Round 5 Previews
DIVISION ONE with JASON BARBIN
Things start getting serious in round 5 as the ladder is starting to take shape. Plenty of potential finals matchups await and 1 team will get their first win in 2013.
East Malvern vs Highett
East Malvern take on Highett with both teams still looking for their first wins of the season. East Malvern has been the more competitive side through the first 4 rounds but donít count out the spirit of the doggies. Put this down to be a high scoring match up. Trent Hotten could be the X factor - East Malvern need to win.
East Malvern by 21 points
Cheltenham vs Heatherton
After 2 straight losses, Cheltenham look to get back on track when they take on Heatherton in round 5. Heatherton improved against Chelsea Heights but kicked inaccurately, but look for the improved form to continue. The Heatherton backline has struggled this season so look for Chris Graham to take advantage.
Cheltenham by 32 points
St Kilda City vs St Pauls
These two fierce rivals battle once again in a must win clash for the Saints at the Peanut Farm. St Pauls have looked unstoppable through the first 4 rounds but donít be surprised if the Saints take them on early. Look for a potential matchup between Mark Tasiyan and former saint Jay Bruno. The Doggies firepower up front should be too much though.
St Pauls by 29 points
Chelsea Heights vs East Brighton
Two of the best midfields clash head on in this grand final rematch as Chelsea Heights take on East Brighton at Beazley Reserve. East Brighton have looked the better team so far but Chelsea Heights are a tough team to beat at home. Emerging forward Luke Manders has looked dangerous as of late but he will find it tough against the menacing Vampire backline.
East Brighton by 14 points
Dingley vs Clayton
Another potential finals matchup, Dingley take on Clayton at Souter Reserve. Look for Dingley to continue their unbeaten run but Clayton will certainly give them a run for their money. Aaron Purvis has been great so far for the Clays but the young run and gun Dingo midfield should be too strong for a much improved Clayton side.
Dingley by 15 points
DIVISION TWO with THE FOOTY TRAGIC
Mordialloc vs Murrumbeena
Mordialloc will be keen to get back on the winnerís list and Murrumbeena had a confidence boosting win last week at the expense of South Yarra. The Lions will find their opposition a completely different proposition this week and will struggle to score as freely this week. Mordialloc should win here.
South Yarra vs Moorabbin
South Yarra will remain the only winless side in the Division this week, providing that Moorabbin can match their last quarter effort from last week and convert it into a four quarter effort this week. Although South Yarra hold the home ground advantage, I feel Moorabbin are up to the challenge and will win this easily.
Caulfield vs Oakleigh District
Oakleigh District are early favourites for Division 1 in 2014 and should have no problem at Koornang Park this week. If Caulfield can get their act together they can make it difficult for their visitors, but I canít see an upset result here. Oakleigh to remain undefeated for at least another week.
Hampton vs Skye
Both these teams are sitting at 2 wins and 2 losses, however there is a massive difference in their percentages with Skye holding a 60% difference between the 2. The question now is can Hamptonís back-line contain the rampaging forwards from Skye. Skye has scored more than any other side in this Division so far, and even on the tight confines of Peterson St Reserve I canít see Hampton holding Skye to a losing score.
Springvale Districts vs Bentleigh
Springvale will be glad to get on their big ground after the tight confines of last week and Bentleigh too will be glad at the room theyíll have to move after last week as well. This is the hardest game to tip. Both teams are 3 wins and 1 loss, but I I think that Bentleigh has the better of the back-lines, and I am a great believer that back-lines win the big games. Therefore, I put my newfound (self appointed) expert status on the line and tip Bentleigh to win this one.
DIVISION THREE with WILL HUNTER
The Mountain Lions have had a rather soft draw to start the year Ė the four sides they have played thus far all occupy spots in the bottom half of the ladder. However, the ladder leaders play Sandown this week at Edinburgh Reserve in what is shaping to be their biggest test of the season to date. The Cobras at home will no doubt prove a tough assignment, but they must start taking their chances in front of goal if they are to beat the top sides. Mount Waverley certainly wonít show any complacency and I expect their unbeaten run to continue.
In other games this week, Lyndale travel down to Roy Dore Reserve to take on Carrum Patterson Lakes. This should be another ripping contest, as both these teams are pretty evenly matched on paper. While the Lions have the home ground advantage (a venue the Pumas have never ventured to), Lyndale have the form (their only loss was at the hands of the undefeated Eagles). For that reason Iím tipping the Pumas, but the home side could surprise here.
Speaking of the Eagles, they venture to McDonald Reserve for a meeting with Black Rock. Doveton are simply flying at the minute, and in contrast the Jets have found it difficult to kick winning scores. There is a sizable gap in class between these two sides and Doveton will have too much firepower for Black Rock to handle.
Over at Hallam Reserve the Hawks clash with the in-form Dandenong. Hallam are still a developing side and although they use the wide open spaces of their home ground pretty well, the Redlegs have the ability to find another level when the game is in the balance and should win this one.
The final game sees Ashwood host Endeavour Hills at Essex Heights Reserve. On the form I am seeing from the Falcons at the moment, I think it will be a long year for them, unfortunately. The Magpies will win easily.
UNDER 19s with WILL HUNTER
A mouth-watering top-of-the-table clash between Skye and St Pauls at the Hangar headlines round five. The two undefeated sides of the competition are both bringing sparkling form to this game, which is shaping to be one of the games of the season. Joel Parrett and skipper Beau Phillips have been in superb touch this season, and must fire again if the Dogs are to win. But I think the bigger, more experienced Bombersí line up should get the job done at home.
At Beazley Reserve, Chelsea Heights host Hampton. The Hammers have been competitive in their losses this year, with Guy Timms in solid form in the ruck. But the Heighters are a very strong side, and fresh off the bye they should win this one.
Dingley would be confident of making it two wins in a row by knocking off Clayton at the Den. The valiant Magpies are still searching for their breakthrough victory and although I know it will come soon, I donít think it will be this week.
The last game sees Murrumbeena travel to Roy Dore Reserve to play Carrum Patterson Lakes. Beena have been playing a good brand of football and will be too strong for the winless Lions.