Round 12: Men's Football Preview
By Lincoln Edmunds
The local fans at Ben Kavanagh Reserve will be hoping to see a strong response from Mordialloc when they take on Port Melbourne this Saturday, the home side's finals chances suffering a major setback against the Panthers last weekend.
Despite remaining just one game outside the top five, the Bloodhounds percentage took a hammering following their 120-point drubbing, falling to a miserly 69% which all but seals their September fate.
Mordi's defence was under siege all game conceding 35 scoring shots to five, as the key forwards for the Rosellas dominated proceedings.
Port Melbourne will be flat for more than one reason after it was revealed late in the week that former AFL Coleman medallist Brendan Fevola had transferred to St Kilda City after just one appearance with the Colts.
Even so, Fevola’s four goals were not enough to drag the side over the line, as the Dingoes consigned the team to five straight defeats
With finals now all but off the radar, the Colts will be looking to remain competitive as they build towards 2023.
Cheltenham will be out to claim their 10th win of the season when they make the trip to Arthur Street to take on Bentleigh in their Round 12 encounter.
The Rosellas flexed their muscles with another impressive display last weekend and head into the contest as short priced favourites once again.
Half the team hit the scorecard in last rounds 22 goal effort and there's no shortage of firepower wherever you look across the field.
Austin Johnson has been in top form since the bye with six goals in his past two appearances, while Alecsander McComb has been a handy contributor in front of the big sticks averaging a goal a game this season.
The Demons recorded their second win of 2022 with a solid performance against the Panthers, with Jack Watts making an instant impact in his club debut with three majors.
The home side now face one of the toughest tasks in Southern football, but will enter the clash with nothing to lose against one of the premiership favourites.
The match of the round takes place over at Livingston Reserve, as Cranbourne and St Kilda City lock horns in what should be an absolute cracker of a contest.
Fresh from a thrilling two-point triumph, the Eagles must defend the nest against another top four challenger in a game that could shape both clubs' destiny.
In undoubtedly one of the games of the season, the Eagles came from behind late to snatch an epic win over St Paul's and will be brimming with belief following the successful road trip.
Tyson Barry has hit the scoreboard in all but one game this season and added another three goals to take his season tally to 24 last weekend.
The Saints are in a slump at the minute, dropping three of their past five games to fall down the pecking order.
However, with Brendan Fevola joining Aaron Edwards and Dane Swan, the club now has a seriously impressive resume of ex-AFL talent.
A forward line of Fev and Edwards is enough to send shudders down the spine of any defender, let alone at local level.
With finals on the horizon, the Saints need to recapture their best football soon but are in serious danger of back-to-back losses if they aren't switched on.
Tyrell Lafituanai has been in good touch for the visitors and has hit the scoreboard in recent weeks, while Madison Andrews has also been influential.
The Saints will need both and some ex-AFL stars to step up if they are to down the Eagles on enemy turf.
St Paul’s McKinnon and East Malvern face off at McKinnon Reserve, the Doggies keen to return to the winners list following last week's heartbreaker against the ladder leaders.
Despite the result, the Dogs lost no fans and could’ve easily been on the right side of the equation on another day.
Nicholas Stathopoulos was superb for the home side and added another impressive performance to this season’s portfolio.
The Panthers quest for a win remains after they went down to the Demons and unfortunately, they could be on the receiving end of a ruthless St Paul’s outfit this weekend.
An intriguing fixture between Dingley and Springvale Districts brings Round 12 to a close, both sides duking it out for fifth spot on the ladder when they clash at Souter Oval.
Last time they met, Springvale Districts defended their home ground with a thrilling win.
The Dingoes returned to the winners list with a gusty win over the Colts and have a golden opportunity to entrench themselves in the top five with a win here.
Justin Van Unen has been in great touch for the home side and will be one for the visitors to keep an eye with five goals in the past fortnight.
The Districts showed what they are capable with a mightily impressive five goal triumph over the Saints and a second consecutive big scalp would leave them in the mix for a finals spot.
George Angelopoulos was key in the victory and has put together yet another solid season.
In a season defining game for both clubs, expect this to be a hot footy right from the first bounce!
Chelsea Heights will be aiming to cement their place in the top two when they host Skye at Beazley Reserve.
The Demons brought up their eighth win with a commanding performance against the Redbacks and will be looking to record their fifth victory in a row when they take to the field.
Luke Tapscott has been in great touch all season for the home side and has hit the scoreboard with 18 majors thus far, while Jessie Odell was solid last week and has chipped in with a goal in his past three appearances.
Skye is fresh from a week off and rested legs will do them no harm when they try to take down one of the premiership fancies.
An entertaining contest is in store over at Hurlingham Reserve with East Brighton and Caulfield clashing in what should be a great spectacle of local football.
The Bears have turned their season around with five wins from their last six, and look to be clicking into gear at the right time of the season.
The team is coming off a thumping win over the Tunners but will need to raise the fight against the up and about home side.
The Vampires made light work of the Dogs last round and have the golden chance to leapfrog the Bears on the ladder with a victory here.
Given the stakes are high for both sides, expect this game to go right to the wire.
As Leigh Matthews famously quoted Arnold Schwarzenegger “If it bleeds, we can kill it”, and now the competition knows that the Doveton Doves bleed.
The Doves unbeaten season came to an end with a shattering five-point loss to the Burras last round and the team will be hoping that it’s the only blip for their 2022 campaign.
Despite the result, there’s no need to panic and the club should have no concerns hitting the road to face Heatherton this weekend.
The round wraps up with Keysborough, fresh from a brilliant win, hosting Hampton Park at Roweley Allan Reserve.
The Burras put in their best performance of the season last round, knocking off the ladder leaders to signal their premiership credentials.
