SOUTHERN FM MATCH OF THE DAY
Dingley V Mordialloc
Tune in to 88.3 Southern FM from 2:00pm to hear the live call of these games, or stream the commentary on your mobile via sfnllive.com.au.
ROUND 13 PREVIEW
By Will Hunter
Just six matches remain in the 2017 home and away season, and while the top three spots appear largely settled, the race for the remaining finals positions continues to intrigue.
88.3 SOUTHERN FM MATCH OF THE DAY
Dingley V Mordialloc
Recent matches between the 2015 Grand Final combatants have rarely disappointed, with three of the last five home and away encounters decided by five points or fewer, and another by two goals.
This one will likely be no exception.
Both Mordialloc and Dingley are in terrific form, and appeared assured of securing the double chance come September. However, the outcome of this match could go a long way in decider the eventual minor premier, so expect no love lost between them on Saturday.
The Dingoes and the Bloods are so evenly matched in terms of midfield weaponry, forward firepower and ruck strength, that they are almost impossible to split. As such, expect this result to go right down to the wire, but Dingley’s more experienced line up and home ground advantage could see them inflict the first loss of Mordi coach Daniel Quinn’s short tenure.
In any case, this looms as one of the best matches of the season, and quite possibly a preview of the 2017 Division 1 Grand Final.
Dingley by one point.
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.
Bentleigh V Port Melbourne Colts
The Demons’ form over the last six weeks has been as good as any team’s in the competition, and has now given itself a perfect opportunity to play finals footy.
In that time, they have risen from ninth to fifth on the ladder, and recaptured some of the form that took them to last year’s big dance. Remarkably, Bentleigh have managed to do so without several key big men including Matt Troutbeck and Andrew Walsh, the reintroduction of whom could elevated them back into premiership contention.
The ninth-placed Colts, meanwhile, haven’t enjoyed its most successful season, but have still claimed a few scalps along the way, including Bentleigh in its most recent encounter back in Round 4. However, the side continues to struggle away from home, so expect the Colts’ first trip to Arthur Street to be a fruitless one.
Bentleigh by 28 points.
East Malvern V Cheltenham
Three disappointing defeats in successive weeks have seen Cheltenham’s finals chances placed on life support. The Rosellas may only sit two wins outside the five, but with a lowly percentage, and matches against the current top-two sides still to come, one more loss will put the final nail in the coffin.
Of particular concern for Cheltenham has been their recent second half blowouts. In the last three weeks, they have been outscored 41-189 after the major interval, and this will be something coach Des Ryan would no doubt be keen to address.
East Malvern, though beaten last week, were no less impressive in the way they fought back from earlier adversity and can still give the premiership a shake with its big guns firing.
The Rosellas absolutely must show more fight this week to keep its season alive, but the Panthers will unfortunately remove them from finals contention with a comfortable win at home.
East Malvern by 36 points.
Oakleigh District V St Kilda City
Another game that will likely shape the composition of the finals.
The sixth-placed Oaks currently sit a game and percentage ahead of St Kilda City in seventh, with victory here to put them further ahead in the finals race.
In essence, this looms as an elimination final for the Saints, particularly with matches against St Pauls and Mordialloc still to come.
While they have been reasonably competitive for the majority of games, City’s inability to string together four consistent quarters of footy has been their Achilles heel. A repeat performance of the previous weeks’ fadeouts will make a win all but an impossibility.
The Districts, however, have looked a completely different side since Jake Mullen’s return from suspension in Round 9, and look to have hit form at just the right time of the year. Mullen’s last three weeks have yielded 19 goals, and if he is let off the chain again it could be a long day at the office for the Saints.
Oakleigh District by 25 points.
Clayton V St Pauls
While there is little to be gained here for Clayton, who are now all but assured of relegation, the second-placed St Pauls have a chance to assume pole position in the race for the minor premiership should Mordialloc lose to Dingley.
The Dogs will also see this as an opportunity to improve their percentage, which is significantly lower than both the Bloods and the Dingoes, so another tough afternoon looms for the Clays.
St Pauls by 60 points.
ROUND 15 PREVIEW
By Jason Barbin
Round 15 of Division 2 is choc full of important games that will shape the ladder ahead of finals, with the matchup between first and fifth looming as the game of the round.
Chelsea Heights v Hampton (Beazley Reserve)
Game of the Round
It may not be the closest result of the week, but Chelsea Heights will host its fifth-placed opponent in what is perhaps the most important game of the season for the Hammers.
Hampton currently sit in fifth spot, but are only marginally ahead of sixth-ranked East Brighton by percentage, with the Vampires travelling to cellar dweller Heatherton in what could be a percentage booster.
