Round 13: Men's Football Preview
By Lincoln Edmunds
There’s plenty to play for in Division 1 this weekend with several top five clashes headlining the action.
Dunlop Reserve is where Cranbourne must venture as they look to get back on the winners list when they take on East Malvern.
The Eagles had their wings clipped for just the second time this season after they were rolled over by the Saints last week, and the visitors will be determined to respond strongly away from home.
To rub salt into the wounds, the club was knocked from its perch on top of the ladder and now has an important block of fixtures in their bid to claim a double chance.
The Panthers season of misery had another chapter added to it last round, with another belting against a top three side.
They’ll be hopeful of avoiding the same fate here, but unfortunately may cop the wrath of the rebounding Eagles.
Port Melbourne Colts will be out to make it two in a row when they host Bentleigh at JL Murphy Reserve.
The Colts produced a solid brand of football last weekend and will be out to build on those foundations as they look towards finishing the season off strong.
Zach Molloy has made an impression in his two outings for the club and Rikki Newton continued his goal kicking form with three majors against the Bloodhounds.
The Demons, like most sides this season, were no match for the Rosellas last week and despite showing promising signs at various stages were outclassed when the opposition stepped it up a notch.
If the visitors can start well and maintain a more consistent effort, there’s no reason why they can’t record their third win here.
The match of the round and pick of SFNL action this weekend takes place at Jack Barker Oval, with Cheltenham hosting St Paul’s McKinnon in a blockbuster clash.
The Rosellas recorded their tenth win on the trot with a convincing display over the Demons, the result sending them to top of the ladder.
Their inaccuracy in front of goal would no doubt have been a focus on the training track this week after they misfired with a sloppy 15.22.
Regardless, the coaching staff would be pleased at how many opportunities their midfield is supplying their forwards and the team couldn’t be better placed to welcome a challenger on Saturday afternoon.
The Dogs did what they had to do against the Panthers and will be eyeing off a road victory to keep themselves firmly entrenched in the top three.
Stephen Muller’s team of the year form continued last week with eight goals and there’s no doubt that he's one of the major factors in his side’s chances.
The Rosellas will be astutely aware of this and will be buoyed by the fact his lowest return of two goals came against them back in Round 3.
The Dogs have plenty of weapons however, with Harrison Hunt back to his best last round and Regan Maddaford has been impressive the past fortnight.
The visitors certainly have the artillery to walk away with the four points here and if they do, it would blow the race for the top three wide open.
In any other week, St Kilda City and Dingley would headline the round as one of the most anticipated clashes, and there’s still plenty on the line when the two foes square off at the Peanut Farm.
City have been the major talking point in Southern circles all week after the holy trinity of Swan, Fevola and Edwards lifted the Saints to a memorable road victory against the Eagles.
The trio proved that age is no barrier with ten goals between them, including a best on ground performance from Swan with 29 disposals in his return.
If the trio team up consistently in the remaining fixtures the Saints will be incredibly hard to beat and the Dingoes will be hoping at least one of them is missing from the team sheet.
The visitors recorded a hard-fought win against the Districts last weekend and will be aiming to maintain their two-game buffer in fifth position.
Lucas Walmsley has been in good touch and hit the scoreboard with two majors last round, while Michael Dolan has proved to be a reliable source to goal with at least one major in every game so far.
It should be a closely fought contest but the Saints will be confident at home.
Springvale Districts and Mordialloc will be out to keep their ever so faint finals hopes alive when they meet for the second time this season at Springvale Reserve.
Both sides finals chances took a major blow with losses last round and now need everything to go right if they are to jump into the top five in time for September.
The Demons look the more likely side to make a late dash and a win here could see them just one game behind that coveted fifth spot.
The home side were competitive for the majority of the afternoon against the Dingoes, but will rue their second quarter where the game was taken away from them.
Peter Heng was magnificent for the Districts and has become an important player in their team.
The Bloodhounds similarly were right in the contest last week against the Colts before a final quarter fade out saw them fall by five goals.
Both sides will be eager to put in a more consistent performance to keep the door on season 2022 ever so slightly ajar.
Skye and Hampton Park will jostle it out for a rare victory in season 2022, with both clubs tallying just four wins between them this year.
