St Kilda City and Oakleigh District kick things off to start Round 3, the Saints looking for their first win on home soil this season. City head into this one as raging favourites following their crushing victory over Mordialloc last week and will be looking to put on a show in front of their home crowd. Jordan Pollard, Luke Potts and Tyrell Lafituanai have all been in good form for the Saints and are sure to pose plenty of headaches for the District coaching staff. Oakleigh have already endured two heavy losses against premiership contenders this season and will be hellbent on avoiding another blowout here.
One of Highett and Mordialloc will register their first win of the season when they clash at Turner Road this weekend. Both sides had their pants pulled down last weekend and will be sensing the opportunity to rebound here. The Dogs have battled in Division 1 in recent times but despite the lack of depth and talent you can guarantee that they’ll always have a red hot crack. The Bloodhounds have slid down the pecking order recently but should put their first win of the season on the board here.
Dingley and East Malvern face off in what should be a ripping contest at Souter Oval. Both sides head into the contest undefeated and eager to solidify their standing within the competition. Revenge will be on the visitors mind too, having fallen to the Dingoes in their last meeting way back in the 2019 preliminary final. The Panthers defence will be wary of Dan Farmer who booted eight goals last week and also Remi Faulker-Wood who has seven majors from his two games. Luke Duffy has also been in good touch for East Malvern and you suspect the Dingoes will look to nullify his influence. The past three clashes between these two has seen a genuine mixed bag, with both teams claiming a win each with a draw in between. Whichever way it goes this time, there’s a fair chance it’ll be going down to the wire.
St Paul’s will be desperate to stop their run of losses when they host Port Melbourne Colts on Saturday afternoon. The Dogs will have their work cut out avoiding a 0-3 start, coming up against the in-form team of the competition who are coming off a 159 point trashing of Highett last week. Despite having plenty of talent on the park, St Paul’s haven’t been able to piece it together yet and will be frustrated at lapses in key moments from the opening two rounds. They’ll need their big guns in Matt Kreymborg and co to step up if they’re to stop their slide down the ladder. For the Colts, Marley Williams and Jase Perkins have understandably grabbed most of the headlines, but Matt Sondergeld, Tyler Jones and Max Mitchell-Russell have also produced some outstanding performances thus far.
The traditional ANZAC match between Cheltenham and Bentleigh closes out Round 3, with both sides carrying the honor and privilege of playing on such a special stage. The Rosellas will be pleased with their opening fortnight but should be wary of a determined Demons outfit, out to make up for last week's slip up against East Malvern. The Rosellas potent forward line will be of concern for the visitors, with six Cheltenham players finding the big sticks on at least three occasions so far this year. Daniel Rendell has also been in ripping form for the home side. For the Dees, while a loss here wouldn’t be disastrous, it would certainly set them back in the pack after brilliant opening victory. They’ll enter this one as outsiders but quietly confident that they can give the Rosellas a scare.
Division 2 – Round Three Preview
Chelsea Heights will be looking to get back onto the winners list when they host Hampton Park over the weekend. The Demons were knocked back a peg with last week's loss against Springvale District and will be looking to avoid two defeats on the bounce. Hampton Park have had a brilliant fortnight, registering tough fought wins over quality sides in Caulfield and Keysborough. The Redbacks have proved they have the cattle to match it with the best in Division 2 and will be looking for another scalp to bolster that claim. Josh Craig has been in ripping form for the visitors and Kyle Hendy is proving to be a more than handy pick up.
Caulfield should expect to finally notch their first win of the year when they host Murrumbeena at Koornang Park on Saturday. The Bears have been oh so close in their opening two encounters to start the year and will be desperate to sing that song come 5pm. Standing in their way are Beena, who showed plenty of fight in their defeat to Keysborough last week. On paper everything here points to a Caulfield win but the great thing about footy is you just never know!
It’s been a tough start to the season for both Heatherton and Hampton, but one of them will notch up win number one come the final siren in their clash at Ross Street this Saturday. The Tunners have been trounced in their opening three games and it's been a similar story for the Hammers who are coming off another heavy defeat last week. The Hammers have particularly struggled forward of centre with just three goals in eight quarters so far. On the other side of the equation, David Velardo and Scott Foster have both provided options in front of goal for Heatherton and should be priming themselves for a big role in this one.
East Brighton will look to continue their hot start to the year when they travel down to face Keysborough at Rowelly Allan Reserve. This match should be a cracker, Keysborough have consistently been around the mark the past few seasons and East Brighton’s improvement is there for all to see in the early stages of the year. While there’s more at stake here for the Burras, who will be staring at a 1-2 record if they drop this one, the Vampires will also be looking to make a statement against one of the competition front runners. If there’s one question mark over the Vampires cracking form, it’s they haven’t played anyone tipped to feature in finals this year. You can only beat who is in front of you, and they have done so convincingly, but this clash will give us a better reflection of how they’re travelling.
Skye faces the challenge of stopping Springvale Districts when they host the Demons at Carrum Downs Recreation Reserve to wrap up Round 3. The Bombers have been excellent in their opening fortnight but tests don’t come any bigger in Division 2 than facing Kris Thompson’s side at the moment. The Demons have knocked off three quality sides in their opening matches and could make a mess of some of the lower clubs in the competition. There’s plenty of firepower wherever you look and Darren Sheen in particular has been excellent up forward with nine goals thus far. Skye will be determined to put in a good performance on their home deck and take it right up to the premiership favourites. Whether they can maintain it for four quarters, we’ll find out.