Despite just the four games in Divison 1 this weekend there were still plenty of big talking points after another cracker jack round of local football.
Dingley overcame a sluggish start to hold off a gallant St Paul’s to start the round, the Dingoes running out 24 point winners to cap off a successful road trip to McKinnon Reserve. The home side were up and about early, making the most of their chances in front of goal with 5.0 in the opening stanza. Dingley responded in the second, restricting the Dogs to just one behind to snatch back the lead. An arm wrestle ensued in the third before the visitors were about to generate some breathing space in the last. The final score 11.11-77 to 8.5-53. Cam Dickie was superb for the Dingoes and capped off a dominant performance with two goals, while Rory Goldsmith also played his part with three majors.
St Kilda City consolidated their place in the top five following a surprisingly competitive contest against Highett at Turner Road Reserve. The Dogs produced some of their best football in the opening half, going toe to toe with the Saints to trail by just four points at half time. City slowly began to get on top in the third before the floodgates opened in the last with the visitors piling on eight goals to three. The final margin of 53 points, 15.19-109 to 8.8-56, deceptive of the initial tightly fought contest. Ed Greene and Brayden Irving both slotted four goals each but Josh Cochrane took the best on ground honours for the Saints. For the Doggies, Sam Jackson was in everything like usual and battled hard all game.
Bentleigh were far too good in their clash against Mordialloc at Bentleigh Reserve, the Demons notching up an important win, 14.15-99 to 6.10-46. The Bloodhounds entered the match with their tails up after a stirring one point victory over the Colts last week but found themselves on the back foot early as the Demons played some inspired footy. The home side looked hungry and determined with the game all but stitched up at three quarter time. In the end 29 scoring shots to 16 told the tale of the Dees dominance and they’ll be chuffed to leapfrog their opponents on the ladder. Nick Wynne produced his best performance coming back into the side and Hudson Thomas continued to add to his solid block of form. Luke Morrison led the way for the goal kickers with three for the victors while James Morris was the Bloods best with three goals too.
East Malvern has achieved what no team before them could this season, defeat Cheltenham. The Panthers entered the away clash as slight underdogs but would’ve given themselves a sniff with some big names from the Rosellas missing through injury. The visitors got off to the perfect start too, dominating the opening twenty minutes to take a 14 point lead at the first huddle. The Rosellas hit back in the second stanza but were inaccurate, kicking a miserly 2.6 for the term. They were left to rue those missed opportunities in the premiership quarter as the Panthers reclaimed territory to take a 20 point buffer. A tight final term ensued but the visitors were not going to let this one out of their grasp and held on for an impressive win, 10.13-73 to 7.10-52. It was a complete team performance from East Malvern with contributors right across the park. Paul Fry was at his best and dominated all game, as did Lucas Hall who followed on from last week’s strong showing. Shaun Chaseling and Hayden Chrzanowski led the way in front of goal with two majors each.
Division 2 – Round 7 Review
Caulfield flexed their muscles against Chelsea Heights on the weekend, the Bears clocking up their fifth successive win with a comfortable 29 point triumph, 12.10-82 to 8.5-53. The visitors were in fine form early, keeping the Demons fans quiet after holding the home side goalless in the first half. The Demons snapped out of their funk in the third term but still found themselves with plenty to do with a four goal deficit. They gave it their all in the last, throwing everything at the Bears with five goals but the visitors responded with four of their own to snuff out any chances of a late comeback. Chris O’Keefe starred on the day for the winners as did Adam Ballard on his return to the side. Chris Smith moved his goal tally to 27 for the year with another three majors. It was a disappointing afternoon for the Heighters, especially the first half, and the result sees them slip out of the top five. Bryce Atherton can hold his head high for the Demons as can Rob Macpherson.
Hampton Park claimed the four points against Hampton but not without a fight as the Redbacks were made to work for their 35 point win. The first quarter belonged to the home side with the Hammers booting three early goals to take a rare quarter time lead. The visitors took control in the second with four goals before a competitive third term saw both sides boot two goals each. With the lead under 18 points, it was still anyone's game but three final quarter goals ensured the Redbacks wouldn’t be overrun, 11.10-76 to 5.11-41. Kyle Hendy proved handy up forward for the winners with four majors but Russell Gabriel set up the win with a commanding performance across the ground. Cam Williamson also played his part in the victory with three important goals. For the Hammers that elusive first win continues to evade them but they continue to improve each week. Corey Smith put in a spirited performance and hit the scoreboard for the first time this season too.