While the Heighters are cruising along in top spot, don’t expect them to take this game likely, just look at last week’s result as evidence.
Chelsea Heights by 28 points.
Mount Waverley v Caulfield (Mayfield Reserve)
Caulfield is riding a wave of confidence following last week’s come from behind win against Murrumbeena and will be heavy favourites for this matchup.
The Lions are not a pushover however, and with a chance to play finals continually on the line, they will be keen to cause an upset.
The one thing they do have is an ability to post high scores, but it will be a tough ask to do it against a top three side.
Caulfield by 25 points.
Murrumbeena v Keysborough (Murrumbeena Park)
The Beena will be disappointed with their slip up against Caulfield last week, but get a shot at redemption against fellow top three side Keysborough.
We know Murrumbeena can take it to the top three sides, can they do it again and work its way into the top five.
The Burra are coming fresh off the bye, but that hasn’t always been a good thing for sides this year, will they slip up.
Murrumbeena by two points.
Heatherton v East Brighton (Ross Street Reserve)
Another tough one coming up for the Tonners, with the Vampires likely to be out for blood with the chance to jump into the top five on the line.
East Brighton currently sit in sixth spot, but with fifth placed Hampton travelling to Chelsea Heights, Saturday’s game is a must win.
With percentage likely to play a role in deciding the fifth and final spot in the finals, the Vampires need a big win on the road.
East Brighton by 39 points.
Highett v Skye (Turner Road Reserve)
The Dogs got an all-important victory against Hampton last week to keep their finals hopes alive, but it needs to keep the ball rolling this week.
Unfortunately, Saturday’s opponent is the fourth-placed Bombers who are well in contention for a spot in the top three and can’t afford to lose any ground.
While it would be nice for Highett’s potential Cinderella story to unfold, I can see it being dashed come the final siren.
Skye by 28 points.
BYE: Springvale Districts
ROUND 14 PREVIEW
By Andrew Paloczi
Sandown vs Carrum Patterson Lakes (Edinburgh Reserve)
In Round 3, Sandown capitulated by 109 points against CPL.
Cobras’ coach Ange Sammartino is hopeful his side will fare better this time, believing the disruption of the recent coaching change at CPL may work in Sandown’s favour.
As new CPL senior coach Cain Padman was already in charge of the club’s reserves side, the Lions will be confident of minimising any disruption.
CPL will be too strong.
Dandenong vs Lyndhurst (Greaves Reserve)
Lyndhurst is just one victory away from equalling its 2016 win tally.
This suggests Lightning has improved this season, even if not as markedly as hoped.
Winless Dandenong is unlikely to challenge Lyndhurst.
Hallam vs Lyndale (Hallam Reserve)
Playing at home and coming off a narrow loss, expect Hallam to bounce back emphatically against Lyndale.
Lyndale’s seven wins this season have all come against sides not currently in the top five.
Hallam will have too much class for the Pumas.
Black Rock vs South Yarra (MacDonald Reserve)
After storming into finals contention, Black Rock must defeat South Yarra.
The Yarras stand between the Jets and a shot at the post-season.
A Jets’ win would have Black Rock trailing South Yarra on percentage only.
However, a Black Rock loss would see it fall two games and percentage off the pace.
A deficit that large would likely prove insurmountable for the Jets, with South Yarra set to play three of its final four games at its home fortress.
At home and with South Yarra’s depth recently tested, a Black Rock win is probable.
Doveton Eagles vs Endeavour Hills (Power Reserve)
Percentage separates Doveton and Endeavour Hills.
Endeavour Hills will be confident after again defeating Hallam.
Anticipate an exhilarating avian battle as the Eagles and Falcons fight for a double chance.
Doveton starts favourite and should win narrowly.
Moorabbin vs Ashwood (Widdop Crescent)
Ashwood has lost three of its past four games.
Suddenly, a double chance is not guaranteed with Endeavour Hills in particular threatening to edge Ashwood out of the top three.
Ashwood has been missing Mitch Saunders whose pace and skill through the middle of the ground and up forward is irreplaceable.
The Magpies’ recent struggles will be put aside with victory over Moorabbin, although Kangaroo Justin Isaac will be damaging if allowed too much freedom.
ROUND 13 PREVIEW
By Britt Goldsmith
Bentleigh will be looking to continue their competitive form as they face a thriving third-placed Hallam, while Doveton and Skye will battle it out at the Power Reserve.
Parkmore / Springvale Districts will host St Kilda City, and a competitive match is set to unravel as Cheltenham and Endeavour Hills clash at the Jack Barker Oval.
Dingley will host Hampton at the Souter Oval, and Oakleigh will be looking to get a win on the board after two recent losses as they face St Pauls.