Animals claw back into top 4, Bloods dig deep

Posted on - Latest News, Division 3, Featured

Lachlan Chapman

Aquinas have fought off a strong challenge from Canterbury Football Club away from home to all but secure a top two finish with a 12-point win. Ash Naulty proved the difference in the end with a five-goal best on ground performance, as seven other individuals contributed solitary goals to the Bloods’ final score. Canterbury threatened to get the result all day with more scoring shots (23 v 20) and a three quarter time lead, however Aquinas proved why they are one of the teams to beat with this inspired come from behind win. After his stellar performance, Harrison Berenger was best afield for the home side while Mitchell Szabo chipped in with three goals. Maintaining a very strong 9-1 record in what is now the pointy end of the season, Aquinas will carry the momentum from their five-game winning streak into their Round 14 clash with Westbourne Grammarians this weekend. Three consecutive losses later, and the Cobras sit in fourth, credit to a 3.72% superiority over the Warriors (5th). Canterbury have the opportunity to regroup and reinvigorate their season come their scheduled Round 14 bye.

An upset was brewing early on at Pitcher Park, but an important premiership quarter set ladder-leaders Manningham Cobras on the path of victory as they accounted for Parkside by 31 points. It was entertaining free flowing football with 13 majors scored between the two sides in the first quarter, and the Red Devils continued to go toe to toe with the Cobras for the remainder of the first half. The third quarter proved pivotal in the victory for Manningham, as they kept Parkdale scoreless while also kicking four of their own. Jake Cawsey kept the scorers busy with six goals for Manningham, while Adam Kinniburgh got the top votes. Michael and Isaac Romano proved a strong double act for the home side. Parkside will look to bounce back against Richmond Central next week in a highly anticipated rematch from the one-point Round 1 thriller. The top side takes a well-deserved week off.

Emmaus St Leo’s overcame a slow start to overrun Westbourne Grammarians in a pivotal victory away from home which could have massive implications on the race for the top four. It was tricky conditions out at Westbourne Grammar, with the strong wind having an effect on the quality of football and a low scoring contest ensued. Two goals to one against the wind in third quarter proved telling in the win for the Animals and they were able to run out the game with the assistance of the wind in the last. Veteran Lawrence Virgo kicked three goals, while Jesse Collins was judged best afield for the Animals. Justin Porter was the only multiple goal kicker for the home side, and was named the Warriors best accordingly. The Animals find themselves back in third position (albeit with the assistance of extra byes) while the loss sees Westbourne slide to fifth and facing a must win game next week against an in form Aquinas.