Division 1 - Round 16 Review
With Good Will Hunter
Round 16 continued the trend of tight finishes with three games decided by fewer than three goals, which further highlighted the evenness of the Division 1 competition.
Clayton stole the points from St Kilda City with the last kick of the game in an entertaining encounter at Peanut Farm. Although the Clays led for most of the afternoon, the Saints managed to hit the front after booting the first three goals of the final term. Enter veteran Cory Wilson who lived out every boy’s dream by nailing a set shot after the siren from 30m out to hand Clayton a five-point victory. Daniel Kirby helped save the game for the Clays with several strong defensive marks, while Stewart Scanlon booted four majors up the other end. Juy Capp and Rhys Joachim were among the best for the losing side.
East Malvern stormed the Bloods’ fortress, becoming the first visiting side in 2015 to claim victory at Ben Kavanagh Reserve with a thrilling come-from-behind three-point triumph. Mordialloc got off to a flier, and a poor second term from the Panthers saw them trail by as much as four goals. But to their credit, the visitors never lost belief and surged to the lead on the back of terrific team footy in the second half. A goal to the Bloods got them back with a kick in the dying minutes, but the Panthers held on to claim a hard-earned victory and a spot in the top three. Michael Cooke was best afield by the length of Flemington straight, finishing with 5.4 and dominating up forward for the winners, while Ralph Sadler did a terrific job nullifying the Bloods’ leading goalkicker James Morris. Anthony Scafidi and Josh Jewell both starred for to the Bloods.
Meanwhile, St Pauls overcame a plucky Cheltenham outfit to triumph by 16 points at Jack Barker Oval and seal their place in the 2015 finals. The Rosellas led at every change in what was a low-scoring tussle with Andy Dewar and Chris Germano both in scintillating touch. But after having booted four goals in the first three quarters, the Dogs booted another four in the final change to pull away from the home side. Young gun James Sziller again showed his worth to the Bulldogs’ line-up with another dazzling display while the evergreen Liam Wilson was similarly prolific through the middle.
The Dingoes bounced back from their loss to St Pauls the previous week to record a thumping 80-point win over Bentleigh at Souter Oval. Dingley led from go to woah, and eight consecutive goals saw their 33-point halftime advantage blow right out. Such was their dominance all over the ground the Dingoes conceded just four goals for the entire afternoon, with Brett Lavars and the hard-nosed Dan Bolger causing much of the carnage. Jackson Meredith and Scott Lawry were the pick of the Demons.
The final game was horrific viewing for the Chelsea Heights faithful as their side was embarrassed by a rampant East Brighton at Beazley Reserve. The Heighters contributed just one behind to the scoreboard in the first half and could manage only three more scoring shots for the rest of the match as they were thrashed by a whopping 158 points. The Vampires had no such worries in front of goal as Phil Smith finished with 11 of the best and Mark Jamieson added four of his own. Jordy Peryman booted two of his side’s three goals in a performance that provided perhaps their only highlight.
Division 2 - Round 16 Review
With Jason Barbin
As the finals draw closer, the battle for fifth position on the ladder heats up.
Skye has bounced back onto the winners list after a hard-fought win against Hampton at Carrum Downs Recreation Reserve. The Bombers looked comfortable leaders when they took a 15-point advantage into half time but Hampton came out firing in the third quarter to take a one point lead into the final term. In the end Skye was too good, banging home four goals in the last quarter to finish 19-point winners. Ben Telindert was best on ground for the Bombers.
Oakleigh District have jumped the first hurdle in its quest for the minor premiership with a comfortable 31-point win over Murrumbeena. Murrumbeena kept it close in an entertaining battle and fought hard to try and gain the ascendancy. In the end Oakleigh seemed to have all the answers and shut the door on the Beena in the final quarter with four goals to three to finish with the win and maintain top spot on the ladder. Dave Velardo kicked three goals for the winners while Luke Casey was among the best.
Heatherton has seemingly won the battle to stave off relegation after a slender two-point win over Doveton Eagles. The Eagles took the lead early in the game and looked in control with a 13-point quarter time lead. But the Tonners slowly chipped away at Doveton’s lead and took the lead in the final term and managed to hold off the Eagles to walk away with the win. Warren Kairns was best on ground for the winners.
A 10-goal second quarter has propelled Caulfield to a 23-point win against Springvale Districts and back into the top five. Springvale burst out of the blocks and piled on four goals to take a nine point quarter time lead. Caulfield hit back in the second quarter kicking 10 goals to four to set up a 24-point half time advantage. Both sides slugged it out in the second half but the Bears were able to hold on for the win. Adam Connell was at his best with six majors.
Keysborough has overcome a gallant Highett with six-goal final term to steal a four-point victory. Highett looked the better team all afternoon and led by 17-points at three-quarter time. But the Burras dug deep in the final quarter and threw everything at the Dogs, bagging six majors while Highett kicked two. Davor Rajic led the way with four goals while Will Gayfer was named best on ground for the Burras.
Division 3 - Round 17 Review
With Andrew Paloczi
Despite four goals from Shane Thomas, Hallam was unable to conquer home side Dandenong. The Redlegs shot out to a 29-point advantage by half time and finished up winning by 14 points. It was the first time Dandenong’s players have sung their club song since round 5 and Joshua Furborough helped make the win possible, being named the Redlegs’ best player. This was a significant achievement as he has played predominantly in the thirds this season, and had not previously featured in the seniors.
A strong second half from Moorabbin led to a four-goal home victory over Carrum Patterson Lakes. At the main break, the Kangaroos were in front by just a behind. Despite being on the beaten team, leading goal scorer Trevor March added another four, taking his season total to 76. Moorabbin’s Stele Pappas was named its best player, but Matthew Johansson again demonstrated his importance for the Kangaroos with four goals.
With the lure of a potential spot in the finals, Endeavour Hills asserted itself over home team Lyndale. The Falcons were always in charge, grabbing an 87-point win, which could have been even more with straighter kicking for goal. Still, it keeps their prospect of finals alive for at least another week. Daniel Morrison and Ben Swift snared three goals each for the high-flying Falcons and their best player was Aaron Brooks.
Another team that desperately needed a win was Ashwood, which faced a potentially tricky contest on South Yarra’s sloping ground. The Magpies had the task of heading downhill in the first term, but needed no time to adjust. They stunned the Lions with eight goals, setting up a 50-point quarter time lead. Ashwood added another five majors in the second term, showing that going uphill was no problem either. A couple of goals late in the term did little to ease the pain for the Lions, as they trailed by 11 goals with another half to endure.
Paul Wineberg booted five goals, one more than the Lions’ total for the game, and his teammate Jake Chapman chipped in with four. However, it was Mitch Saunders who had the honour of being named the Magpies’ best. The final margin was a well-deserved 94 points.
Daniel Kick was named his team’s best performer, helping Black Rock to another win, this time by 39 points over the visiting Sandown. The Cobras were comprehensively beaten in the first three quarters and, trailing by 61 points with a term to play, a spanking seemed likely. Surprisingly, the Jets did not add another goal, whilst Sandown put through four.