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SFNL MATCH OF THE DAY
HIGHETT vs CAULFIELD
Turner Road Reserve, Turner Road, Highett - 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 7 Preview
With Good Will Hunter
EAST BRIGHTON vs OAKLEIGH DISTRICT (Widdop Crescent Reserve)
The Oaks have endured a tough few weeks, facing the top three sides in succession. And despite not registering a win in their last three starts, they have shown that they can certainly match it with the best.
East Brighton, meanwhile, have been smashed from pillar to post in its first six games, scoring an average of just 36 points per match – the lowest in the comp by the length of Flemington straight.
Oakleigh District to win by plenty.
MORDIALLOC vs CLAYTON (Ben Kavanagh Reserve)
With their Peanut Farm hoodoo now broken, the Bloods turn their sights to the visiting Clayton.
The stingy Bloods have conceding the fewest points against so far this year, furthering their reputation as the hardest team to score against. Clayton, on the vast expanses of Ben Kavanagh, and likely without last year’s club leading goalkicker Stewie Scanlon up front, will struggle to kick a winning score here.
EAST MALVERN vs CHELTENHAM (Dunlop Reserve)
Another solid performance from the Rosellas last week was wasted in one poor quarter of football, which has become a familiar story for them this year.
East Malvern haven’t set the world on fire in recent weeks, but will have too much top-end talent to allow this game to slip at home.
ST PAULS vs ST KILDA CITY (McKinnon Reserve)
The Saints, competitive for much of last week, lacked the class and experience when the heat was on to ultimately get the job done. And it’s hard to see much changing this Saturday against St Pauls.
The Dogs are tough to beat at the Kennel and, despite losing a number of key players to injury, will claim the points here.
DINGLEY vs BENTLEIGH (Souter Oval)
This Saturday’s top-of-the-table clash is undoubtedly the match of the season so far. Division 1’s two undefeated sides lock horns in a battle that will decide which team claims outright top billing on the ladder.
Bentleigh, like a few other clubs, have their injury concerns, but continue to find ways to win through all-round team contributions. However, the Dingoes, a team the Demons have never bested, will prove the biggest test of their flag credentials.
Dingley have been most impressive in their premiership defence thus far, and save for a scare last week, have been largely unchallenged. They have also turned Souter Oval into a relative graveyard for visiting sides in recent years, so expect them to remain unbeaten.
DIVISION 2 – Round 7 Preview
With Jason Barbin
Round 8 is now upon us and the four of the top five sides go head-to-head while the top placed side watches from the sidelines.
SKYE vs CHELSEA HEIGHTS (Carrum Downs Recreation Reserve)
Both sides are coming off strong wins in Round 7 but with Highett, Hampton and Keysborough breathing down the Bombers’ necks, they will be especially motivated to grab a win to maintain their spot in the top five. They run into a roadblock that is Chelsea Heights however, with the Heighters’ winning form potentially dependent on whether powerhouse forward Phil Smith lines up for the Red and the Blue.
Chelsea Heights by 10 points.
KEYSBOROUGH vs HAMPTON (Keysborough Reserve)
The Burra will be especially keen to win this game at home and climb their way back into the top five after a disappointing start to their season. They haven’t been at their best and haven’t been able to string together consecutive victories yet in 2016. Hampton on the other hand has shown improvement but has yet to show the killer instinct which could secure it a spot in the finals.
Keysborough by 15 points.
MURRUMBEENA vs SPRINGVALE DISTRICTS (Murrumbeena Park)
If either side is going to make an appearance in this season’s finals series then a win this weekend is paramount with the season nearing its half way mark. Murrumbeena has been bitterly disappointing in 2016, but strong form against Hampton three weeks ago showed its 2015 form is there behind the poor performances it has dished up this season. Springvale has shown patchy improvement this season and may have improved enough to cause a mini upset.
Murrumbeena by eight points.
HEATHERTON vs BLACK ROCK (Heatherton Recreation Reserve)
Had you asked me at the start of the season who would win this game, I would’ve leaned towards Black Rock but as the season has progressed, Heatherton has turned into one of the surprise packets of the competition and should be considered heavy favourites. The Jets have shown spurts of good form but have yet to put it together for four quarters. If they can do that a win might be around the corner.
Heatherton by 22 points.
HIGHETT vs CAULFIELD (Turner Road Reserve)
Easily the match of the round, the Dogs host the Bears in what could be a potential finals clash. Both sides have been in good form of late, after strong wins in Round 7 and both sides have reason to believe they are favourites heading into the match. I feel as though this will be a battle of the forwards with Caulfield’s Nick Gilbert and Highett’s Joel Jones-Hampton set to play crucial roles in determining the outcomes of the clash.
Caulfield by 12 points.
BYE: PORT MELBOURNE COLTS
DIVISION 3 – Round 7 Preview
With Andrew Paloczi
ENDEAVOUR HILLS vs SANDOWN (Barry Simon Reserve)
Sandown is desperate for a win. The Cobras’ opponent this week is Endeavour Hills.
The Falcons significantly boosted their aspirations to play finals footy with a win over the previously unbeaten Hallam.
Endeavour Hills won’t let Sandown hinder its chances, in what will be a one-sided affair.
ASHWOOD vs MOORABBIN (Essex Heights Reserve)
Ashwood and Moorabbin last clashed in the 2015 finals, with the Kangaroos surprise winners.
But given the performance of the teams this season it seems unlikely Moorabbin will achieve the same feat on this occasion.
The Magpies have been knocked off their perch just a couple of times in 2016, whilst the Kangaroos have managed just two wins.
Expect Ashwood to win comfortably.
LYNDHURST vs DANDENONG (Marriott Waters Reserve)
Lyndhurst is yet to record a home win and a clash against Dandenong shapes as a great opportunity.
Lightning may not have everything their own way, with the Redlegs coming into this game after a morale-boosting win.
Dandenong has plenty to play for as it takes on its former onfield motivator, Jake Ward who is now one of Lyndhurst’s co-captains.
This should be a good game, with Lightning proving too strong.
MOUNT WAVERLEY vs SOUTH YARRA (Mayfield Park)
Mount Waverley is in commanding form this season and should have too much firepower for tenacious South Yarra.
The strongly built Luke Galle looks a chance to kick a century of goals this season, presently sitting on 39.
He should kick a few more in a big Mountain Lions’ win.
CARRUM PATTERSON LAKES vs HALLAM (Roy Dore Reserve)
Carrum Patterson Lakes has given its supporters encouragement recently, after an abysmal start to the season, but Hallam will bounce back from a Round 7 loss.