David Chalmers – DAChalmers81
A beautiful day for footy resulted in Round 5 being the highest-scoring round of the Premier B season to date. The two Premier-relegated sides were in the news, as St Bernards became the first of the top three to lose a game while Old Carey won their first game of the season, leaving Peninsula as the only team yet to get a win on the board in 2017.
Old Brighton continued on their winning way as they overpowered the Parkdale Vultures in the second half to run out the game 81-point victors. Brighton’s 9.4 last quarter was their highest of the season and the best footy they’ve played all year, according to Tonners scribe, Andrew Mullett. Key defender, Dylan Verney, played splendidly, eclipsing Matt Boland who still managed to kick three. Verney received excellent support from Tom Larkworthy, Jandre Ollivier and Stuart Hooy. The midfielders, Lucas Forato and Tom Fisher, won plenty of the ball and the whole side outnumbered the Vultures at every contest, providing plenty of opportunities for full-forward, Alex Mastromanno, who finished the day with nine goals. Tom King and Michael Karayannis also worked hard to convert chances. The Vultures overcame their lowest first quarter total and were competitive in the middle stages of the game. Ryan O’Leary (four goals) and Matt Boland (three) featured prominently, and despite losing, the Vultures ten goal total was the highest of any team against the Tonners so far this season.
The Fitzroy v Ajax game was always going to be a close one, with both teams on 2-2. The Roys burst out of the blocks with a four goal first quarter, but the Jackas bounced back with five of their own and leaving the scores tied at halftime. The visitors continued their momentum into the third term, with Jordan Cohen and Jake Lew both kicking truly inside the first four minutes. Nino Lazzaro replied quickly, crashing the pack and taking an impressive contested mark. Both teams traded behinds over the next ten minutes until Brad Caplan roved a pack and kicked another one for the Jackas on the run from the arc. The Roys scoring had dried up until Ross Borland took a strong mark in front of goal near the end of the quarter. He converted, despite making the goal umpire work hard. Nathan Ligris added another soon after, then Cohen put Ajax in front in the dying stages and the visitors went into the final change with a five point lead. However, the home side finished stronger, a four-goal final quarter giving Fitzroy an 18-point win and keeping them in touch with the top group.
Mazenod had won two in a row but faced a stiff test when they came up against the undefeated Old Scotch. Early inaccuracy from the Cardinals kept the Nodders in the game and they actually found themselves leading at quarter time, despite the Scotchies having six scoring shots to two. Old Scotch came out firing in the second, but once again struggled to find the big sticks. Aidan Franetic and Justin Nikolovski both had misses, before Harry Larwill took a contested mark on the goal line and kicked his side’s first ten minutes in. Liam Welsford finally got one for the Nodders when he roved a throw-in and snapped truly. Franetic missed another one, before Joseph Couch marked the Mazenod defensive clearance and Larwill took advantage with an accurate set shot. James Sansom and Franetic added a couple more, before Mazenod coach Ben Phibbs got one back late for his side. The Nodders were only 15 points down at the main break, but 15 shots to 5 gave a more accurate indication of the state of the game. The pattern was much the same in the second half; Mazenod were competitive and committed themselves well, but only Old Scotch’s inaccuracy kept the final margin from being greater than 45 points.
Monash scored the upset of the season so far when they toppled the previously undefeated St Bernards side. The game got off to a fast start, with nine goals kicked in the opening term. The Blues gained the upper hand in the second, kicking three while keeping the home side to four behinds. St Bernards fought back well in the third with 4.2, but the Blues had more shots and maintained their advantage despite inaccurate kicking in front of goal (3.5). The stage was set for a big final term, as the higher-fancied home side faced their first big test for the season. Neither side scored in the first six minutes before Ethan East added a behind and Nick Argento kicked a goal to increase the Ashes’ lead. Edyn Sibbald fired up and kicked two in the space of a couple of minutes but he was quickly answered by Nick Petering after receiving a free kick from a stoppage. Neither side could really get any scoring momentum, as Monash were happy to maintain their lead. A behind from Thomas Madden and a late goal from Adam Bentick brought the Snowdogs within ten points but they were unable to progress any further as Monash took a well-deserved win.
It was a big day for Premier B newcomers Old Carey and Peninsula, with both sides searching for their first win after a tough first four rounds. After both sides managed just six goals between them in the opening half, the game opened up in the third. The opening five minutes belonged to Old Carey; Jarrod Reid took a contested mark but couldn’t convert, then Steven Freemantle marked the Pirates kick-in and Ben Smithwick’s long kick cleared the pack in the goal square and bounced through. Sam Cust made Peninsula pay for a defensive error, and then William Harbinson and William Crowder combined for the visitors first for the quarter. Reid took another strong contested mark but missed the big sticks, then Jason Ashby goaled from a free kick and set shot. Harbinson goaled from a contested mark in the square but was answered quickly by Marc Lock. Sam Harrison slotted one from the boundary after a Panther defensive mistake sent the ball out on the full. Another Peninsula goal followed, before Cust and Reid finished the term off well for Old Carey, giving them a five-point lead at the final change. The Panthers ran all over the Pirates in the final term, kicking 5.4 to 0.1 and claiming a strong 38-point win to kick start their season.