While the results haven’t been there for the Redbacks they have been competitive in patches, pushing some of the top sides as was evident in their narrow loss to Keysborough last week.
Despite being the better outfit for the majority of the afternoon the visitors couldn’t get the job done and it’s that inconsistency that has been so frustrating for the club.
With just six games left in the home and away season time is running out for the Redbacks, but with just two games separating them from fifth spot, there's plenty of motivation for them to close out the season strong.
They should chalk up a win here and if they don’t, it’s season over.
The action moves over to Robinson Reserve for a top five clash between Doveton and East Brighton.
Last weekend saw the Doves respond to their first loss in empathic fashion, trouncing the Tunners by a lazy 154 points.
Michael Cardamone was at his best with seven goals and has been a major target all season with 38 majors.
They’ll have a bigger challenge on their hands this week, but will be confident of getting the job done when they run out on their home turf.
The Vampires were once again shown up by a team above them on the ladder, proving to be no match for the Bears to go down by eight goals.
The clubs record against the top four sides is 1-4 and they’ll need to bridge that gap otherwise they’ll be making up the numbers come September.
They’ll enter as underdogs but certainly have the capability to cause an upset in enemy territory.
A one-sided affair looks to be on the cards when Keysborough host Heatherton at Rowley Allan Reserve.
The third placed Burras weren’t at their best last round but put it all together when it mattered most to pocket the four points against the Redbacks.
Thomas Shaw was in fine form with half a dozen snags and has been hard to stop recently with 11 goals in his past three appearances.
Shaw and the Burras forwards should have plenty of opportunities to boost their season averages when they encounter a side that has let through scores of 171, 173 and 193 in their past three games.
The Tunners will be hoping it’s a different story come Saturday afternoon.
Round 12 comes to its crescendo when Highett and Chelsea Heights lock horns at Turner Road Reserve.
The home side is in desperate need of a victory to spark their faint finals chances and should be well rested after putting their feet up last weekend.
Their loss to the Vampires was a blow to their aspirations, now sitting six points adrift of the top five with it all to do in the remaining fixtures.
The Demons meanwhile have been in fine fettle, winning their past five outings to sit comfortably inside the top two.
The visitors only loss of the season came against the ladder leaders by under a kick and should have too much firepower for the Doggies here.
Caulfield take stock and have a breather this weekend.
The race for the final four is heating up in Division 3 and Endeavour Hills will be aiming to take one step closer to finals action when they host Clayton to kick start the round.
The Falcons continued their strong recent form with an empathic victory over South Yarra and will be looking to pocket another precious four-points on Saturday afternoon.
The visitors will be no pushovers, if last week is anything to go by, with the Clays leading as late as three-quarter time before eventually falling to the ladder leaders.
If Clayton can produce a similar effort right from the first bounce, we could be in for a closely fought contest.
Another side chasing the pack, Narre South, will also be on the hunt for a valuable win when they make the journey to Leigh Park to face South Yarra.
The Saints season took another twist last round with a superb six-goal final term propelling them to a memorable on the road triumph against contenders Murrumbeena.
The victory was off the back of some sharp shooting in front of the big sticks and their spread up forward was equally impressive with ten individual goal kickers in the 39-point victory.
The team will be looking to use the result as launchpad for the final month and a half, with almost every game a mini final for the club.
Another win here will have them snapping at the heels of several teams ahead of them.
A corker of a contest awaits Division 3 fans over at MacDonald Reserve with the ladder leaders, Black Rock hosting Ashwood in what should be a high-quality affair.
The Jets overcame a slight scare against the Clays last round and will be looking to produce a more polished performance to cement their standing on top of the table.
Despite not being at their best recently, the home side has the comfort of a two-game buffer between second spot and has plenty of time to fine tune before finals.
Ashwood clung on for an important and thrilling victory against CPL last week and will be looking to take their second top four scalp in as many weeks.
Jack Purcell was dominant for the Magpies with seven goals last Saturday and is averaging 3+ goals a game this year.
Michael Decorrado has also fired this season with 26 goals for the Pies and both will be key cogs to the visitor's outfit on Saturday afternoon.
Another belter of game wraps up the round at Murrumbeena Park, with top four sides Murrumbeena and Carrum Patterson Lakes clashing in an important game for both clubs.
