with 20 to his name, Jeremy Cross the next best with 16. However the Dolphins will need to be wary of surprise packet Jeremy Miller who has slotted 15 majors in three games, including a 12 goal haul against Moorabbin.

Frankston’s first season in the SFNL has been a tremendous success and no matter what happens this weekend the club can be proud of their efforts this season. When up and running, the Dolphins are one of the more attractive sides to watch in the competition, with quick and aggressive ball movement very much a feature of their game.

They have also hit finals action in peak form having accounted for both Carrum Patterson Lakes and Lyndhurst in the past fortnight. Before these results, the clubs record against the top sides was flaky but all that has changed now and the Dolphins should have plenty of belief that they can knock off the Dogs.

Joshua Kerrigan has had a great season up forward with 34 goals and will likely be a key player in this clash. He will be relying on Andrew Lee and Luke Ambler to supply plenty of footy once again, with the duo prominently featuring in the team’s best players this year.

This clash could not be set up more perfectly, with two evenly matched sides both in good form and with everything to play for. Cerberus have looked irresistible in the second half of the year but the Dolphins past fortnight certainly spices this one up some more!

This will be an absolute ripsnorter of a game and it should be close all day long. Whoever can handle the pressure and big moments better will go a long way to determining the outcome of this game. It might come down to whoever takes their chances in front of goal.

Cerberus by two points.

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