Holmesglen Round 9 Previews
DIVISION ONE with JASON BARBIN
Round 9 comes after a week off for the players and at the halfway point of the season, the reigning premiers look to climb their way back up the ladder.
East Malvern vs St Kilda City
Though these two sides both have 2 wins, they are at different ends of the scale. St Kilda City have played some good footy without getting the 4 points while East Malvern have done enough to ensure they avoid relegation. Both teams will be looking at this as a winnable game but it should be the Saints who prevail.
St Kilda City by 31 points
Cheltenham vs East Brighton
The Rosellas come into this match-up needing a win to stay in touch with the top 5. Unfortunately for them they run into a Vampire outfit that are back to their best. The Vampires will be out for blood as they look to inch closer to that top 3 spot which is definitely within their reach. The Vampire midfield should be too strong in this match-up.
East Brighton by 24 points
Clayton vs St Pauls
Clayton will look to bounce back after a disappointing performance against the Vampires. But in their way are ladder leaders St Pauls, who havenít missed a beat all season. Another tough match-up for Clayton as they try to hold on to the final spot in the top 5.
St Pauls by 35 points
Dingley vs Chelsea Heights
The match of the round sees 2nd place Dingley take on 3rd place Chelsea Heights in a game that will have a significant impact on the top half of the ladder. A win will give either team a 1 game advantage while the loser will have to hold off the resurgent Vampires. This will be a great game of footy that could go either way.
Dingley by 11 points
Highett vs Heatherton
Perhaps the second most important game of the round is the battle of the cellar dwellers. Highett take on Heatherton as both teams look for their first win of the season and put some distance between themselves and relegation. Heatherton have been improved in the last month and were close to getting a win last round. Should be a close one.
Heatherton by 15 points.
DIVISION TWO with THE FOOTY TRAGIC
Mordialloc vs South Yarra
Mordialloc will be spitting chips at losing last round and will be looking to take it out on South Yarra. South Yarra have been putting better efforts in lately but I canít imagine them giving Mordialloc too many headaches.
Skye vs Bentleigh
Skye at their best are formidable opponents, especially at home.† Likewise, Bentleigh are worthy opponents at home and away! This makes for a crackerjack tussle. Bentleigh are in better recent form and as long as they donít rest on their laurels and are prepared to keep doing the hard things, I reckon theyíll take the points here.
Caulfield vs Springvale Districts
I canít see the Bears causing an upset here against Springvale Districts (I thought the same when Oakleigh District ventured to Koornang Park earlier this season and look what happened there)! All the same, I think Springvale should have all the answers here and should come away with another victory.
Hampton vs Murrumbeena
Here are two of the most unpredictable teams in this Division. Their good is very good, their bad is horrible, and their in between can be indifferent. Whatever happens, Murrumbeena will hold 5th spot as the percentage difference would require a massive win to Hampton for them to take that spot, and I donít think Hampton will do that here. Toss of a coin here and Iíll tip Hampton, and because I never seem to predict Murrumbeena correctly, they are just as likely to win!
Oakleigh District vs Moorabbin
Last game this week sees Oakleigh District take on Moorabbin. The Kangas have won a couple on the trot and will hit this game with a fair amount of optimism. Oakleigh however, bounced back to their best last week and will be determined to put Moorabbin 'back in their box'. I canít see Moorabbin winning, though I can see them having a red hot crack at this and Oakleigh will know theyíve been in a game of footy at the end of the day. Oakleigh to win, but not by a lot!
DIVISION THREE with 'GOOD' WILL HUNTER
Round 9 kicks off with the most eagerly awaited clash of the season: Mount Waverley versus Doveton at Mayfield Reserve. With just one loss between them from a combined 16 games, Doveton and Mount Waverley are clearly the two best teams in Division 3. The Mountain Lionsí loss exposed a rare vulnerability; while in contrast, the Eagles have been dominant and ruthless since their season opener. I would pick Mount Waverley to bounce back against any other side, but I reckon Doveton will win in an absolute epic.
Fresh off their big win, Lyndale travels to Greaves Reserve to take on Dandenong. With both sides aiming to consolidate a spot in the top five, this is a vital clash. The Redlegs are in terrific form, and are looming as a genuine premiership threat. I think the Pumas will be brought back to Earth this week as Dandenong should get the chocolates at home.
At Essex Heights Reserve, Ashwood are hosting Carrum Patterson Lakes in what is shaping to be a very close contest. Both sides are coming off wins, and are gunning for the last spot in the five. The Magpies have been far from convincing this season, while the fledgling Lions have been exceptional in its debut year. They have been improving weekly, and I think they have what it takes to win this one.
Hallam and Black Rock are also set to play out another potential nail-biter at Hallam Reserve with both sides locked on one win each. The Jets have had some poor on-field performances, however, I think they have a bit of potential in their playing list and their performances in their last few games have been heartening. This could go either way, but Iím tipping the Jets.
The final game sees Sandown host Endeavour Hills at Edinburgh Reserve. The Falcons have fought hard but their first win still eludes them. The Cobras have struggled for form, too, winning just once since round three, but they will be too good for the Falcons and get the job done.
Bring on another tremendous weekend of SFL footy.
UNDER 19s with 'GOOD' WILL HUNTER
Headlining Round 9 matches is the top-of-the-table clash between Murrumbeena and Skye at Beena Arena. Both sides have been outstanding in the year to date, having lost just one match between them. Beena play well at home, and coming off the bye I am tipping them to inflict the Bombersí first loss of the year in a thriller.
The next game sees Dingley take on Chelsea Heights at the Den. The Heighters have lost its last three matches, while the Dingoes had been in good form until last weekís loss to Skye. They should be too good at home and bounce back with a win.
After a stirring victory over Clayton, Hampton tests itself against one of the stronger sides in the competition in Bentleigh. A similar performance from the Hammers will see a cracking game of football, but the Demons have tasted defeat just once this year, and I think they will get the points here.
The final game is Clayton versus St Pauls at Meade Reserve. The Magpies were disappointing in their last outing, and although they will be much improved this week, the Doggies should win comfortably.