East Brighton made it two from two in clashes against Heatherton this season, a dominant second half registering a big win for the Vampires, 22.15-147 to 8.5-53. The Tunners were competitive early before the cracks started to appear in the second term. After the half time bell it was a demolition job, with 23 scoring shots to six powering the Vampires to massive 94 point victory. The visitors shared the goals around with a whopping 13 individual goal scorers, with Shaun James leading the way with four majors. Kai Love-Linay also hit the scoreboard with two goals and was damaging with ball in hand. It was a dirty afternoon for the Tunners but Jesse Stone battled all game to be the best for the men in black and white.
The final game of the round was a heartstopper between Skye and Keysborough, with the Burras holding on for a pulsating five point victory, 9.15-69 to 9.10-64. The Bombers desperately needed a win to bridge the gap between themselves and the top five, and they started in ripping fashion to take a nine point lead at half time. The Burras dominated proceedings after the resumption of play but sprayed several opportunities to lead by just two kicks at the last change. The Bombers threatened to make them pay in a nail biting finish but fell agonisingly short at the final siren. The thrilling victory entrenches the Burras in the top five with a two game buffer over their nearest rivals. Tim Wener and Matt Carnelley were in the thick of the action up forward with five goals between them but it was Jonathon Huntington who took out best on ground honours for the second week running.
Springvale Districts v Murrumbeena (Images via Riley Lockett - Frankie Photography)
It was the Matty Wetering show in the Springvale Districts v Murrumbeena match, the star forward hitting double figures for the first time this season with a big bag of ten goals. The two teams couldn’t have been further apart on paper and the opening quarter reflected that as the Demons produced ten scoring shots to one. Beena put up a commendable effort in the second term but Springy turned up the heat once again to take a 70 point lead at the last huddle. A scrappy final quarter followed, with the main intrigue how many majors Wetering would finish on. Ten would be the lucky number taking Wetering’s tally over the past month to 28 goals! Other performances of note included Stefan Feehan who finished with three majors and Mark Griffiths who put together a solid afternoon’s work. Murrumbeena have endured some horrific losses this season and whilst they won’t be happy going down 3.5-23 to 18.11-119, they can take some heart from toughing it out against the competition’s best.
Division 3 – Round 7 Review
South Mornington have finally broken through to record their first win of the season, the Tigers outlasting a brave Doveton by 20 points, 13.13-91 to 10.11-71, in their clash at Conway Cranes Power Reserve. Both sides headed into the match in search of their first victory and the Tigers got off to a dream start with five first quarter goals. The Eagles pegged back the margin in the second before another flurry from the visitors saw them take a 39 point advantage with one quarter to play. The Eagles mounted one last challenge with five goals but it was too late as South Mornington held on for a well deserved victory. Leading goalkicker Jordan Waite made the most of his opportunities for the Tigers with six goals and Mat Smith hit the scoreboard for the first time this season with two majors. Adam Nekic also continued his amazing run of form with another B.O.G performance for the Tiges. The Eagles will be shattered to miss out and will rue several costly patches but they are getting better each week in a good sign for the future.
Ashwood survived the fright of their lives against South Yarra over the weekend, the Magpies overturning a 24 point three quarter time deficit to run out three goal winners, 15.7-97 to 12.7-79. The Pies seemed to have things under check in the first half before the Lions stunned the home crowd with a blistering third term. Everything the Yarras touched turned to gold, the visitors booting 6.4 to the Pies 0.3 to be in the box seat at the final huddle. Facing a shock loss, the Magpies dug deep and hit the ground running in the last to turn things around. It was an awesome response from the home side as they rattled through eight final quarter goals to decimate the Yarras chances of victory. Michael Lithotomos and Jack Purcell combined to slot eight goals between them, while Michael Olden claimed best on ground honours. South Yarra were superb for three quarters but will be stung by the final quarter onslaught. Big man Julian Belfrage was exceptional around the ground and Dillon Taylor lead the way up forward with four snags.
