SFNL Round Previews are proudly brought to you by Beiersdorf/Elastoplast
View this week’s issue of the SFNL Record HERE.
DIVISION 1 – Round 4 Preview
With Good Will Hunter
EAST MALVERN vs OAKLEIGH DISTRICT (Dunlop Reserve)
Last Saturday was a complete write off for the underdone and battle-weary Panthers, who will be grateful for the full seven day break this week.
The District, meanwhile, are undefeated thus far, and although they have had a relatively cruisy start to the year, have been nonetheless impressive. But in East Malvern they face their biggest test to date.
I expect the Panthers to bounce back this week, though not without stiff resistance from the black and whites.
CHELTENHAM vs EAST BRIGHTON (Jack Barker Oval)
Both sides occupy the bottom two rungs on the ladder after winless starts to the year.
Cheltenham have shown plenty of fighting spirit in their losses, while East Brighton’s percentage of just 20.94 paints a very grim picture.
Unfortunately, I’m tipping more pain for the Vampires as Cheltenham will win convincingly at home.
ST PAULS vs MORDIALLOC (McKinnon Reserve)
It has been a disappointing start for the Dogs, but they seem to have returned to form with their ruthless demolition of the Vampires.
Mordialloc have also been impressive since their heavy defeat in Round 1, and last week showed the sort of form that propelled them to last year’s Grand Final
This looms as perhaps the most even contest of the round and both sides will fancy their chances. St Pauls don’t lose too many at home, but I reckon the points will be heading back to Ben Kavanagh on this occasion.
CLAYTON vs BENTLEIGH (Meade Reserve)
Like East Malvern, Clayton too suffered the effects of a short turnaround after ANZAC Day and will be in much better shape for their date with Bentleigh this weekend.
The Demons, one of three teams yet to taste defeat in 2016, have done just enough in each of their three games to get the points, but they can’t afford any complacency this week.
This is another game that could go either way. The Clays play the narrow confines of Meade Reserve very well, but Bentleigh have too strong a line up and should get the job done.
ST KILDA CITY vs DINGLEY (Peanut Farm)
The emerging Saints have already shown pleasing signs of improvement this year. And this improvement will only continue once the side, which underwent nearly a complete overhaul in the off-season, starts to properly gel together.
However, the ladder-topping Dingoes remain the competition’s benchmark and will be too good in this one.
DIVISION 2 – Round 5 Preview
With Jason Barbin
Round five is now upon us and there are several key match ups that could potentially be mini finals previews if current form holds throughout the season.
CHELSEA HEIGHTS vs HIGHETT (Beazley Reserve)
SFNL MATCH OF THE DAY
Listen live on 88.3 Southern FM or via sfnllive.com.au.
The two former Division 1 sides clash for the first time in Division 2 in a contest which could determine who is the number one chaser of Port Melbourne. The Heighters have won their last two matches while the Dogs have been in strong form despite only having won only once this year.
Chelsea Heights by three points.
CAULFIELD vs KEYSBOROUGH (Koornang Park Reserve)
The Semi Final rematch is probably the match of the round and the Burra will be out for revenge against the team that knocked them out of the finals last year. The Bears are coming off a disappointing loss to Skye last week and will be keen for redemption. Keysborough on the other hand may have breathed life into its season after last week’s win and will be looking to make it two wins in a row.
Caulfield by six points.
BLACK ROCK vs SKYE (McDonald Reserve)
Although the Jets are yet to win a game in 2016, they have been far from disgraceful and a win should be right around the corner. Unfortunately for them it will be tough to overcome a Skye side that seems to be building into good form after winning its last two matches. Black Rock deserves a win, but it may have to wait another week to get it.
Skye by 23 points.
HAMPTON vs SPRINGVALE DISTRICTS (Peterson Street Reserve)
The Hammers currently sit in fifth spot on the ladder and have been the quiet achievers so far this season with two wins to their name. They stuck with Chelsea Heights for a fair portion of last week’s game and will be confident of getting a home victory this season. Springvale has shown improvement from last year and will be keen for a good result.
Hampton by 19 points.
HEATHERTON vs PORT MELBOURNE COLTS (Heatherton Recreation Reserve)
The Tonners have been a surprise packet so far this season and sit in fourth spot with two wins to their name. Win number three may have to wait another week as the powerhouse Port Melbourne comes to town and the Colts have yet to be threatened as it marches towards a probable finals appearance. Never count Heatherton out, but it will be hard for them to win this one.
Port Melbourne by 33 points.
BYE - MURRUMBEENA
DIVISION 3 – Round 5 Preview
With Andrew Paloczi
LYNDALE vs CARRUM PATTERSON LAKES (Barry Powell Reserve)
Lyndale's season is off to a solid start, suffering just one defeat in the first four rounds. The Pumas will be feeling positive about this contest against bottom-of-the-table Carrum Patterson Lakes.
CPL earned respect with a competitive showing in its last outing but this was against the inexperienced Lyndhurst side, and the Pumas will be a step up in class.
Expect a big win for Lyndale.
SOUTH YARRA vs SANDOWN (Fritsch Holzer Park)
This promises to be an interesting clash between two low-scoring teams. Sandown was competitive in round 4, but is yet to score 50 points in any game.
It takes on a South Yarra side that has won a couple of matches, but has gone past 60 points just once in 2016.
South Yarra will prevail, but it could be in the balance for some time.
HALLAM vs DANDENONG (Hallam Reserve)
Dandenong will not bring down the Hawks in this clash, as Hallam makes it five straight wins.
The Hawks will have the game under control early and it would surprise if the Redlegs are within ten goals when the final siren sounds.
LYNDHURST vs MOUNT WAVERLEY (Marriott Waters Reserve)
You can't fault the spirited start to the season by new boys, Lyndhurst, but a visit from Mount Waverley will give the Lightning players a chance to test themselves against the best.
The big-bodied Mountain Lions will maul the young Lightning players, and Lyndhurst's first home win will have to wait.
DOVETON EAGLES vs ASHWOOD (Power Reserve)
Doveton will be desperate to bounce back after being comprehensively beaten, and will have to work hard to shake off Ashwood.
Ashwood, on the other hand, needs to defeat one of the top sides, with its two 2016 wins coming against a couple of struggling sides.
Expect a good game, but the Eagles will win.
MOORABBIN vs ENDEAVOUR HILLS (Widdop Crescent Reserve)
This promises to be an arm wrestle, with both Moorabbin and Endeavour Hills having won a couple of games each.
The home ground advantage might be just enough to get the Kangaroos the points.