Round 6 Preview: Division 1-4

by Lincoln Edmunds

Division 1 – Round 6 Preview 

Mordialloc will be looking to get back onto the winners list when they host Port Melbourne Colts on Saturday afternoon. The Bloodhounds have been in reasonable nick in their last three outings and were good in patches against Cheltenham last week. Dylan Gregson and James Morris have been in ripping form to start the season will be central to their side's chances once again.  The Colts steadied the ship with a good win against Bentleigh last week and will be looking forward to another challenge on the road. The visitors have a star-studded line up with class across the field, making it difficult for opposition coaches to keep them under control. Port should come away with a victory here but Mordialloc will make them work for it. 

East Malvern and St Paul’s clash at Dunlop Reserve in an important game for both clubs. The Doggies broke through for their first victory last week and will be looking to get on a roll in the middle part of the season to keep their finals prospects alive. Whilst they currently sit in 8th spot with a win-loss record of 1-4, the Dogs have never been blown off the park this season and their average losing margin is 33 points. The big question is whether they can turn one to two good quarters a week into a full four quarter effort. The Panthers returned to the winners list in emphatic fashion with an enormous win over Highett and will be looking to defend the fort at home. Luke Duffy has been in outstanding form all year and will be one to watch for the home side. 

St Kilda City host Bentleigh with the Saints looking to avenge last week's poor showing against Dingley. Whilst a loss against the Dingoes was far from a shock, the home side will be concerned by the manner in which the visitors tore them apart in the last quarter. Their response against the Demons will be fascinating and we’ll get an insight into how hungry the Saints are to be a genuine contender. Aaron Edwards has been the obvious focal point up forward for City but Brayden Irving and Ed Greene have also chipped in at times with seven goals each for the season thus far. After five rounds Bentleigh find themselves in an all too familiar position in recent years, sixth spot. The Dees have done well to compete thus far but just cannot quite bridge the gap between themselves and those in the top five. Having said that the Dees have endured one of the toughest fixtures and have done reasonably well to sit at 2-3. If they can pull off another remarkable win and square their win-loss ledger, things should open up for them on the fixture front in the next few weeks. 

Oakleigh District face the daunting task of ending Cheltenham’s unbeaten start to the season when they clash at Princess Highway Reserve. The Rosellas have been in outstanding touch and look hungry to go one better than 2019. Des Ryan’s men have winners right across the park with no clear standout player to shut down in order to get on top of the team. Despite consistently kicking triple figure scores, the Rosellas leading goal kicker is Austin Johnston with just 12 majors and the team has had 19 players kick at least one goal in the first five rounds. There lies the strength of this squad, they rely on a team effort rather than a few individual players getting the job done each week. District will know the challenge they have on their hands and will need to bring their absolute best if they’re to remain competitive in this one. 

The final match of the round is another lopsided match on paper with Dingley hosting Highett at the Den. The Dingoes, like always, found a way to bounce back after a disappointing loss and will be setting their sights on another big win over the visitors. The Dogs will be licking their wounds after a horror loss last week and will be hellbent on avoiding another big blowout. Dingoes big man Dan Farmer has been in solid touch around the goals and could get off the chain here if the home side gets on top. He already has a haul of eight majors in a match this year and it would be no surprise if he added another against a vulnerable defence. All signs point to the home side in this one, it just remains to be seen by how much.


Division 2 – Round 6 Preview

East Brighton head into their encounter with Skye full of confidence after a ripping win against Chelsea Heights last week. The Vampires proved to the rest of the competition that they are a genuine player in season 2021 and will be looking to solidify themselves in the top five with their fifth win of the season here. Their opponent, the Bombers, have enjoyed a good start to the year but have mainly beaten up on lowly teams thus far. Having said that, Luke Martin’s men took it right up to Hampton Park on their home deck only a few weeks ago and will be quietly confident of claiming a big scalp here. 

Perhaps the biggest talking point of the competition has been the Bears resurgence up the ladder and Caulfield have a great chance to lock themselves in the top five with a win over Hampton this weekend. The home side were awesome last week and shocked with Burras with a massive 92 point win in enemy territory. It was an important result for the club and the percentage booster was an added bonus with spots in the top three certain to tighten up. The Hammers have struggled to be winless so far but Springy coach Kris Thompson was praiseworthy of their efforts last week. There’s no doubt they’ll breakthrough for a win at some point this season, but it’s hard to see it happening here. 

Hampton Park get the chance to have another crack at Springvale Districts when they face off in a mouth-watering match up at Robert Booth Reserve. The Redbacks marked their first game in Division 2 with a loss against the Demons on Good Friday and will be eager to turn the tables after just six weeks. The visitors have gone from strength to strength since then and are yet to taste defeat after their six matches. In fact, they’ve rarely been challenged with their closet victory coming back in round two when they pipped the Bears by just over a kick. Matt Wetering was superb last week with eight majors but he should expect more of a challenge this week against the Redbacks defenders. Hampton Park were underdone last time they squared off against Kris Thompson’s men, can they square the ledger and hand the Demons their first loss? Their best is capable that’s for sure, whether the Demons allow it is another story. 

