Round 9: Men's Football Preview

By Lincoln Edmunds 

Division 1:

Round 9 action gets underway at Ben Kavanagh Reserve with Mordialloc hosting a red hot St Paul’s McKinnon outfit on Saturday afternoon. 

The Dogs have put together an impressive last month to etch themselves into the top four with a healthy percentage to boot.

The visitors have been one the best contested sides this season, with familiar names James Sziller and Matt Kreymborg leading the way with their inside grunt. 

Stephen Muller once again is the main target inside 50, entering the clash as the club’s leading goal-kicker on 29 majors. 

The Bloods stopped a run of three straight losses with a gutsy triumph over the Demons last week, with James Keighley and Harrison Edwards starring in the win. 

They’ll need to repeat their efforts here if the home side are to make it two in a row.

The match of the round belongs to Cheltenham and St Kilda City, as the second placed Rosellas host the third placed Saints at Jack Barker Oval.

The home side have once again cemented themselves as one of the premier sides of the competition and will be looking to defend their grip on second spot against the dangerous Saints.

Rex Kilburn is sure to feature in the Saints match committee, with the Rosella ball magnet averaging an impressive 27 touches a game this season.

Cheltenham have no shortage of scoring avenues up forward, averaging 102 points a hit out with Josh Fox the focal point in attack with 31 majors.  

The visitors will be looking to stop the Rosellas dominate around stoppages with Cheltenham averaging 37 clearances a game, the best in the competition. 

But the Saints have some weapons of their own in Luke Potts and Anthony Malamas, with the duo regularly turning out excellent performances. 

This should be an absolute belter of a game and come 5pm we’ll know just that little bit more on where both clubs sit. 

Cranbourne await Bentleigh in their clash at Livingston Reserve this weekend. 

The Eagles were too strong for the Colts last round and will be hot favourites to extend their winning run to three games against the struggling Demons. 

The home side have been the best marking side all season, averaging 88 clunks a game to control the tempo of the game to suit their style. 

Jack Carosella and Zac Roscoe have been dominant around the pill, both averaging over 24 touches and 11 clearances each a game. 

The Dees have battled this season and sit second last for average points per game (56.4) and inside 50’s (40 per game).

Those issues make it hard to see them putting a big enough score on the board to clip the Eagles wings. 

It’s an important game for both Springvale Districts and Port Melbourne Colts when they square off in an intriguing battle at Springvale Reserve. 

The Districts were demolished in unfamiliar fashion last weekend but they get their chance to leapfrog the Colts with a win here, with both sides sitting on 3-5 heading into the clash. 

Whilst their gun spearhead Matt Wetering has been plying his trade with Collingwood’s VFL side, Tyrone Vickery has been a more than ample replacement with the former AFL key forward slotting 26 goals from six appearances.

With ball in hand Mason Russell has led the way for Springy, averaging 19 disposals a game. 

The Colts season is also slipping away following two straight defeats and they’ll be desperate to keep their finals flame alight when they hit the road. 

Justin Taylor and Stephen Brewer have had no troubles finding the Sherrin, both averaging over 29 touches a game for the visitors, but they’ll need more support from their teammates to notch up a win here. 

The round wraps up with Dingley and East Malvern at Souter Oval, the Dingoes expected to have no problems clocking up win number five against the bottom placed Panthers.

Whilst they haven’t been as dominant as we’ve come to expect in recent years, Dingley is still around the mark and will be eager to make a statement before the second half of the season heats up.

They failed the test against a quality outfit in St Paul’s last weekend and now the Panthers look set to be on the receiving end of a Dingoes response come Saturday. 

Lucas Walmsley remains one of the drawcards of the competition, with the star Dingo averaging 29 touches in yet another stellar campaign. 

It’s been a torrid year whichever way you look at it for the Panthers, the team is worst in the competition for points scored a game (40) and is yet to sing the song after eight appearances. 

Unfortunately for them, that doesn’t look like changing here. 


Division 2:

Fresh from a week off, East Brighton will be out to return to the winners list when they host Chelsea Heights at Hurlingham Reserve. 

The Vampires split the points with the Redbacks in their last appearance and will have their work cut out against the impressive Demons who sit second on the ladder with a record of 7-1 coming into the game.

The visitors have barely put a foot wrong this reason, their only defeat coming at the hands of the Doves by under a kick. 

The Heighters sound defence has been the blueprint of their success so far and it should see them clock up their seventh win of the year here. 

Doveton Doves will be out to keep their perfect SFNL record in tact when they face off against Caulfield in a ripping clash at Robinson Reserve. 

The Bears have flown close to the sun on several occasions in recent weeks, with heart stopping wins against Hampton Park and Highett helping string three valuable victories on the trot. 

The Doves will present a more sinister challenge however, with the home side yet to be toppled by any team this season.

But as we saw in the AFL just last weekend, it’s rare that any team makes it through a season unscathed.

The Doves will be hoping their spotless record isn’t spoiled anytime soon but if you’re going to cop a loss, you’d prefer to get it out of the way before finals. 

Should be a cracker either way!

One of Heatherton and Skye will breakthrough for their first victory of season 2022 when they clash down at Ross Street Reserve. 

It’s been hard yakka for both clubs this year with no reward on the scoreboard as yet, but all that could change come 2pm Saturday. 

The Bombers will enter this as slight favourites but don’t discount the Tonners on their home deck.

Rowley Allan Reserve sees the round come to a close with Keysborough and Highett squaring off in what should be a closely fought encounter.

