Round Four: Men's Football Review
Round Four of Division 1 action in the Southern Football Netball League saw two games decided by less than a kick as the ladder began to take shape.
It always looked like being a significant round and the results are starting to tell us the story.
Mordialloc won a stirring battle with a Springvale Districts team that was flying high after their Good Friday victory in Round Three.
There was never more than 10 points in this game, and never more than three points the margin at any change as Mordialloc prevailed 7.9.51 to 6.12.48 after a sustained arm wrestle.
Mordialloc move to third on the table with that result, and it opens a two-game gap on Springvale Districts who sit eighth.
Meanwhile Cheltenham have won a hard fought battle with St Paul’s McKinnon as they continued their terrific form.
Josh Fox backed up his seven-goal display from last week with a tremendous haul of nine from his team’s tally of 13 this week.
Cheltenham now sit second on the table but they have played one additional game compared to the team’s that sit third, fourth and fifth.
St Paul’s McKinnon led for a lot of the game but just couldn’t curtail the influence of Fox who was ultimately the difference in the clash.
On the topic of goalkicking, Marc Holt snagged another six (in game 250) for Cranbourne as they comfortably defeated East Malvern 14.13.97 to 4.8.32.
Holt now has 16 goals in three weeks for the league leaders and he shapes as someone who is pivotal to their final’s chances.
Coach Steve O’Brien was pleased with how his team handled a tricky day.
“It was tough conditions with the wind and it meant we had a scrappy game.” O’Brien said.
“We were playing our brand early but fell back into some habits we need to rectify.
“But it was pleasing to get a comfortable win for Holty and Cheeka in their 250th game.”
After last week’s setback, St.Kilda City found their winning ways again in an absolute thriller against Dingley.
No side was able to truly seize the momentum all day as the game remained tight at every change before St.Kilda City snuck home thanks largely to nine goals between DeGois and Irving.
Michael Dolan kicked six in his first game for the season for Dingley, with the loss leaving them 2-2, but still within striking distance.
Given every side in the competition has lost at least once in the first four rounds, it is very much shaping as an even campaign.
In the final game of the round, the Port Melbourne Colts turned an eight-point three quarter time lead into a 38-point win in an encouraging performance.
Bentleigh wrestled the lead back in a strong second quarter, before missing some chances in the third term that could have extended it.
Unfortunately they ran out of petrol in the final quarter as Port Melbourne kicked the last five goals to prevail.
The result is important for Port Melbourne who reach 2-2 and get their percentage back closer to 100 on the back of the big finish.
Coach Graeme Yeates is looking for continued improvement after a slow start to the season.
“We have lots of areas we have to get better at which we are working on and we are going to keep getting better every week.” Yeates said.
Blockbusters, big wins, poor conversion, highlights, fade outs and individual stars. Round Four of the Southern Football Netball League Division 2 competition had everything as some clubs started to make their move on the season.
Chelsea Heights kicked off the round with a thrilling win over Highett 9.10.64 to 9.8.62. The home side led by five goals at half time and still led by 22 points at the final change before a goalless last quarter made for some nervous times.
Highett taste defeat for the first time, but only narrowly as both they and the still unbeaten Chelsea Heights shape as major contenders.
Chelsea Heights coach Josh Bull was relieved post match.
“A cracker it was!” Bull said.
“We started really well. I loved the pressure and intent at the footy. We had a few changes from the previous week, so we had to get creative with some positional moves and I felt they worked.
“We had a chance to put them away early in the third but we couldn’t finish our work and it hurt us at the back end.
“Highett are a good football side and when you give them a sniff they take advantage of that. To my boys credit they dug deep and scrapped out a really gritty win.”
Skye produced their most competitive performance of the season but unfortunately poor conversion in front of goal cost them any chance.
A nine-point quarter time lead should have been greater with Skye’s 2.5 not adequate reward for their performance.
They would end up equal on shots but would go down 16.9 to 8.17.
Kyle Hendy kicked five for Hampton Park with Carver adding three, with King, Thomas and Myatt the standout performers across the ground.
Coach Nathan Wilson praised his group for their solid performance.
“We were happy to get the first win and think it’ll be a turning point in the season.” Wilson said.
“We still think our best is certainly ahead of us, but things are starting to click with such a young and new group we always knew it’d take some time.”
Meanwhile Matthew Carnelley made it 13 goals in two weeks after he bagged another six in Keysborough’s 66-point win over Heatherton.
The victory was set up with a six goal to one first quarter as the visitors were never seriously threatened.
Heatherton’s percentage is slightly worse than Skye which sees them sit at the bottom of the table. For Keysborough, the win moves them to third on the table behind the two unbeaten teams.
In the final game of Round Four, Doveton proved too strong for East Brighton, extending the lead at every change on the way to a 32-point victory.
Sheppard kicked three for the Doves whilst the Lone-Linay’s, Rennex and Jamieson battled hard for East Brighton.
The Doves now sit on top of the ladder with four wins from four matches ahead of a bye this week.
