Week 2 Finals Wrap-ups
DIVISION 1 with JASON BARBIN
Week 2 of the finals is officially complete and with one team winning their way into the 2013 grand final.
St Pauls took on East Brighton in the much anticipated clash between 1st and 2nd for a spot in 'that day in September'. Early on it was the Vampires who dominated play through midfielder Barry Hope but they were unable to capitalise on the scoreboard as St Pauls piled on 3 goals, all courtesy of Luke James, to lead by 9 points at the first break. The second quarter was an inaccurate one as both teams peppered away at the goals without registering a major. Jay Steet and Nathan Stewart were dominant down back for their respective sides taking mark after mark in their defensive half. After taking a spectacular mark inside 50, Luke James finished with his 4th goal to break the deadlock and help St Pauls to a 17 point half time lead.
But from then on it was all East Brighton as they clawed their way back. Lead by pacey defender Tait Sabec, who thoroughly dominated the second half, the Vampires fought back to be within 9 points at 3 quarter time. The 4th quarter was a tightly contested one with both teams going hard at the ball. The Dogs were unable to extend their lead as their legs began to tire and the Vampires fought back with the aid of key forward Dean Francis, who kicked the only 2 goals of the final quarter, including a stunner from the boundary to lift East Brighton to victory by 1 point.
Dingley took on Chelsea Heights in a hotly fought contest for a preliminary final berth. The Dingoes came off a bad loss the week before while the Heighters held off a rampaging Saints for a 1 point win. With both teams boasting classy midfields, the game started off with high intensity as Marcus Freeman and Steven Murphy got plenty of the ball early on. With both teams desperate to stay alive in their finals campaign, the first half was an entertaining one as Dingley came out on top, leading by 11 points.
With Chelsea Heights co-coach Ash Roberts returning from injury for this game, the Heighters came out in the second half and turned the tables kicking 2 goals while restricting the Dingoes to just 1 point. Chelsea Heights lead by 5 points at 3 quarter time with Luke Manders kicking 4 goals before the game began to turn defensive. The final quarter would become a defining moment for the Dingoes in 2013. With their backs against the wall and led by Andrew Frost and Lee Wonnacott, they turned defence into attack, piling on 4 goals to none to win back the lead and a spot in the 2013 preliminary final.
DIVISION 2 with THE FOOTY TRAGIC
And now there are 3! As the season end approaches, Murrumbeena bows out in style, Bentleigh gets another week off and Oakleigh District get to lock horns with Mordialloc again in the Preliminary Final, usually the best game of the year as it is an all or nothing affair.
There was nothing in their 1st semi final, with Oakleigh District just outlasting a fast finishing Mordialloc. Both these teams faced tough opposition last week. Bentleigh lead from go to woe over the District, whereas it was similar on Sunday, with Mordialloc leading at every change as well over the Beena and walking away with a good win.
Bentleigh will be sitting back this week, looking forward to watching a “bash’m and crash’m” Prelim as the remaining two sides fight it out for the final spot in the Grand Final and the chance of participating in Division 1 next year.
It is a difficult one to pick; one each during the season then a narrow win to Oakleigh in that first semi, but I’m tipping Mordialloc, as Oakleigh’s premiership curse continues for another year. Let’s hope for a good day weather-wise, as both teams give it their all in the penultimate game of Season 2013.
DIVISION 3 with GOOD WILL HUNTER
Doveton becomes the first side to book a place in the Division 3 Grand Final after an impressive 54-point win over Carrum Patterson Lakes in the second Semi Final on Saturday afternoon.
The Lions were terrific in the opening term, booting the first three goals of the match to gain an early advantage. Doveton didn’t help their chances, missing a couple of gimmes in front of goal as a brief light shower began to tumble. But Carrum Patterson Lakes’ lead was to be short-lived as the minor premiers booted five consecutive goals in the second quarter to take a nine-point lead into the sheds.
The Lions began the third term with two quick majors to turn their half time deficit into a four-point lead. But that was as close as they got as the all-conquering Eagles came home like a runaway train, booting the last nine goals of the match to win in a canter.
Jarrod O’Neill, Brett Hidgcock and Darryl Thomas were instrumental ball winners for Doveton and contributed to the Eagles’ dominance in the middle of the ground. They combined well with wingman Steven Ognjenovic and skipper Corrie Wilson, who finished with three goals. Up forward Ricky and Darren Ramsdale contributed a combined eight majors for the winners. But leading goalkicker Peter Dye was unusually subdued, soundly beaten by Lions defender James Dent. Nigel Scott and Stu Cormack were among the standouts for Carrum Patterson Lakes, as was veteran Adam L’hullier with three vital goals.
On Sunday Dandenong prevailed over Mount Waverley in a heart-stopping first Semi Final.
The two sides had traded goals in a tense, physical battle for most of the afternoon before Matt Van Schajik, who had been instrumental on the ball, turned the game in Dandenong’s favour when moved forward in the third quarter. He slotted two goals in the last 90 seconds of the term to give his side a six-point lead and all the momentum heading into the final change.
Dandenong did most of the attacking in the early part of the last quarter and with a 17-point buffer at the 20 minute mark, the Redlegs were looking home and hosed. But the Mountain Lions weren’t done with and two quick goals had them back within four points. After a frantic final few minutes, Dandenong goal sneak Steven Young bobbed up with the match winner in the final 30 seconds to give his side a thrilling 10-point victory.
James Gough was again the standout up forward for Mount Waverley with another five-goal haul, though Joey Rickard proved a real livewire at half forward. Jarrod Wilkin fought hard around the ground while Simon Jacobson’s attack on the footy in the middle was tremendous. But the Redlegs had the game won on the back of their midfield dominance. Van Schajik, Chris Hatfield and Matt Doggett all found plenty of the footy, while Levi Moss and Dylan Bracebridge were both taking the game on and creating scoring opportunities.
UNDER 19s with GOOD WILL HUNTER
Bentleigh has saved its best footy for the business end of the year, booking itself a Grand Final berth with a convincing 37-point victory over fellow premiership aspirant Skye.
The Demons started strongly and although they went goalless in the second term, they held a three-goal advantage at the main break. But that was as close as the Bombers got; the flag favourites flexed their muscle and blew the game open in the second half before allowing Skye to kick the last two goals of the match in junk time.
Premierships are won on the back of defensive efforts and Bentleigh’s entire backline was tremendous with Jack Gadakis leading the charge. Up forward Liam Hogton-Hewish presented well while Skye midfielders Luke Bailey-Kohne and Chase Allan fought hard.
On Sunday Murrumbeena held off a fast-finishing St Pauls in a thrilling first Semi Final. The Doggies went goalless in the second term as Beena powered to a commanding 39-point lead late in the third term. However, St Pauls booted the last six goals of the match and almost pinched a miraculous victory but in a frantic final minute Beena held on to record a heart-stopping three-point win.
Murrumbeena’s Will Nash was easily best on ground; nobody worked harder to receive the ball than he did and he was rewarded with a mountain of possessions. Teammate Darcy Hargrave was also a prolific ball winner while Daniel Entwistle was productive up forward with four goals. James Bragagnolo and Paul Tolongs were influential in St Pauls’ fight back while Carl Herbstreit was outstanding both in the ruck and around the ground.