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ROUND 13 REVIEW
By Will Hunter
Dingley 12.7 (79) def Mordialloc 10.13 (73)
The Dingley V Mordialloc blockbuster lived up to expectations, with the former prevailing by one straight kick in another classic at Souter Oval.
It was a brave victory for the Dingoes, who rallied from 24 points behind at half time, despite injury concerns hampering gun playmakers Jackson Peet and Matt Morwood.
Star goalkicker Cal McQueen also missed the game with an ankle injury.
The home side were soundly beaten by the determined Bloods in the first half, whose ferocity at the contest ensured clear possessions were at a premium. They were simply too good around the stoppages, and applied manic pressure to the Dingley ball-carriers, which helped Mordialloc keep them to an uncharacteristic two goals in the first half.
However, despite Mordi’s midfield ascendancy, several missed goals late in the second term kept their opponent in the contest.
But it seemed a completely different Dingley side that emerged after oranges, and with the game opening up and the strong wind at their backs they booted seven goals in a barn-storming third term to rattle the Bloods and enter the final quarter with a 13-point advantage.
Mordialloc refused to roll over, but three final-term goals to Daniel Farmer (he finished with four for the day) saw off their challenge. Two Bloods goals in time on reduced the margin to just six points and ensured a frantic final minute, but the Dingoes held firm to the raucous applause of the Dingley faithful.
Josh Ferguson had a massive impact on the contest, particularly when moved into the middle in the second half, and rightfully claimed best afield honours, but it was a day in which the Dingoes had no passengers. Of note, Farmer’s efforts in the front half were pivotal, Robbie Rusan excelled early and the Ades boys (Jack and Danny) were tremendous both with and without ball in hand.
Justin Summons was the Bloods’ best after a fine performance in the ruck in the absence of Tom McMahon, while Todd Bastion and Michael Barnhoorn were also magnificent.
East Malvern 12.8 (80) def Cheltenham 11.5 (71)
The Rosellas gave East Malvern an almighty fright, but ultimately fell just nine points short in an improved performance at Dunlop Reserve.
Although aided by the breeze early, Cheltenham stunned the home crowd with a six-goal-to-one opening term that saw them shoot out to a 31-point lead by the first break.
From there the Panthers set about playing catch up footy, and hit back with four goals in a dominant second quarter and another five in the third to erase the deficit and lead by three points at the final change.
A tense last quarter ensued with East Malvern holding the Rosellas at bay to record a hard-earned victory.
The Panthers’ big guns in Ryan Mullett, Nathan Robinson and Jimmy Dowling dominated through the midfield, while up forward Nathan Henley booted a game-high five goals.
The Rosellas’ contributors were again led by James North, Mitch La Fontaine and Sean McLaren.
Bentleigh 9.12 (66) def Port Melbourne Colts 3.7 (25)
The Demons’ maintained its spot in the top five with a 41-point victory in difficult conditions at Bentleigh Reserve.
Held scoreless into the wind in the opening stanza, Bentleigh hit back with three goals in the second to regain the ascendancy by half time – a lead they never relinquished.
The Demons’ defensive efforts, led by skipper Tom Backman, were terrific, with the side giving up only three goals for the match. The Colts could only manage just one solitary behind in the two quarters it kicked into the wind.
Ruckman Mitch Smart again proved a dominant force in the ruck, with note-worthy contributions also provided by Barama Blow and Liam Hogton-Hewish.
Lew Mildenhall and Max Mitchell-Russell led the Colts’ resistance.
Clayton 8.4 (52) def by St Pauls 25.16 (166)
As expected, Clayton proved no match for St Pauls, with the Dogs running out winners by 114 points at Meade Reserve.
Despite the blowout it was an improved performance for the Clays, whose eight goals marks their highest score for the season to date.
Steve Muller booted nine goals to leapfrog McQueen at the top of the Division 1 goalkicking table, while Matt Brown finished with a bag of five. Brad Gilder Alex Spencer also impressed.