Thomas Shaw was superb and added three goals to take his season tally to 24 majors.
Cooper Balic continued an impressive block of recent form and will be one to keep an eye on in the remainder of the season.
It has been some time since the Redbacks have bagged a win and it’s difficult to see them challenging the home side for four straight quarters on enemy turf.
Highett get to put their feet up this weekend.
Division 3 gets off to a cracking start, with a top four battle between Ashwood and Carrum Patterson Lakes at Essex Heights Reserve.
The Magpies have been in supreme touch recently, knocking off flag fancies Murrumbeena to record their third win in a row.
Patrick Carroll was back to his best with two goals and plenty of the pill in the come-from-behind victory, while Jack Purcell is always a threat around goal.
CPL currently occupy third spot on the ladder and have recorded solid wins over Clayton and South Yarra in the past fortnight.
The Lions will be wary of the hot Pies and will need to bring their A game in what should be a hard fought contest.
Over at Leigh Park, South Yarra host Endeavour Hills in an important clash for the visitors.
The Falcons hot streak was brought to an end with last week’s draw against the Saints and they need to get back on the horse quickly to get keep their season alive.
Despite sitting just one game behind fourth spot the Falcons percentage is clearly the most inferior of the finals fancies, with their percentage of 98% dwarfed by the likes of Ashwood and CPL who are sitting on 164% and 151% respectively.
While it’s always dangerous heading into a clash thinking about a percentage boost, the team needs to enter with a ruthless attitude against the battling Yarras in an effort to boost their finals chances.
Black Rock venture to Meade Reserve to face Clayton in another potential lopsided game.
The Jets responded last round with an empathic performance over the Yarras and will be looking to build on their momentum when they run out on Saturday afternoon.
Byron Wright has been in scary form in recent weeks, booting 15 goals in his past three games and is sure to cause headaches for the Clayton coaching staff.
The home side have endured a tough season with just two wins in 2022 and it would take a major boil-over to add to their tally.
Division 3 action finishes with a fascinating contest between Murrumbeena and Narre South Saints at Murrumbeena Park.
Despite not singing the song in over five weeks, the Saints are remarkably just a game and half outside the top four with finals still a mathematical possibility.
With their season on the line, claiming a big scalp could be the very tonic that helps get their campaign back on track.
In the other camp, Beena will be desperate to avoid back-to-back losses after they succumbed to Ashwood last week.
While it’s far from panic stations for the Lions, their recent form has been scratchy having lost their past two matches against teams in finals contention.
The home side can put that to rest with a win here and all but close the door on the Saints season in the process.
Lyndale has a golden opportunity to record their third win on the bounce when they host Doveton at Barry Powell Reserve.
The Pumas recorded a splendid win against the Redlegs last week and could find themselves moving up to sixth spot on the ladder with a victory on Saturday afternoon.
It’s a remarkable effort from 2-7 but it would be foolish to pencil in the W just yet.
Doveton has been battered and bruised since returning from the bye and the goals continue to rain down them, letting through an average of 118 points per outing.
If they don’t tighten up this weekend, expect both Khaled and Ahmed Kandakji to get off the chain for the Pumas.
Dandenong’s season is slipping away following three consecutive defeats and the team will need to switch back into gear when they host Cerberus at Greaves Reserve.
The Redlegs were shock losers to Lyndale last weekend, with the costly defeat potentially derailing their season.
They can afford no such slip ups this weekend and must ensure they pocket the four points at the final siren.
The three-headed Dogs have also had a torrid time since the bye and will be out to stop their winless run of three games.
While it won’t be easy, they can take inspiration from the Pumas efforts last weekend in the quest to cause another boil-over.
Arguably the match of the round takes place at Hallam Reserve, as the Hawks look to protect the nest when they host the second place Lightning in what should be a belter.
Hallam will enter with a point to prove after they suffered a demoralising two-point defeat to the Tigers, but will need to be at their absolute best if they are to knock off the visitors.
Despite last week's minor blip the Hawks defence continues to hold up well, conceding an average of just 44 per outing.
Like the home side Lyndhurst also boasts an elite defensive unit, letting through a miserly 41 points per game.
Both clubs have no problem stopping scoring but how do they fare in attack?
The Lightning are the clear winners here, averaging 123 points per game as opposed to the home sides 91 points.
If Lyndhurst can win the territory battle and give their forwards enough supply, they should eventually break through the Hawks stubborn defence.
Another top four clash occurs over at Overport Park when Frankston host South Mornington in what should be an entertaining contest.
While the Dolphins understandably have drawn most of the attention given their undefeated status, the Tigers are slowly creeping under the radar following their fourth win in a row last round.
The visitors were superb against the third placed Hawks and will be looking to aim even higher when they make the trip on Saturday afternoon.
The Dolphins toyed with the Dogs last weekend to record a 200+ point victory but will face a far greater challenge from the first bounce here.
Richard Mathers is in scary form at the minute, the competition's leading goal scorer slotting 11 majors last week to take his tally to 53 for the year.
Add in Liam O’Donnell (35 goals), Lachlan Fielding (25 goals) and Andrew Mathers (22 goals), and you can understand why the club has been so difficult to stop this season.
These two sides clashed back in Round 3, and the Tigers pushed the Dolphins all the way before falling by just two kicks.
It will be interesting to see if they can bridge that gap and be the first team to blow the Dolphins out of the water.
Widdop Crescent Reserve plays host to Moorabbin and Hampton to close out Division 4 action in a contest where both sides will rate their chances.
The Kangaroos proved too strong for the Eagles last round and will be looking to double up when they take to the field.
They’ll need to be mindful of an improving Hammers outfit who have showed promising signs in the past two weeks despite going winless.
Playing on a small ground where high scoring is always a possibility, we could be in for an entertaining clash!