Things were looking good for the Doggies at 3-1, but three consecutive losses has seen them fall behind the pack to seventh spot on the ladder. 

They’ll be desperate to avoid four losses in a row but it’ll be no easy task against the Burras on their home deck.

Keysie were solid in their win against Skye last weekend and will be looking to secure their spot in the top three with another win here.

Should be a good old arm wrestle between these two proud clubs. 

Hampton Park will enjoy a fortnight’s rest as they have the bye leading into the Queen’s Birthday weekend. 


Division 3:

Ashwood will be looking to put their fifth win on the board when they host Clayton at Essex Heights Reserve on Saturday afternoon. 

The Magpies enter with plenty of confidence following their triple point thrashing against South Yarra last week. 

Jack Purcell was back to his best with nine majors and will be sure to trouble the Clays defence. 

After a horror start to the season, the visitors have steadied the ship with a couple of wins and their last quarter triumph against the Saints will leave the men in black and white confident of another good showing here. 

Travelling up the road to Leigh Park we find South Yarra and Murrumbeena locked in battle for the second time this season.

The Yarras will be hoping to avoid a repeat of Round 2, where they were slaughtered to the tune of 240 points in a great advertisement for the mercy rule. 

They did however, pull off an extraordinary nine-point win over Clayton just two weekends ago and will be hoping to put up a much better fight second time around. 

Beena are coming off a heartbreaking loss to the Falcons and will be eager to enter the half way point of the season with their seventh win under their belt. 

Carrum Patterson Lakes will be looking to get back on the winners list when they square off against Endeavour Hills at Roy Dore Reserve.

The Lions have made a near seamless transition to Division 3 football this season but were given a reality check by the Jets last week, who have proved to have their measure in 2022. 

CPL will be aiming to repeat their six-point triumph against the Falcons from earlier in the season but should be wary of confident outfit ready to take it up to them. 

The Falcons stitched together back-to-back wins for the first time this season last weekend, with both results coming against quality sides in Ashwood and Murrumbeena. 

If the visitors can make it three in a row here, the race for the top four in the back half of the season will be thrown wide open. 

The round comes to a close at Strathaird Reserve with Narre South Saints playing host to Black Rock in what should be a cracker of a contest. 

The Jets continue to show their premiership credentials following a strong win over fellow finals contender CPL and will be looking to keep the home side at bay for the second time this season. 

The Saints have slid in the past fortnight following losses against CPL and Clayton and are now in danger of falling off the pace for a finals berth. 

No one wants to have more losses than wins next to their name at the half way mark of the season, but the home side will need to play out of their skin if they are to avoid that fate here. 


Division 4:

Lyndale and Frankston get the ball rolling for Division 4 action down at Barry Powell Reserve, in what looms a mismatch on paper. 

The home side have their work cut out if they plan on signing the song for the third time this season, with the rampaging Dolphins yet to taste defeat after a stunning first half of the season. 

The visitors stamped their authority last weekend with a 101-point drubbing of the highly rated Hawks and are the clear premiership fancies at the half way mark of the season. 

Liam O’Donnell is sure to cause the Pumas headaches in the front half following another impressive showing of eight goals last weekend, taking his tally to 23 majors in his past three appearances. 

If the visitors get on top early, this one could get ugly quickly.

It’s third against fourth when Hallam play host to Dandenong in an important match for both outfits.

The Hawks enter with their feathers ruffled after they were bullied by the Dolphins in a demolition job that is sure to dent their confidence. 

The home side has not tasted such a demoralising defeat in some time and it’ll be fascinating to see the response early doors. 

Dandenong is enjoying their most fruitful campaign in recent memory and has a great opportunity to cement their spot in the top four at the half way mark of the season. 

The Redlegs have won their last three games in a row, all by margins above 50+ points to give their percentage a handy boost. 

Adam Boag and Lenny Van Schaik have been in strong form in recent weeks and will need to be at their best once again if the Redlegs are to walk away with the four points. 

Over at the Toolbox, Hampton and Cerberus battle it out for a rare victory in season 2022. 

The depleted home side has been wiped off the park in the past month, with an average losing margin of 82 points. 

The Navy boys have a golden opportunity to stitch together back to back wins after they put together their best performance of the year against Doveton last weekend. 

Watch out for Jake Hinder who booted half of his team’s 20 goals last week and could prove to be a handful for the understrength Hammers. 

Moorabbin will be looking to keep themselves in top four contention when they welcome Lyndhurst to Widdop Crescent Reserve on Saturday afternoon. 

The Kangaroos have displayed some patchy form this season but have shown themselves to be a threat when they get their attacking game going. 

They’ll need to bring their A game if they’re to cause a boilover against the Lightening however, with the visitors following a similar script from seasons gone to sit amongst the top two. 

There’s one stark difference to previous campaigns for the Lightening this time around, and that’s their ability to score heavily. 

The men in the orange and blue have had no trouble finding the big sticks in 2022, averaging 113 points a game. 

If their engine room gets on top in this one, expect them to crack three figures once again. 

Another seemingly one-sided contest rounds out the weekend’s action for Division 4, with South Mornington expected to make light work of Doveton Eagles at Power Reserve. 

The Tigers have put together a solid campaign and will be looking to keep the momentum rolling heading into the mid-season break.

Sam Shaw and Josh Abela have starred for the Tiges and will be eager to build on their impressive performances to date. 

The Eagles, depending on other results, are in red hot danger of slipping to last on the ladder.

They’ll need to put in their best performance in years if they’re any hope of causing a shock here. 

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