Joel Rigoni and Jack McEwin were the standouts for Clayton.
Oakleigh District 13.14 (92) def St Kilda City 6.11 (47)
The final game saw the Districts dent the Saints finals hopes with a 45-point victory in a twilight clash under lights at Princes Highway Reserve.
Oakleigh lead by just one point after an even battle in the first term, but from there proceeded to extend their lead at every change as they signalled their intent for finals action.
Nuru Jammeh found plenty of the footy in one of his best games for the season, while Daniel Kirby, Dave Velardo and Ryan Pearson were also influential for the Districts.
Young Perry O’Hehir-Vargas, who missed all of 2016 with a back injury, was superb in his first senior game since Round 17, 2015, while Josh Docherty and Troy Parker also featured in City’s best.
ROUND 15 REVIEW
By Jason Barbin
Several games went down to the wire in Division 2 last weekend, but it was perhaps the efforts of Murrumbeena and Highett that are the highlights of the round.
Murrumbeena 12.10 (82) def Keysborough 8.14 (61)
I predicted an upset in this game, but I certainly didn’t expect Murrumbeena to dismantle Keysborough like it did for three quarters in this win.
The Beena dominated for the majority of this match and led by 49 points at three quarter time, before the Burra put some respectability back on the scoreboard with four goals to zero in the last.
Chris Evans and Jarrod Walker were named best on ground for Murrumbeena while three players each finished with two majors.
Murrumbeena was simply outstanding in the opening term, slamming on seven goals to one behind, before Keysborough cut a 46-point quarter time lead to 35 points in the second.
The Beena was again able to establish control during the third term, outscoring the Burra four goals to two, before Keysie came back in the last with four goals to cut the winning margin to 21 points.
Riet Pal and Chris Bryan were named best for Keysborough.
Highett 8.7 (55) def Skye 7.9 (51)
For the second week in a row, Highett has produced an upset win, this time at the expense of Skye in a match that went right down to the wire.
The Dogs led for all of the second half after overcoming a 12-point quarter time lead, but had to stave off a Bombers comeback when they got what turned out to be the last goal of the match midway through the final term.
Joel Jones-Hampton was named best on ground for the winners alongside Pat Singh with Alex Draper and Michael De Iacovo each kicking two goals.
Skye got off to a good start in the match, with four goals to two in the first to lead by 12 points, before Highett surged ahead in the second with three goals to three behinds to take a five-point lead into half time.
The Dogs kicked the first two of the third and looked to have momentum before the Bombers snagged two back to cut the lead to four points at the final change.
Again, Highett scored first in the last, with Skye producing a major shortly after, but were unable to hit the lead to eventually go down by four.
Nick Hofmann and Cameron Petrie were named the Bombers’ best.
Chelsea Heights 11.15 (81) def Hampton 10.14 (74)
Chelsea Heights withstood a few nervous moments in the final term to hold off Hampton to earn a seven-point victory.
The Heights led by as much as 46 points during the final term before the Hammers reeled off seven straight goals to get within seven points.
Jackson Fry finished with three goals to lead the ladder leaders while Nathan Herrington and Luke Newton (two goals) were also impressive.
The premiership favourites started on the right foot, kicking five goals in the opening term to lead by 36 points at quarter time, before Hampton cut the lead back to 13 points at half time.
The Heighters drew further ahead during the third term to a 46-point lead, courtesy of another five-goal term, before the Hammers fought back with a seven-goal final term to get within seven points.
Luke Hayes and Corey Smith (two goals) were best on ground for Hampton.
Caulfield 9.13 (67) def Mount Waverley 9.11 (65)
Caulfield held off a gutsy Mount Waverley outfit by two points in the final term of their clash at Mayfield Reserve on Saturday.
The Bears led by 12 points early in the final term, but wasted opportunities in front of goal nearly cost them as the Lions answered back with two goals to get within a point.
Anthony O’Shea and Adam Ballard starred for the winners while Thomas Heagney led the way inside 50 with three first half goals.
