Round 15 Previews
DIVISION 1 with JASON BARBIN
Round 15 heats up as finals draw closer and with 2 potential ladder changing match-ups, this round will be looked upon closely by every team going forward.
East Brighton vs East Malvern
The East Brighton resurgence keeps rolling when they take on East Malvern at Hurlingham Reserve. The Vampires have been the in-form team of the league the last 2 months and if they can carry that form into the finals they are a real chance of going back-to-back. Despite only having 3 wins, East Malvern have all but secured their spot in Division 1 next season.
East Brighton by 60 points.
St Pauls vs Dingley
An epic top-of-the-table clash between the Dogs and the Dingoes could potentially decide top spot on the ladder come the end of the season. Last time these two teams met, the match was decided by 12 points. With both teams playing themselves into form for the finals this time the result could be even closer.
St Pauls by 4 points.
Heatherton vs Clayton
Both sides had a resurgence in form last week and this game could be closer than expected. Clayton desperately need a win if they are going to play finals and a win for Heatherton would give them a nice breather over Highett in the battle for relegation. Tipping an upset here.
Heatherton by 10 points.
Highett vs Cheltenham
Cheltenham are in the box seat to take out the last finals position as they take on cellar dwellers Highett in Round 15. A win here could all but assure the Rosellas of a finals berth if other results go their way. Expect this game to be one sided.
Cheltenham by 45 points.
Chelsea Heights vs St Kilda City
These two rivals battle once again in a clash that looms as important for both sides. Chelsea Heights need to win if they want a top 3 finish and the Saints need to win if they want a finals berth. Expect a close game as neither of these two teams will make it easy for the other.
Chelsea Heights by 15 points.
DIVISION 2 with THE FOOTY TRAGIC
Mordialloc vs Moorabbin
Should be no problem here for Mordialloc, despite Moorabbin’s last effort at McDonald Reserve presented them with the Division 3 flag! Unfortunately for Moorabbin, this week’s opposition is a different kettle of fish. Moorabbin has found the going in Division 2 a bit tougher than last year in Division 3 (which is to be expected), whilst Mordialloc has enjoyed the change after coming down from Division 1 and recruited some handy footballers. I expect an entertaining affair here, but Mordialloc will win.
Skye vs Oakleigh District
This match should all but kill off Skye’s finals dream. Skye has to win every game from here, and I can’t see them toppling Oakleigh even though it is at their home ground. Skye is capable of causing an upset here; their best can match it with anyone in this Division, but Oakleigh District are playing too well at the moment and won’t let that happen.
South Yarra vs Bentleigh
Once again, not much to be said here. Bentleigh will win; even I couldn’t get this wrong!
Caulfield vs Murrumbeena
As much as Caulfield would love to topple their neighbours, Murrumbeena need a 2 game break on Skye to ensure a finals berth and should have all the answers here. The local derbies between these two are usually interesting though, and anything can happen. Worse Caulfield teams have beaten better Murrumbeena teams in the past, and could happen again, but not this week though!
Hampton vs Springvale Districts
Hampton at home can be a difficult assignment, but I feel that Springvale Districts have proven that they should be easily up to the task this week. Hampton were keen to have a big year this year and will be disappointed that they are not participating in finals, but on the other hand, Springvale are enjoying their season and can look forward to having a real say in who goes up to Division 1 next season. Springvale District should win this comfortably.
DIVISION 3 with GOOD WILL HUNTER
As the race for finals spots heats up, every win is crucial for the teams in contention. Round 15 serves up five terrific contests with plenty riding on each result.
The most important game in the context of the finals is between Ashwood and Lyndale at Essex Heights Reserve. Just four points and 4.65% separate the Magpies in fifth and the Pumas in seventh. While a win here doesn’t necessarily guarantee either team a finals berth, a loss could be almost season-ending as both sides have a somewhat difficult run home. With so much on the line I am expecting a close finish, but I think Ashwood will get the points at home.
Sandown are also vying for fifth as they host Black Rock at Edinburgh Reserve. The Jets have fought hard in recent weeks and have put in spirited performances against some quality opposition. Sandown, however, are starting to hit some form at just the right time. The Cobras booted 32 goals as they romped home against the Jets back in Round 6 and although I don’t think Black Rock will allow them to score as easily this time around, Sandown should be too good here.
The next game also promises to be a belter with Carrum Patterson Lakes taking on Doveton at Roy Dore Reserve. The finals-bound Lions have been outstanding in their debut year and if Doveton are going to drop a game this year, I think this could be the one. But realistically, on their year to date, you would be crazy to tip against the Eagles.
Over at Mayfield Reserve Mount Waverley hosts Dandenong. The Redlegs were very inaccurate last week, and they simply can’t afford to be missing opportunities against quality sides like Mount Waverley. There is no doubt the Mountain Lions had an off day against Sandown, but I think they are too good a side not to bounce back with a win here.
The last match presents Endeavour Hills with a golden opportunity to register their first win for the year. They take on fellow cellar-dweller Hallam on the wide expanses of Hallam Reserve and the Falcons would be confident of a breakthrough win. This game is hard to tip, but I will go with the Hawks at home.
UNDER 19s with GOOD WILL HUNTER
With finals only a month away it’s important for the sides in contention to get a few wins under their belt and enter the finals series in the best form possible.
Round 15 kicks off at the Kennel with St Pauls facing Dingley. The two sides sit fifth and fourth respectively and are separated by a remarkable 0.05%. They are two very evenly matched sides and this will be a very close game. But on last week’s form I think the Doggies will get the points.
Down at Beazley Reserve, Chelsea Heights hosts Skye in a must-win game for the Heighters. A loss here will all but eliminate them from the finals race while a win for the Bombers will have them well placed for a top-two finish. Unfortunately for Chelsea Heights, Skye should get over the line here.
Fresh off their maiden win, Carrum Patterson Lakes takes on Bentleigh at Roy Dore Reserve. They should put up a decent fight, but the Demons are absolutely flying and will win this game comfortably.
The final game sees Hampton play Murrumbeena at the Toolbox. Beena are priming themselves for the finals and will be too good for the Hammers.