Coach Michael Cardamone is continuing to strive for improvement in his group despite the unbeaten start.
“We have plenty of improvement left. We need to continue driving our standards to keep pushing each other to hit our goals.” He said.
“The most pleasing thing is we have had injuries so to see the depth of the squad is a real plus.”
Four matches were played over Round Four of the Southern Football Netball League’s Division 3 competition with a thriller between Ashwood and Murrumbeena the standout from the weekend.
In a clash of the unbeaten teams, Murrumbeena prevailed by ten points to claim top spot on the ladder outright 10.11.71 to 8.13.61.
Leading by 34-points at half time, Murrumbeena had to hold off an Ashwood side that kicked five goals to one after the main break.
Cardamore continued his impressive form for Ashwood with four of their eight goals, whilst Tolongs added three for the victors.
Ashwood sit fourth after that narrow loss, their first of the year.
Murrumbeena coach Liam Wilson is looking for consistency despite their win.
“We only played one quarter of football to our standard and we’re quite fortunate to get away with that one in the end.” He said.
“Ashwood’s overall play and pressure was far superior to ours.
“It was by far the most important game of our season to understand we all still have so much to learn from each other.”
An improving South Yarra took it right up to the unbeaten Black Rock in the first half before the visitors ran away with a 19-goal second half.
South Yarra led at quarter time, and missed some chances during the second term that could have seen them closer than the 6.7 to 10.2 half time scoreline would suggest.
Black Rock piled on seven goals in the third quarter and a massive 12 in the last as they ended up prevailing 29.12.186 to 8.10.58.
Byron Wright kicked seven goals amongst 13 players to hit the scoreboard for Black Rock.
Meanwhile, Carrum-Patterson Lakes held sway throughout their clash with Clayton, securing a 39-point win after a solid defensive display.
Darma, Vraca and Gordon led the way, whilst playing coach Rohan Bleeker kicked three of his team’s nine goals.
Carrum Patterson Lakes jumped Ashwood and rose to third on the table whilst Clayton remain winless through four matches.
In the final game the Narre South Saints squared their season away at 2-2 after a dominant last quarter performance at Barry Simon Reserve against Endeavour Hills.
After a dour three quarters, the Saints led by seven points going into the final term before kicking 6.4 to 1.1 in the final stanza to record an impressive 40 -point triumph.
Coach Scott Mackenzie was happy to see his side play strongly from siren to siren.
“I was very happy with the boys four quarter effort. It was probably the first time we haven’t lapsed during a game this season.” Mackenzie said.
Endeavour Hills are still hunting their first victory of the season and will rue some in game fadeouts in a largely competitive first month.
With a full book of Saturday fixtures, Round Four threw up a couple of surprises and some fairly strong football from most sides in the competition.
The opening match for focus saw Cerberus find their rhythm in clearly their best display for the season so far.
They led at every change before falling to an agonising three point defeat against Lyndale who kicked 4.4 to 2.4 in the final quarter. The victory is Lyndale's first for the year
and one that can give them some confidence going forward ahead of a clash with Hampton this week.
South Mornington's pleasing form continued with a 47-point win over Dandenong 12.12.84 to 5.7.37 on the back of six goals to Jordan Waite.
Dandenong were held goalless in the first half as South Mornington replace them in the top four.
The visitors were smarting after their tight loss to the Frankston Dolphins last week, but this victory underlines their credentials as a major threat this season.
In other results, Hallam dominated after quarter time in their clash with the Moorabbin Kangaroos, recording a 62-point win 13.16.94 to 5.2.32.
Jack Sharlassian's consistent form continued with another five goals having kicked four in each of the past two matches.
Hallam would kick 7.10 to 0.1 in quarters two and four combined in a polished display of football.
The win moves Hallam to third, in a tight season, now a game and percentage clear of the 2-2 pack.
Kangaroos coach Stephen Ralph felt the scoreboard reflected harshly, but acknowledged his team had some things to work on.
"As in previous games this year we weren't consistent across the four quarters." he said.
"With a depleted forward line we struggled to score goals and keep pressure on the running backs and midfield.
"We had a much better second half effort despite the lack of scoreboard pressure. We'll take away some real positives from the game
but understand we have plenty to work on."
In other results, the Frankston Dolphin's continued their good form with a 39-point win over Lyndhurst. The Dolphin's had a good spread with 10 players contributing to their 14 goals on the day.
Smith, Frey and Mathers were best affield for the hosts, who are now the only unbeaten team in Division 4.
Lyndhurst will rue a poor second quarter that saw them fall right out of the contest. They produced a more competitive second half though which will give them some confidence.
In the final match of the round, Hampton won a crucial clash with the Doveton Eagles, squaring their season away in the process and drawing level with the fourth placed South Mornington.
Hampton led at every change in a solid display of football, prevailing 12.12.84 to 7.8.50. With winnable games to come it gives them a chance to sink their teeth into 2022 in the next few weeks.