Both sides fought tooth and nail in the first term, but it was Mount Waverley with a two-point lead, before Caulfield broke away in the second with three goals to one behind to open up a 22-point half time buffer.
The Bears looked to have full control of the game early in the third with three early goals giving them a 40-point lead before the Lions kicked five unanswered to get within four points at the final break.
Caulfield scored the first major of the last, but wasted opportunities to increase its lead, allowing Mount Waverley to get to within one point, courtesy of two straight kicks, before going down by two.
Hard nut Michael Keem and Andrew Mathers were in excellent form for the Lions.
East Brighton 8.10 (58) def Heatherton 5.8 (38)
East Brighton has worked its way to a 20-point win against Heatherton to keep it within reach of the finals, though it didn’t come without its challenges.
The Vampires were unable to shake a gallant Tonners outfit, with inaccuracy plaguing them in the final quarter of the match.
Kai Love-Linay continued his good form this season alongside Ryan Stringer and former coach Barry Hope (three goals).
Heatherton enjoyed a positive start to the game, drawing ahead by 10 points at quarter time, before East Brighton hit back with five goals in the second to lead by 15 at half time.
The Tonners were able to stay within reach of the Vampires in the third however, kicking two goals to one to trail by nine at the final break, but East Brighton sealed the win in the last.
Jesse Stone (two goals) was best on ground for Heatherton alongside Josh Corcoran.
ROUND 14 REVIEW
By Andrew Paloczi
Sandown 5.5 (35) def by Carrum Patterson Lakes 17.13 (115)
Sandown’s hopes of CPL being distracted by a recent change of coach were dashed.
The Lions mauled the Cobras from the outset, triumphing by 80 points in Cain Padman’s first win as senior coach.
Mathew Ryan was CPL’s best, with Paul Mauracher and Alex Wilson kicking three goals apiece.
Sandown skipper Matt Dickson marked his 150th game as his side’s best. Teammate Adam Powell reached the same milestone and both have earned life membership of the club.
Dandenong 7.9 (51) def by Lyndhurst 14.12 (96)
Lyndhurst’s Hamish Browning added six goals, taking his season tally to 33 and helping his side to a 45-point victory over Dandenong.
Another major contributor for Lightning was Nathan Powell who edged out Browning as best on ground.
Hallam 12.17 (89) def Lyndale 6.8 (44)
Phil Ward is on course for the 2017 Flack Medal for Division 3’s Best & Fairest.
He unleashed another scintillating performance for Hallam, this time against Lyndale, being best afield and contributing three goals.
The Hawks bounced back from a rare loss to beat the Pumas by 45 points.
Fourteen scoring shots to none in the first term set up the foundation for Hallam’s win, putting it 39-points clear at the first break.
Black Rock 8.7 (55) def South Yarra 3.3 (21)
In torrid conditions, Black Rock took control early against South Yarra and never looked like losing.
With an icy wind swirling throughout the day, the Jets’ effort to finish with more goals than behinds was commendable.
Adrian Lane, Kristian Bliesner and Brenton Rafferty each registered a couple of majors for Black Rock, with Will Sanchez named its best.
It was a strong team effort with numerous Jets’ players making excellent contributions to the 34-point win.
Big Michael ‘Buddy’ Spohn was terrific, winning plenty of the footy and marking effectively in the challenging conditions.
It was a must win game for the Jets and has put them right in contention for a finals spot, now just percentage behind the fifth-placed Yarras.
Doveton Eagles 7.3 (45) def by Endeavour Hills 10.17 (77)
Endeavour Hills’ players sang their song with vigour, celebrating the club’s first senior win over Doveton.
The 32-point win propelled the Falcons to third on the ladder.
Doveton led narrowly at half time and was just a point down at the final change, but was greatly assisted by the Falcons’ inaccurate 4.10 to that stage.
Eventually, Endeavour Hills’ class shone through as it added six goals to two to finish in style.
Nick Gay led the charge as the winner’s best and slotted three goals.
