SOUTHERN FM MATCH OF THE DAY
East Malvern V Dingley (Dunlop Reserve)
Tune in to 88.3 Southern FM from 2:00pm to hear the live call of this game, or stream the commentary on your mobile via sfnllive.com.au.
ROUND 7 PREVIEW
By Will Hunter
88.3 SOUTHERN FM MATCH OF THE DAY
East Malvern V Dingley (Dunlop Reserve)
Two of Division 1’s leading contenders in East Malvern and Dingley put their premiership credentials to the test on Saturday arvo as they go head to head in this weekend’s Match of the Round.
Both star-studded teams are now beginning to find form following indifferent starts to the season, and this looms as one of the most exciting contests of 2017.
The Dingoes have enjoyed a stunning fortnight since its loss to Mordialloc, and enter this clash with confidence restored.
Dynamic Dingley spearhead Cal ‘the Dream’ McQueen is up and about following consecutive bags, while ruckman Troy MacKenzie showed last week he is a that can have a massive influence. However, the ex-Bonbeach big man will to be at his best again this week to overcome Panthers Simon Taylor and Matt Terech.
East Malvern’s big guns, particularly Ryan Mullett, Luke Duffy and Nathan Henley are now finding their feet at SFNL level, and have been prolific in recent victories over the Saints and Colts. If they aren’t muzzled, it could be a tough day for the Dingoes.
Hard to see this one being a fizzer, with the Panthers to sneak home in a thriller.
East Malvern by six points.
Tune in to 88.3 Southern FM to hear the live call of this game, or stream the commentary on your mobile via sfnllive.com.au.
Mordialloc V Cheltenham (Ben Kavanagh Reserve)
Although they boast just two victories to their credit, Cheltenham have been highly competitive in its defeats to genuine finals contenders, which suggests the club isn’t too far away from challenging.
Mordialloc, however, are the real deal this year, with quality players in their engine room that dominate possession and swing matches in their favour.
If the Rosellas can tidy up their ball use around the ground, they will make this a quality contest, but the Bloods should be too strong.
Mordialloc by 18 points.
St Pauls V St Kilda City (McKinnon Reserve)
This will be an interesting matchup between two sides that have shown vast improvement from 2016.
St Pauls’ resurgence has been orchestrated by the stunning form of its talented young kids, who move the ball particularly well and can catch opponents napping.
St Kilda City have picked up several gun recruits, with ruckman Troy Kelm likely to have an impact against a size that lacks height.
The Saints tend to play well at the Kennel, winning its past two games at the venue following a seven-point defeat in 2014. St Pauls should take the chocolates, but you can bet the Saints will make them earn it.
St Pauls by 12 points.
Oakleigh District V Bentleigh (Princes Highway Reserve)
The Districts have dropped from second to fifth on the back of their hefty loss last week, and will be looking to make amends this week against Bentleigh.
Veteran Paul Fermanis’ move forward, whether by choice or necessity, has paid handsome dividends with the big fella booting 16 goals in his last three matches. He looms as the match winner for the Districts and the bloke the Demons must stop.
Bentleigh, meanwhile, have put the tribulations of the previous month behind them, and with players such as Scott Lawry, Chris Johnson, and captain Tom Backman, to name a few, now back in the senior side, we can expect vastly improved performances in the coming weeks.
Oakleigh District will go into this match as warm favourites, but if there is to be an upset in any game this week, it will likely be here.
Oakleigh District by 15 points.
Clayton V Port Melbourne Colts (Meade Reserve)
The winless Clays are averaging a paltry 23 points per game, statistically worse than East Brighton at the same time last year, which further illustrates the club’s plight.
Port, who started the season with a brilliant victory over St Kilda City, have been on the slide since as injuries start to take their toll.
Clayton will perhaps get no better opportunity than this to register a victory. However, on evidence presented so far, I can’t see that happening.
Port Melbourne Colts by 35 points.
ROUND 8 PREVIEW
By Jason Barbin
Round 8 presents several interesting battles on the park as teams continue to jostle for position heading into the middle stages of the season.
Skye v Keysborough (Carrum Downs Reserve)
Game of the Round
Second makes the trip to third in what should be a corker of a clash this week, and one that the excellent radio team at SFNL would no doubt have considered covering as their Match of the Day.
The Bombers found a way to overcome a tough Murrumbeena opponent and have shown that if gun recruit Stephen Hawkins fires, they’re hard to stop.
Keysborough are back to its best and have many strong contributors across the ground, but can it get the job done away from home against a top three side?
Skye by 12 points.
East Brighton v Murrumbeena (Hurlingham Park)
Another potential match of the round sees the two of the four teams I believe will be fighting it out for the final spot in the top five come season’s end.
