Round Three: Men's Football Review
Round Three of the Southern Football Netball League’s Division 1 competition was spread over 11 days and threw up some surprises and big statements across the board.
The round began back on Good Friday with a standalone fixture at Springvale Districts, with the home side winning a tight arm wrestle by 13 points over Dingley.
Springvale Districts trailed by 22 points at quarter time, and were still behind deep into the last quarter, before edging home in the last 10 minutes.
They kicked five goals to one in an excellent final quarter to close out a 13.4.82 to 10.9.69 victory, on the back of an even performance across the board.
For the visitors, Van Unen again impressed with three goals, taking his season tally to ten, which places him second in the league.
The victory is Springvale Districts’s first of the season, and it is the first defeat for Dingley after a strong start to the year.
St Paul’s McKinnon came out of the Easter Break in sharp fashion, with a seven goal first term setting up a 59-point victory at Dunlop Reserve.
Stathopoulos kicked five goals with Knox and Munday the standouts. The win lifts them to second on the table with a healthy percentage, whilst East Malvern are still searching for their first win of the season.
St Paul’s coach Jason Heffernan is happy to see his team build some strong momentum coming out of the break.
“It was a good all round performance.” He said.
“With a few returning from injury it was most pleasing and great to see our reserves getting closer to a full team on the park. All is pretty positive.”
In the match of the round Port Melbourne Colts fought off Mordialloc in what always shaped as a blockbuster, with the Colts pulling away late to record a 21-point victory.
A 31-point quarter time lead was slowly eroded as Mordialloc worked back to within a kick at the final change, before the firepower of Clarke and Hargraves helped guide Port Melbourne Colts to safety.
The win was a crucial one and marks their first victory of the season with their opponents suffering a first defeat for 2022.
In the final Saturday fixture, Cranbourne moved to the top of the ladder with a heavy victory over St.Kilda City.
With a couple of stars missing, St.Kilda City found the going tough for most of the day, with the margin extended at every change before the Eagles sealed a 58-point victory.
Dickson kicked four with Davey and Holt three apiece for the winners, whilst Cochrane, and Irving led the resistance for the home side.
The percentage kick has seen St.Kilda City drop to sixth in what is a very even season to date.
The round came to an end on Anzac Day with an awesome display from Cheltenham in a 104-point hammering of Bentleigh.
The Rosella’s kicked 18 goals after half time, including 10 in the last term, with the match having been relatively tight at the main break.
Josh Fox lifted his season tally to 13 on the back of seven majors and he was one of 12 goalscorers for the day.
The victory has them 2-2 with a healthy percentage, whilst Bentleigh have slumped to 9th, although they are only one game out of the four.
Cheltenham coach Des Ryan was delighted with the complete display his side produced.
“After a pretty even first quarter it was good to get our game going and get a good win after a poor start to the season.” Ryan said.
“In the second half the boys were pretty good at hitting the scoreboard. After dropping the first two games it was important to capitalise and kick a big score.
“It will be a close season, so we needed a big win.” He added.
“I feel like the guys have got their mojo back and it’s good to square the ledger at 2-2.”
Ryan also spoke about the traditional Anzac Fixture which is one the club holds dearly.
“The boys respected the day and definitely lifted.”
“We trained Saturday and had a guest speaker. It’s a really important day for the club.”
The Southern Football Netball League Division 2 action saved the best for last with the ANZAC Day clash between Caulfield and East Brighton the pick of the matches after Saturday was dominated by big wins.
The Doves crushed Heatherton in a powerful four quarter display led by Cardamore’s seven goals which lifted his tally to 13 in three games for the season so far.
Johnson, Burmeister and Woodfield won a lot of the footy as Doveton powered away to claim top spot on the table with a percentage of 316.81.
Heatherton sit last currently on the back of a tricky early season fixture, and they’ll look to find their feet in coming weeks.
Keysborough’s season continued to progress well as they dismantled Hampton Park to the tune of 39-points after a wayward first quarter.
Having kicked 2.7 early, the visitors straightened up on the back of a dominant game from Matthew Carnelly who bagged seven goals in a best on ground performance.
Keysborough now sit fourth, whilst Hampton Park are one of three teams still looking for their first win of the season. The upcoming Round 4 clash with Skye presents a good opportunity for one of those sides to break through.
Keysborough coach Chris Smith issued the challenge to his team before the game, and he was thrilled with how they responded.
“This game was built up as a mini final for us.” Smith said.
“After dropping the game to Doveton last week we wanted to make sure we bounced back.
“We knew it was going to be tough as Hampton Park needed the win. Both sides had some key players out but we were super impressed with the way we bounced back and we look forward to a tough block of footy coming up.” He added.
Saturday’s third big winner was Chelsea Heights, who didn’t concede a goal until midway through the final term as they powered to an 81-point win over Skye.
Skye have played just twice across the opening month due to a bye and the Easter break and they’ll be keen to build momentum starting with Hampton Park in a winnable game this week.
Tapscott kicked three for Chelsea Heights with their only sour point on the day being sloppy conversion with a final score of 12.23 for the afternoon.
Chelsea Heights have conceded just 60 points in two games so far this season and are building a solid defensive base to launch off.
Coach Josh Bull spoke post match about his team's performance.
"Thanks to Skye for putting on a great twilight Anzac Day round clash." he said.
"We hadn't played them for two seasons so there was a bit of an unknown about the game for us.
"We played a good team-oriented pressure game from the start and a credit to our back six who kept Skye to only one goal which came in the last quarter.
"It was dissapointing to not convert as much as we would have liked in front of the sticks, so we've got some work to do on that before we tackle Highett next week." he said.
