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SFNL MATCH OF THE DAY
CAULFIELD vs SKYE
Koornang Park, Koornang Road, Carnegie – 2:15pm
Listen to the SFNL Radio Team’s commentary live on 88.3 Southern FM from 2:00pm or live stream the radio broadcast and get all live scores at sfnllive.com.au
DIVISION 1 – Round 13 Preview
With Good Will Hunter
EAST BRIGHTON vs CHELTENHAM (Widdop Crescent)
East Brighton showed a much improved effort last week, and were able to hit the scoreboard with more effect after managing a paltry five goals across their previous four games. However, they are still a fair bit behind the rest of the competition.
Cheltenham have also improved with honourable losses to the top two sides following a three-game winning streak. If that same effort and intensity is applied this week, they will record their biggest win of the year.
MORDIALLOC vs ST PAULS (Ben Kavanagh Reserve)
After four wins from their last five games, the rampaging Bloods have stormed into the top three and look like again challenging Dingley for the title with an even spread of contributors across the park.
The Doggies are clinging to fifth spot, and need a win here to put some breathing space between them and the resurgent Clayton.
St Pauls were victorious in their last meeting at the Kennel in Round 4, but the Bloods are a much better side at home and should win this one comfortably.
BENTLEIGH vs CLAYTON (Bentleigh Reserve)
The Clays are back in town, and all of a sudden this game has a bit of intrigue about it.
Four weeks ago, you would have expected the second-placed Demons to win this by plenty, but Clayton has since emerged as one of the form teams of the comp and a genuine finals contender.
Bentleigh, although still missing several from their best 22, continue to show their impressive depth in getting the job done each week. I would expect that to be the case at home again this week, but Clayton will certainly push them all the way.
OAKLEIGH DISTRICT vs EAST MALVERN (Princes Highway Reserve)
This looms as a massive game in the context of the season.
Despite form and injury issues, East Malvern are still right in the hunt for a top three berth and the all-important double chance, but a loss here will dent their chances.
The Oaks, meanwhile, need a win to keep touch with those in finals contention. Their percentage of 112.09% is a good as we’ve seen from a side ranked seventh, which suggests their best is certainly good enough.
Just one straight kick separated them last time they met back in Round 4, and this one could be just as close. East Malvern have been the better side for most of the year and should claim another narrow victory.
DINGLEY vs ST KILDA CITY (Souter Oval)
Not much to look forward to in this one as the top-of-the-table Dingoes host cellar-dwellers St Kilda City.
This one could well be over at half time as Dingley coasts to another easy victory.
DIVISION 2 – Round 15 Preview
With Jason Barbin
Several important games take place in round 15 with six of the top seven teams facing off against one another with ladder positions vital with only six rounds remaining.
CAULFIELD vs SKYE (Koornang Park)
Both sides were on the wrong end of upset losses last week and both will be keen to make amends when they meet in Caulfield.
The Bears will rightly go into the match as favourites and if results go their way, they regain second spot on the ladder.
The Bombers are in a battle for fourth and fifth spot but a loss here could see them fall outside the top five.
Caulfield by 12 points.
BLACK ROCK vs MURRUMBEENA (McDonald Reserve)
This is Murrumbeena’s chance to jump into the top five for the first time this season.
With the Bombers facing a tough clash against the Bears and the Dogs squaring off against the Colts, the Beena could jump to as high as fourth with a win against the Rockers so expect them to come out fighting.
Black Rock won’t make it easy for them however, and with two games separating it from Springvale in 10th, a win here is a must if it is to avoid relegation.
Murrumbeena by 20 points.
PORT MELBOURNE COLTS vs HIGHETT (Murphy Reserve)
I’m a believer in any team could beat another on any given day, and although Highett is one of those sides that has the ability to knock off the ladder leaders, I can’t see it happening.
You don’t get to 14-0 without knowing when to put the foot on the gas and the one thing you can’t do against the Colts is switch off.
Unfortunately for Highett, too many times this season has it put together dismal performances against teams it should comfortable account for, making it hard to believe in a potential upset.
But I will say this, if any team is going to beat Port Melbourne at this stage of the season, Highett is it.
Port Melbourne by 15 points.
HAMPTON vs CHELSEA HEIGHTS (Peterson Street Reserve)
This is a tough matchup for the Hammers but one they need to win if they’re to keep in touch with the top five.
While a loss won’t rule them out of the finals, they don’t want to fall too far behind the likes of Highett, Skye and Murrumbeena.
Chelsea Heights on the other hand will be keen to solidify its hold on second spot and will need to defeat Hampton to do so, a feat that should be very achievable.
Chelsea Heights by 27 points.
HEATHERTON vs KEYSBOROUGH (Heatherton Recreation Reserve)
The Tonners finally got back on the winners list last week after not having tasted success since Round 2.
They might again be able to enjoy consecutive wins when they go against a Keysborough side severely lacking in form.
The Burra haven’t been as potent an attacking team without forward Tyson King and are vulnerable around the ground.
If Heatherton is to firmly secure its placed in Division 2 next season, a win here will do it.
Heatherton by three points.
BYE: SPRINGVALE DISTRICTS
DIVISION 3 – Round 14 Preview
With Andrew Paloczi
ENDEAVOUR HILLS vs LYNDHURST (Barry Simon Reserve)
Although fourth, Endeavour Hills is equal on points with sixth-placed Hallam and must beat Lyndhurst.
The Falcons will win comfortably against Lightning, keeping the pressure on other contenders, Lyndale, South Yarra, and Hallam.
SANDOWN vs LYNDALE (Edinburgh Reserve)
Lyndale is clinging to fifth place and has three tough matches in the run to the finals. It has to play Mount Waverley and Ashwood in the final two rounds of the season and also meets another possible finalist in Endeavour Hills in the run home.
The Pumas will strive for every bit of percentage they can gain in what should be a handsome win against a Sandown side that must surely be looking forward to the end of the season.
DANDENONG vs SOUTH YARRA (Greaves Reserve)
All of South Yarra’s remaining home and away games are winnable, and the Lions are a real shot to rise from their current seventh spot on the ladder to claim a finals chance.
A loss to Dandenong would be catastrophic, but won’t happen.
Realistically, the Lions’ hopes will come down to clashes with Hallam in Round 15 and Endeavour Hills in Round 17.
HALLAM vs MOORABBIN (Hallam Reserve)
Despite dropping out of the top five, Hallam should be confident it can bounce back to play finals. It has a couple of tough contests coming up against other finals aspirants, South Yarra and Endeavour Hills.
However, the Hawks’ other matches should be wins, although Moorabbin will provide a decent contest.
Expect Hallam to win by a few goals.
MOUNT WAVERLEY vs ASHWOOD (Mayfield Park)
This battle between unbeaten Mount Waverley and third-placed Ashwood should be the match of the round.
It would be disrespectful to tip against the Mountain Lions in the form they are in, especially playing at their home den.
But the Magpies are a strong side with a knack for causing upsets and will take it up to Mount Waverley in what promises to be an entertaining spectacle.
CARRUM PATTERSON LAKES vs DOVETON EAGLES (Roy Dore Reserve)
Doveton will win comprehensively against Carrum Patterson Lakes, keeping the Eagles safely perched on the second-top rung, which is where they are likely to remain after the home and away season.