Clayton overcame Narre South by 20 points in a highly entertaining shoot out down at Strathaird Reserve. In one of the most entertaining first quarters seen this season, both sides played offensive and open football with the quarter time score of 8.2 to 6.2 thrilling the fans. The visitors got on top in the second term with four goals to one and really drove the advantage home in the third with another six goals. Despite trailing by 41 points, the Saints rallied in the last with five goals but left their run too late to fall short, 15.7-97 to 17.15-117. Bailey Escreet put in a strong game for the Clays to be the best player on the ground and Byron Hoe chipped in with two goals. For the Saints, Steve Sigeti booted five goals and Brad O’Brien battled hard all game.
Black Rock returned to the winners list in a gripping game of football against Endeavour Hills at William Street Reserve. With both sides coming off losses it was always going to be a hotly contested game and so it proved. Both sides had ten scoring shots each at half time but the Jets accuracy saw them take a slender five point edge into the change rooms. But it was the Falcons who looked to have the game on their terms after a solid third term, as they took a slight advantage into the final change. The final stanza was a ripper with both sides trading goal for goal in an intense climax. Four goals to three proved to be the difference however as the Jets came from behind to notch up a stirring victory, 9.12-66 to 9.9-63. Cooper Ferries was exceptional once again for the victors with three goals and Thomas Wilson starred in his first appearance for the year. For the Falcons the loss is a heartbreaker but they’ll lose no fans after the manner in which they played. Sam McLean was superb with three goals and was unlucky to be on the losing side.
Division 4 – Round 7 Review
The results for Division 4 fell the way most expected, however that didn’t mean there weren’t some surprises along the way.
Lyndhurst clocked up a big 85 point win following their demolition job of Lyndale at Barry Powell Reserve. The Pumas were up for the challenge early and even had a slender quarter time lead before the Lightning found their groove in the second stanza. It was party time for the visitors in the second half with 12 goals to three ensuring a comfortable afternoon’s work for Lyndhurst, 19.12-126 to 6.5-41. Jarryd McGrath topped the scoring with four majors and Ryan Lowe dominated around the ground. Jayden Denmead the best in yet another dirty day for the Pumas.
Frankston overcame a massive scare against Dandenong at Greaves Reserve on Saturday afternoon, the Dolphins coming from behind to claim a narrow eight point victory. The clash shaped as a danger game for the visitors who required a victory to stay amongst the pack after a difficult month. The Redlegs had already shown they are a 10% better side on their home deck and that trend continued after a strong opening quarter. Holding a nine point lead the Redlegs were up for the fight but stunned the Dolphins in the second term with five more goals opening up a 32 point half time lead. The visitors hit back hard in the premiership quarter with seven goals but the home side still led by two points with a big chance to claim their first victory. A gripping final term followed by it was the visitors who found the edge, booting four goals to two to pinch victory, 16.6-102 to 14.10-94. Josh Kerrigan stepped up big time to drag Frankston over the line, playing his best game of the season to star in a match winning performance with eight goals. Scott Stegehuis also proved key in clutch moments and Jacsen Trewhitt’s three goals proved handy. It’s devastation yet again for Dandenong who have had their hearts broken several times this season. Phil Muscat booted five majors and Malcolm Elliot cracked in all game.
Carrum Patterson Lakes made it a win against each team this season after they downed Cerberus at McAuliffe Oval in convincing fashion, 11.14-80 to 4.12-36. The Lions fiercest challenge to their unbeaten streak turned out to be a fizzer as the visitors dominated the opening term with ten scoring shots to one. The Three-Headed Dogs struck back with three second quarter goals but still faced a 30 point deficit at half time. Another strong term with the breeze from the Lions shut the door on the contest and ensured their spotless record stayed intact. Rohan Bleeker and Alex Wilson were dynamic to share eight goals between them and Dane Leyden-Kozikas was good with the Sherrin in hand. Cerberus have now dropped their past three games and their 4-0 start seems a long time ago. Rob Tomlin put in another strong performance but lacked support from his teammates.
Hallam closed out the round with a convincing win away from home against Moorabbin, 15.16-106 to 8.3-51. The victory was set up in the second term with a six goal burst and the Hawks never looked back from there to run out 55 point winners. The visitors raffled the goals around with ten individual goal kickers with no one hitting the scoreboard more than twice. Nathan Jerram continued his outstanding season and Brendan Reynolds pieced together another ripping effort. The Kangaroos put up a valiant fight but were never in the hunt after quarter time. Aaron Robins the best for the Roos.