The final game of the round was the standalone Anzac Day fixture in Caulfield with the visitors East Brighton grinding out a crucial 13-point win in a genuine arm wrestle.
The lead changed hands regularly, but it was East Brighton with 20 scoring shots to eight after half time who started to work their way on top.
Trailing by four points at half time, they pinched a seven-point break at the final change before kicking 3.6 to 3.0 in the last in a 9.15.69 to 8.8.56 win.
The Love-Linay boys were again amongst the better players with Cale’s three goals pivotal to the end result.
Black Rock, Murrumbeena, Carrum Patterson Lakes and Ashwood all saluted in Round Three action, but the margins were many and varied, ranging from 29 to 179 points.
Black Rock’s quest to redeem itself from last season’s frustrating season cancellation has continued with a tidy 30-point win over Endeavour Hills.
The home side dominated quarters two and three in this clash, outscoring Endeavour Hills by eight goals in that middle period of the game.
Richard Findlay kicked four goals in what was his first game of the season, whilst Thomson and Anderson fought hard for Endeavour Hills.
Black Rock remain unbeaten through three rounds and have now won 13 of their last 15 games going back to early last year.
Endeavour Hills remain winless but played some nice Football and will be winning plenty of games this year on that showing.
The individual star of the round was undoubtedly Steve Tolongs who kicked a whopping 11 goals for Murrumbeena in their 89-point win over Clayton.
Tolongs has bags of 5,8 and now 11 for the season as he looms as a significant chance to kick the ton this year.
Paul Tsoucalas looked in similar form for Clayton, kicking five of his team’s eight goals for the day, from far less opportunities.
Murrumbeena coach Liam Wilson was pleased the team lifted significantly for the Anzac Weekend.
“As a club we made a massive deal of keeping the momentum going against Clayton this weekend.” He said.
“To the boys credit they’ve gelled really quickly and have carried out what we’ve been trying to implement into our game style.” Wilson added.
History tells us it is rare to see two players in the same team kick five goals in the same game. Well what about eight goals?
That’s exactly what happened in Carrum Patterson Lakes huge win over South Yarra on Saturday.
Playing coach Rohan Bleeker and Anthony Guiliano each snagged eight majors, with Neale chiming in with four as the home side won by a whopping 179 points.
Carrum Patterson Lakes lifted themselves into the four with a healthy percentage boost, whilst South Yarra are desperately seeking some confidence in a difficult start to the season.
CPL coach playing coach Rohan Bleeker summed up the result.
"For us the weekend was all about finding some continuity in the senior group. Like most teams we've been impacted by Covid and injuries pretty heavily this year." He said.
"This week we had our sixth debutant and on top of that we put a great emphasis on everyone playing their role. It was pleasing to have so many contributors.
"I take my hat off to South Yarra and their coach as well, they competed all day and never threw in the towel." he said.
In the final game of the round Ashwood continued to put together a nice body of work this year as they produced a very impressive five-goal win away from home against the Narre South Saints.
Morgan, Cardamone and Findlay led the charge for Ashwood whilst Brandon Nolan’s consistent season continued for the Saints with another three goals.
Ashwood are one of three unbeaten teams, and the win lifts them two games clear of a potential finals rival in the Saints.
Across all divisions it appears the ladder in Division 4 is starting to take the clearest shape in the early rounds as we start to get a picture of how things might unfold.
Frankston Dolphins, Dandenong, Hampton, Doveton Eagles and Lyndhurst all won matches with four of them being quite close.
Frankston Dolphins’s clash with South Mornington always loomed as a fascinating battle and it proved to be just that with the Dolphins overcoming poor kicking for goal to remain unbeaten.
Mathers and Waller combined for seven goals as the local derby fluctuated back and forth.
The two Woods boys, Abela and Mcleary worked hard for South Mornington but they couldn’t quite get there as the run dried up late in the piece.
We can see both of these teams figuring prominently as the season rolls on.
The round’s only blowout saw Dandenong defeat Cerberus by 58-points after a tight first quarter.
Adam Boag proved to be the circuit breaker for Dandenong, kicking five goals for the second week in a row.
Cerberus produced an improved performance on recent weeks and will be hoping they can build on that and get a breakthrough win in the next couple of rounds. Their next challenge will be an away clash with Lyndale.
Meanwhile, Hampton downed Moorabbin by 11 points in a fantastic battle at Peterson Reserve.
In another arm wrestle, they took the low scoring affair 10.8.68 to 8.9.57 after the Kangaroos had led at every change.
Up by 14 at half time, the Kangaroos were outscored seven goals to three after the long break, despite four goals to Matthew Johansson who now has 13 for the season.
The win is Hampton’s first of the season and comes against a previously unbeaten opponent. It is a result that points clearly to the depth in this division.
In other results, Doveton Eagles produced a strong four quarter effort in a 24-point win over Lyndale at Power Reserve.
In good conditions for Football, the star of the show was undeniably Leigh Tannahill who kicked eight of his team’s 11 goals to back up the five he kicked last week.
Producing more than 65% of his team’s score was a tremendous effort and he was the standout performer in Division four action across the board.
Doveton’s first win keeps them in touch with the top four or five sides in the competition, whilst for Lyndale, despite the defeat, they don’t appear to be too far away.
In the final result of the round, Lyndhurst overcame a goalless first quarter to secure a tough 11-point win over Hallam at home.
Browning kicked four of his team’s eight goals which was a tremendous effort in a low scoring game.
The final score was 8.9.57 to 6.10.46 with Jack Sharlassian also producing four, but unfortunately in a losing side as he tried valiantly to lift his team over the line.
In a genuine eight-point game, the result keeps Lyndhurst unbeaten and sees Hallam taste defeat for the first time this year. It is quite likely these sides will meet later in the season for even greater honours.