Division 1 - Round 11 Review
With Good Will Hunter
Clayton and St Pauls fought out an absolute classic at Meade Reserve, with the home side prevailing by the barest of margins in dramatic circumstances. The Clays were the better of the two sides early, and using the breeze in the opening stanza they had opened up a five-goal buffer by quarter time. With Liam Wilson dominant through the middle the Dogs fought back to pinch the lead late in the final term, and when Travis Ridgeway booted his third major (a goal of the year contender) at the 23-minute mark of the last quarter they led by 11 points and look home. An instant reply saw the lead cut back to five before Andy Ray capped a BOG performance by nailing the match-winning goal from a long-range set shot with the last kick of the day. Opposing ruckmen Jesse Henderson (Clayton) and Ryan Kitchin (St Pauls) battled hard against one another for most of the day and featured among their respective sides’ best.
Dingley continued its scintillating form with a dominant display over St Kilda City at Peanut Farm. The final margin stood at 39 points, but should have been much greater given the Dingoes squandered chances in front of goal and took their foot off the gas in the final term, allowing the Saints to kick six of the last eight goals. Dan Farmer booted five goals for the winners and Stu Cleeve was well on top in the ruck, while veteran big man Steve Arvanitis was named in City’s best for the second consecutive week.
East Brighton returned to the winners’ circle with a comprehensive 73-point drubbing over Bentleigh at Hurlingham Park. The Demons took the fight right up their more fancied opponents in the first half and with stalwart Scott Lawry leading the charge they got within two goals at the long break. But it was one-way traffic from then on; the home side was simply unstoppable as they piled on 10 goals to one in the second half. Vampires skipper Ben Douthie played close to his best game of the year and racked up big numbers through the guts while teammate Phil Smith had a day out up forward with eight majors.
Over at Ben Kavanagh Reserve, a red-hot Mordialloc outfit thrashed Cheltenham by 62 points. The Bloods raced out the blocks with a five-goal opening term, and with David Marguglio and Carey Neville on top in the midfield they never allowed the Rosellas back into the contest. Cheltenham fought hard to work back into the contest in the third term, but Mordic simply had all the answers. Although the loss is a body blow to Chelt’s finals aspirations, the stellar debut of Bane Suboticki was perhaps their biggest positive.
The final game was an all too familiar scenario for the Heighters as they were yet again handed a heavy defeat. East Malvern were ruthless in front of their home crowd and had the game wrapped up early with a 62-point quarter time lead. The Panthers had winners on every line, but the polish of Isaac McCrimmon and 11 goals between Matt Ryan and Michael Cooke were the highlights. The Heighters were well served by the usual suspects in Jordy Peryman and Lachie Dobson.
Division 2 - Round 11 Review
With Jason Barbin
Round 11 brought us a couple of upsets as one club stamped themselves as serious finals contenders.
Murrumbeena did themselves plenty of favours with a hard fought victory against the previously top of the table Keysborough at home. The Beena played their home ground advantage perfectly in an impressive first half display that saw them kick 10 goals to eight to take a 12 point half time lead. The game turned defensive in the second half as Keysborough struggled to penetrate Murrumbeena’s backline effectively. The result was a tight eight point victory to Murrumbeena, its’ seventh of the season. Dean Spanos and Anthony Ekberg-Weiss combined for six goals.
A six-goal final quarter has propelled Caulfield to victory against Doveton Eagles and back into the top five. The teams were even for the majority of the tough contest but the Bears were able to wrest the momentum away from Doveton to pile on six goals to one behind in the last quarter to post the 10-goal victory. The young brigade of Bears prowling the field displayed some significant improvement as full forward Adam Connell continued his resurgence with four goals.
Oakleigh Districts have surged back to the top of the ladder after a 98-point thumping of Springvale Districts. Springvale held a slight one-point lead at the first break before Oakleigh clicked into gear in the second quarter, kicking eight goals to nothing to take a 51-point lead into half time. Oakleigh kicked another 10 goals in the second half as its midfield went on a field day in the clearances. David Velardo was the main benefactor as he was back to his best with eight goals.
Skye produced a stunningly powerful display of offensive power on Saturday in its 77-point win against Heatherton at Ross Street Reserve. A good second quarter by the Tonners left them only 14 points behind at the main break and they were in with a sniff. But an eight-goal third quarter followed by a six-goal final quarter put the nail in the coffin as the Bombers rallied to record their eighth win of the season and remain in the top three. Aaron Harper was the best for Skye with four goals.
Hampton is in mini crisis mode after suffering a heavy 50-point defeat at the hands of Highett on Saturday. Missing key forward Joel Hanlon, the Hammers were competitive in the first half and only trailed the Dogs by seven points at the main break. But Highett proved simply too good in the second half as it spread the scoring load around, kicking nine goals to two as it comfortably recorded the big win. Six players kicked multiple goals for Highett while Jess Elms was named best on ground.
Division 3 - Round 11 Review
With Andrew Paloczi
Home team Lyndale was the underdog against second-placed Ashwood, but the Pumas competed well to trail by just 10 points at the last change. The Magpies then skipped away, recording a 31-point victory after keeping the Pumas scoreless in the last stanza. Chris Meyers was the winner’s most productive goal scorer with three and Mitch Saunders was its best player.
Trent Davey continued his impressive form for Moorabbin with his six goals helping to defeat South Yarra by 17 points. The Kangaroos led at every change and the Lions were lucky not to trail by more than 26 points at half time. At that stage South Yarra was hanging on, courtesy of an accurate six goals straight compared to its opponent’s 9.8. By the last change the margin blew out to 42 points in favour of the Kangaroos as the Lions lost their sense of direction, adding only four behinds for the third quarter. Seven last quarter goals to three added respectability for South Yarra. Jay Milford-Robertson was named the best player for the victorious Kangaroos.
The visiting Mount Waverley had to work hard against Hallam. The Hawks were only a couple of goals behind at the long break. The Mountain Lions increased their lead to five goals by three quarter time, but eventually won by 22 points. Luke Galle added five goals for the day, taking his season tally for the Mountain Lions to 45. Ben Beecroft was their best player.
Black Rock faced a challenge, coming off a loss, and travelling to Roy Dore Reserve to take on Carrum Patterson Lakes. The Jets went into the last quarter with a five-goal lead and got home by 11 points. Adrian Lane played an important part late in last week’s game to help the Jets go close to stealing the game and seems to have gained confidence, booting 6 goals this time to help his side win. Cooper Ferries added four goals for the winners and Brendan Stephenson was the Jets’ best player.
Endeavour Hills led at every change and won by 27 points, although opponent Dandenong showed character battling the game out and winning the final term. The Falcons' Shane Peake is still topping the goal kicking table for the division after a six-goal haul. He finished in the winner's best player list, behind Neil Peake.