Moorabbin 12.8 (80) def by Ashwood 13.16 (94)
Justin Isaac again inspired Moorabbin, guiding the Kangaroos to the brink of an upset win over Ashwood.
Moorabbin held a 16-point advantage at three quarter time.
A goal nearing time-on in the final stanza edged Ashwood ahead and it didn’t look back, winning by 14 points.
Dale Carroll starred for the Magpies with five goals.
ROUND 13 REVIEW
By Britt Goldsmith
Bentleigh 4.5-29 def by Hallam 9.6-60
Hallam have surged to third position on the ladder following their rollercoaster win over Bentleigh at the Bentleigh Reserve.
An unlikely Bentleigh got off to a cracking start in what looked to be the beginning of a fantastic home performance, with an unanswered score of 4.3 going in to the first break.
In a shift of momentum, it was Bentleigh who were scoreless in the second term, where Hallam were able to close the gap, scoring 3.4 and trailing by five points at the main break. An unproductive third term from both sides saw only Bentleigh able to kick one point, and the end result was truly any team’s for the taking.
In an unexpected ending, a firing Hallam took to the ground in the final term, scoring six goals to Hallam’s one point and surging to victory by 31 points.
Parkmore / Springvale Districts 4.6-30 def by St Kilda City 9.2-56
Parkmore / Springvale Districts came close to the top-placed St Kilda City, going down by 26 points in a competitive match at Springvale Reserve.
Kye McMillan starred in City’s win, where after a close three quarters, they were able to run away with the final result. Even on six points in the first term, City restricted Parkmore / Springvale to just two points going into the main break, where they stretched out to an eight-point lead.
Led by best on field Steven Abouri, Parkmore / Springvale answered back with a 2.3 goal effort in the third term. But in the final race, City were back at their best and secured the win with four goals to Parkmore / Springvale’s one.
Cheltenham 19.9-123 def Endeavour Hills 7.4-46
Cheltenham took down Endeavour Hills by a whopping 77 points at home, as they continue to prove themselves as a genuine finals threat.
A disappointing answer to a hopeful result against Dingley in Round 12, Endeavour Hills were missing their spark as the Rosella’s took control from the first term and never looked back.
Totti Kilner paved the way for Cheltenham’s win in a star performance, as they led Endeavour Hills 9.3 to 2.1 at the main break. From then, Cheltenham were able to pile on 10 goals to Endeavour Hills’ five, including four goals from Tom Davis and three from Anthony Malamas.
Nicholas De Poilly was best for Endeavour Hills, who will return back to the drawing board as they face a thriving Hallam in Round 14.
Dingley 7.12-54 def Hampton 5.4-34
Positive notes can be taken for Hampton’s effort in Round 13, who despite their loss, remained competitive against a dominant Dingley.
The 11th placed side held up a 2nd placed Dingley well into the main break, where Dingley’s strength began to outshine their opponent, allowing them to slowly but surely take control of the game.
Kicking one point to Dingley’s 2.3 in the third quarter, Hampton quickly began to lose grip facing a 19-point margin going into the final term.
Despite outstanding efforts from Riley Hughes and Caleb Lefebvre, the Hammers could not hold on for the games’ remainder, eventually going down by 20 points.
Adam Peacock was vital in Dingley’s forward line with three goals, alongside a highlight performance from Daniel Trease.
Oakleigh District 7.12-54 def St Pauls 4.9-33
Oakleigh District bounced back from a disappointing loss to Hallam in Round 12, knocking down St Pauls by 21 points in a confidence-boosting home performance.
Both sides were slow to start initially, with no goals scored until the second term. The third term was where Oakleigh put their foot down over St Pauls, keeping the Doggies scoreless and piling on 5.3 to the margin. In the final term, a 2.0 effort from the visitors to Oakleigh’s 1.1 was not enough as Oakleigh proceeded to take the points.
Ben Lindsey was best for St Pauls, and Christopher Cassett was a highlight for the winning side with two goals -alongside teammates Simon Bonacci and Curtis Ward.
Skye def Doveton via forfeit.