After a cracking start to the year, the home side has been on the wrong side of the scoreboard two weeks running and suddenly find their grip on second spot under threat.
Some terrible kicking for goal cost them dearly last week and they’ll be looking to nail the basics as they aim to end their winless streak.
CPL’s spot in the top four is under serious threat after another narrow defeat last week, and now find themselves just two points clear in the top four.
With their challengers facing relatively favourable fixtures this round, there’s every chance the Lions could find themselves as low as sixth spot at the end of the weekend.
If they can’t get the job done here it will mean four losses from their past six with plenty of question marks for the remainder of the season.
With plenty to play for both clubs, expect this to go right to the final siren!
Doveton Eagles will be hoping to show some more fight when they host Hampton at Power Reserve at the earlier start of 1pm.
The Eagles have been put to the sword in recent times and that trend continued with a brutal 146 shellacking at the hands of Lyndale last week.
The final six weeks of the season can’t come soon enough for the home side but they’ll be buoyed at the prospect of taking on the eighth placed Hammers.
The visitors will be disappointed at coughing up a golden opportunity to register their fourth win against the Kangaroos last week and frustratingly found themselves unable to bridge the narrow deficit for the majority of the afternoon.
With plenty of pride on the line for the remainder of the season, Hampton will be determined to make amends and learn from their mistakes here.
South Mornington can take a huge stride towards locking up a top four spot when they host Dandenong at Citation Reserve.
The Tigers can turn a two-game buffer into three if they take the spoils here, leaving them with one foot in the finals door.
They’ll be out to bounce back to last week's fourth quarter fade out too, after challenging the premiership favourites for the majority of the afternoon.
It’s do or die for the Redlegs and if they want to keep their slim finals chances alive, they simply must be ahead on the scoreboard at the final siren.
A top of the table clash awaits at Marriot Waters Reserve as Lyndhurst host Frankston in what many anticipate to be a potential Grand Final preview.
The two best sides in the competition meet for a second time with the Lightning out to get revenge for their only loss of year which came back in Round 4.
The Dolphins dominated that clash to record a comfortable 49-point victory, however they won’t have the comfort of their home surroundings this time.
The visitors have met every challenge this season and ran away with a solid victory last round after a sluggish opening half.
It was the first time the team has been held under 100 points since Round 4 but their class shone through in the last term when the whips were cracking.
Liam O’Donnell was in super touch with six goals and the sharp shooter has found the big sticks 19 times in his past three outings.
The Lightning were impressive again in their victory over Hallam and are in prime position to have another crack at competition front runners.
Despite their superb season to date the Lightning remain the number two seed, but can change all that by becoming the first side to knock the Dolphins off their perch.
Hamish Browing is also one to watch in this clash, the key forward has booted 15 goals from his past three including a seven-goal effort last round.
Both sides are high scoring outfits and hopefully we’ll see an entertaining contest right from the first bounce.
Lyndale will be looking to clock up their fourth win in a row when they hit the road and make the trip to face Cerberus at McAuliffe Oval.
The Pumas feasted on the Eagles carcass last weekend and will be sniffing out another percentage booster against the last placed navy boys.
Ahmed Kandakji stole the show with a bag of ten goals and was supported by Khaled Kandakji who slotted four himself.
The duo will be looking to dine out again when they face a team who has conceded an average 133 points per game.
If the visitor’s display the same form as last week, it could be another ugly looking scoreboard for the three-headed Dogs.
SFNL action comes to a close at Widdop Crescent Reserve with Moorabbin looking to make it three wins in a row when they take on Hallam.
The Kangaroos produced a spirited performance against the Hammers last week and were led by Majed Dimachki who monstered the visitors defence with six goals.
The key forward has proved to be a trump card for the Roos, bagging 17 goals from his three games this season.
The Hawks will be hoping he’s not on the team sheet as they look to rebound from last week’s defeat to Lyndhurst.
The visitors form against contending sides has come under the spotlight after back-to-back defeats against teams in the top four, and while a win against the sixth placed Kangas won’t erase those doubts it’ll certainly help boost the confidence levels within.
Expect the Hawks to be at their ferocious best right from the word go as they look to put an end to their winless streak.