By Jarryd McGuane – @JMcGuane
Round 1 proved to be a mixed bag of results for all of the new clubs in Division 2, while last year’s two remaining finalists displayed dominance and will, once again, be strong contenders in 2017.
In what turned out to be the Division 2 match of the round, West Brunswick came up against last year’s Division 3 premiers, Glen Eira. The first meeting between the two clubs since 2015 turned out to be a see-sawing affair at Packer Reserve with the Saints drawing first blood and taking a seven point lead into quarter time. The Westies responded strongly in the second quarter, with 16 scoring shots to Glen Eira’s three, and successfully wrestled back momentum and the lead to take a 36-point buffer into the half. The day was far from done for Glen Eira who came out firing in the third, booting 5 unanswered goals and reducing the margin to just six points at the final break. The last quarter was a tense battle and while Glen Eira had more scoring shots they failed to capitalise, kicking 3.7 to West Brunswick’s 3.2. It was Glen Eira’s inaccuracy in the final term that allowed West Brunswick to hold on to the narrowest of leads, starting the season off with a hard earned win. Evan Lloyd was the best for West Brunswick, while Sam Devlin was the leading goal kicker with three. Ben Crowe and Chris Higgins kicked four apiece for the Saints, with Kye Cherian battling hard all day.
At Melbourne High School, MHSOB opened the season in fine form as they defeated Old Paradians by 59 points. The Unicorns took a four point lead into quarter time despite only having five shots to the Raiders six. The Raiders would be held goalless in the second quarter allowing MHSOB to jump out to a 29 point half-time lead. Despite an admirable fight back from Paradians in the third term, the Unicorns added four unanswered goals in the last quarter to solidify the opening round win. Darcy O’Connor kicked four goals and was awarded B.O.G for MHSOB. Sean Hooper was the Raiders best, with Michael Bellizia putting through five majors.
Hawthorn was welcomed to Division 2 football with a 45-point defeat at the hands of Yarra Old Grammarians. With the home advantage, the Bushrangers jumped out to fast start, leading by 37 points at the first change. Both teams slotted four goals in the second quarter; however, it was Hawthorn’s inaccuracy that prevented them from reducing the margin by any significant amount. Yarra OG maintained a 33-point lead at half time. In the third, Hawthorn were caught off guard once again and Yarra Old Grammarians pushed the margin out to 49 points at the final change. With Matthew McMillan and David Kennedy working hard, as they had all day, Hawthorn managed to win the final quarter four goals to three, but it was not enough to take back the lead. David Wildsmith was judged best on ground for the Bushrangers, as Will Elsworth was the leading goal scorer for the day with four.
At Bennettswood Sport Ground, Bulleen Templestowe opened their account with a hard fought 26-point win over Emmaus St Leos. The Bullants got off to the fast start, jumping out to a 31-point quarter time lead. The Animals came out after quarter time ready to prove they would not roll over, as they held the Bullants to four behinds and piled on five goals of their own to trail by just two points at half time. Bulleen Templestowe awoke in the third kicking with a 3.4 to 2.0 to lead by 12 points at the final change. The Animals couldn’t pull off a final quarter comeback as they only managed the one goal to the Bullants three. Peter Voglis was the major goal kicker on the ground for the Bullants with six goals to his name, while Harrison Davis was valiant in defeat for Emmaus.
In the final game of the round, Prahran Assumption started the season with a solid 59 point win against Eltham Collegians. The Two Blues and the Turtles played out a competitive first quarter but the final three quarters belonged to the Two Blues. A five goal to one third term blew the Prahran’s lead out to 44 points at three quarter time. Four goals to three in the final quarter in Prahran Assumption’s favour put the icing on the cake. Thomas Atwell was the best for the Two Blues as they shared goals around with six multiple goal kickers. Troy Jinnette was the Turtles best, as Tim Woods and Brent Gutterson kicked three goals apiece.
Round two opens with a mouth-watering clash between unbeaten Yarra Old Grammarians and MHSOB at Doncaster Reserve. Old Paradians and Emmaus St Leo’s battle to try and get their first win of the season at Parade College. Eltham Collegians travel to Ransford Oval to face West Brunswick as the Westies hope to remain unbeaten. Hawthorn will hope to hop on the winner’s wagon against Bulleen Templestowe as the two sides meet at Ted Ajani Reserve. And Prahran Assumption will try to maintain their good form as they host Glen Eira at Toorak Park.
Yarra Old Grammarians vs MHSOB
Old Paradians vs Emmaus St Leos
West Brunswick vs Eltham Collegians
Bulleen Templestowe vs Hawthorn
Prahran Assumption vs Glen Eira