The host club is coming off the bye and will be fresh as daisies as they prepare to hold on to fifth spot on the ladder.
Murrumbeena on the other hand, will be eager to prove it’s not a flash in the pan and will be hungry for Vampire blood.
East Brighton by 14 points.
Caulfield v Highett (Koornang Park)
Two teams that have yet to rise to expectations face off this week in the Bears and the Dogs, with one team battling to stay alive in the finals race.
Caulfield has managed to find a way to despite not being in the best of form and are well placed to make a move inside the top three.
Highett will have regained a little bit of confidence after last week’s win and if the Dogs can cause an upset here, their season is back on track.
Caulfield by eight points.
Hampton v Springvale Districts (Peterson Street Reserve)
Three straight losses for the Hammers have them reeling slightly, making this clash against Springvale Districts a must win game.
Hampton was sitting pretty after Round 3, but are now just outside the top five and could be in danger of falling down the table.
Springvale sit above the relegation zone purely on percentage and will be keen for a win to give itself some breathing room.
Hampton by 29 points.
Heatherton v Chelsea Heights (Ross Street Reserve)
The Tonners are in desperate need of a win to escape the relegation zone, but face the toughest task in Division 2 in Chelsea Heights.
Sitting undefeated, the Heighters are undoubtedly premiership favourites and have been firing on all cylinders the past two weeks.
This could get ugly fast, but Heatherton’s best football is competitive and if it can sustain it across four quarters well, anything can happen.
Chelsea Heights by 35 points.
BYE: Mount Waverley
ROUND 7 PREVIEW
By Andrew Paloczi
Lyndale vs Moorabbin (Barry Powell Reserve)
Lyndale enters its contest against Moorabbin a slight favourite.
That is based on the Kangaroos’ poor form rather than anything the Pumas have delivered.
Moorabbin lacks firepower, averaging just 55 points a game this season.
Its top score of 104 points came against lowly Sandown.
A disappointing loss to Black Rock knocked Lyndale out of the five.
The Pumas will bounce back with a win over Moorabbin.
Endeavour Hills vs Ashwood (Barry Simon Reserve)
This promises to be an enthralling encounter.
Endeavour Hills’ fans will be optimistic their side can topple unbeaten Ashwood.
The Falcons are certainly capable of beating the Magpies.
Endeavour Hills is the only side to get the better of Hallam this season, demonstrating it is a serious threat.
Although Ashwood will not be in for an easy day, there is no reason to tip against the Magpies.
Hallam vs Dandenong (Hallam Reserve)
For the winless Dandenong, a visit to Hallam offers a learning experience.
The Hawks have too much class all over the ground and will prevail.
Dandenong demonstrated in its Round 4 loss to Endeavour Hills that it can play with passion.
The Redlegs need to apply equally zealous tackling and display the same enthusiasm against Hallam.
The Hawks will win comfortably.
Lyndhurst vs South Yarra (Marriott Waters Reserve)
Having led top-placed Ashwood in the final quarter last round will give Lyndhurst’s youngsters confidence they are on track.
Ashwood’s dominance in the final minutes demonstrates how far Lyndhurst’s players still have to go in their development.
Lightning’s best is exciting, but they must sustain that level against the top sides.
South Yarra’s preparation provides a stark contrast to Lyndhurst’s.
The Yarras’ coasted to victory against Sandown in round 6 and must be prepared for greater pressure this week.
Lyndhurst won its 2016 encounter with the Yarras and can repeat the dose.
Doveton Eagles vs Sandown (Power Reserve)
Without a host of its best players, Doveton was no match for a rampant Hallam side in Round 6.
This week, even a second-string Eagles’ outfit would make light work of Sandown.
Carrum Patterson Lakes vs Black Rock (Roy Dore Reserve)
CPL hosts the erratic Black Rock and it is difficult to know what to expect.
The Lions are coming off a win and continue to improve under the guidance of coach Terry Philippe.
Black Rock has fallen well short of expectations, but impressed under the guidance of replacement coach Jay Williams.
In just his second game in charge, Williams led the Jets to victory.
He should make it two in a row, but don’t count the Lions out.
ROUND 7 PREVIEW
By Britt Goldsmith
Hallam will take on a confident Dingley at home, and St Pauls will be looking to continue their form against Doveton at McKinnon Reserve.
Parkmore/Springvale Districts will host Hampton, and Cheltenham will try to bounce back from a narrow loss as they go head on with Skye at the Carrum Downs Reserve.
After their first loss of the season, Oakleigh will be hoping for four points against Bentleigh at home, and St Kilda City will head over to the Barry Simon Reserve as they face Endeavour Hills.