Keysborough and Chelsea Heights both enter their clash off the back of disappointing losses and will need to be at their best if they’re to avoid two defeats in a row. The Burras were humbled on their home patch last week and pride will be at stake when they host the Demons on the weekend. Despite the embarrassing loss, Matt Carnelley still led the way up front for with three goals and is yet to go goalless so far this season. The Demons have endured some patchy form over recent weeks with big wins mixed in amongst losses against some quality sides. Their best is as good as anyone’s but they’re yet to fully click and produce consistent football. Both sides have a great chance to lay down a marker and grab an important victory here but a loss would be a big blow in their aspirations for a top two finish. 

The final match of the round presents Murrumbeena with their best chance of a victory so far when they host Heatherton at Beena Arena. The home side has had a nightmare season so far with an average losing margin of 98 points highlighting just how much the club has struggled since entering rebuild mode. They should be hopeful of a much tighter contest against the Tunners here, who have also battled with just the one win under their belt so far. Mark Stevens and David Velardo have been the standout performers for the visitors and will be key to their hopes in recording a second win. For Beena if they are to claim their first victory, you’d suspect it would rely on Wade King who has been a lone solider at times for the home side this season.  


Division 3 – Round 6 Preview 

South Mornington are still looking for their first win of the season and it’ll be no easy task when they host Narre South over the weekend. The Saints are fresh from their whopping 180 point demolition job over Doveton and will be eyeing off another strong performance against the battling Tigers. The home side have endured a significant amount of pain since readmission to the SFNL with three of their five losses ballooning out well beyond triple figure margins. They’ll be desperate to avoid another dose of torment here but the visitors showed no empathy to their opponents last week. 

South Yarra head into their clash against Doveton as rare favourites, the Lions a good thing to notch up win number two for season 2021. The Eagles struggled once again last week and continue to slog it out one week at time in their quest to turn the club around. South Yarra have been solid in the past fortnight, taking it up to Clayton and Endeavour Hills before running out of legs in the second half. If they show any of that form for even three quarters here, they should run out comfortable winners. 

The match of the round takes place at Meade Reserve with Clayton taking on Black Rock in a ripsnorter of a contest. The Jets are the talk of the town after their blazing start to the year and coach Ryan Handley will be thrilled at sitting top of the table after an unbeaten start. The Rockers have seen off challenges from fellow contenders Ashwood and Narre South, and now face another stern test against Jason Smith’s men. The 2019 Grand Finalists have been an interesting watch so far this season, with losses against Endeavour Hills and Ashwood setting them back amongst the pack. In fact, in isolation the Clays are yet to really beat anyone of note, their three wins coming against lowly sides in South Yarra, Doveton and South Mornington. Sure, they’ve have a couple of big wins but can they be considered premiership contenders until they knock off some of the better sides? A win here against a rampaging Black Rock would be a good start. 

The final match of the round also promises to be a beauty, with Endeavour Hills and Ashwood facing off in an intriguing clash at Barry Simon Reserve. The Falcons have found their mojo post round one and will be looking for their fifth win on the bounce on Saturday. Looking to put an end to that streak are the Magpies who have also enjoyed a bright start to the season. The Pies have also only suffered the one defeat for the year and were extremely impressive in their victory over Clayton last week. They’ll travel over to Endeavour Hills with no fear about the job at hand. With a squeeze on for spots in the top two these matches are crucial for both sides in their quest for premiership glory. Who will take the early advantage? We’ll find out soon enough. 


Division 4 – Round 6 Preview

Hallam host Lyndale to kick things off in Division 4, the Hawks still fresh from their heroic performance over Cerebrus last week. Few would’ve backed Sev Sharlassian’s men to get within five goals against the three headed Dogs but a young Hallam outfit went one better, claiming the four points in one of the biggest boilovers of the year. A win here would make it three in a row for the Hawks and remarkably keep them in the hunt for a top four spot. If they are serious about a finals tilt than a victory is crucial here. In the other camp the Pumas will be smarting after coughing up a very winnable game against Moorabbin last week. They’ll be eager to bring the Hawks back to earth. 

Lyndhurst and Cerberus clash at Marriott Waters Reserve in the pick of the bunch for Division 4 action this weekend. The previously unbeaten Dogs were humbled against the Hawks last week and hit the road with their tails between their legs. Prior to the shock loss, they’d barely put a foot wrong and will be eager to prove it was an outlier performance. The Lightning on the other hand have produced two solid performances in the last fortnight and now face another big test against a competition heavyweight. If they want to finish in the top two, they need to knock off teams around the mark and they have the perfect opportunity to pounce on the visitors here. 

Frankston welcome Moorabbin to their home deck at Overport Park with the home side in dire need of a win after a tough fortnight. The Dolphins appeared to be on the right track at 2-1 after three rounds but find themselves a fair way off the pace after two humbling losses against contenders CPL and Lyndhurst. They can steady their win-loss record with a victory here but should be wary of a potential danger game. The Kangas were fantastic in their come from behind victory last week and will be eyeing off repeating the dose once again in enemy territory. A win here would even see the Roos leapfrog the Dolphins on the ladder. Now who would’ve thought that only a few weeks ago? 

Carrum Patterson Lakes will be looking to extend their unbeaten start to the year when they take on Dandenong on Saturday afternoon. On paper this is a David vs Goliath match up, with the undefeated top of the table Lions up against the winless bottom placed Redlegs. But despite zero wins next to their name, the Redlegs have actually played some decent football in patches. Three of their losses have been under 16 points and they were far from disgraced against the Lightning last week. Regardless the Lions are a scary prospect at the moment and if they do get on top, things could unravel very quickly for the visitors. 

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