Div 4 Men’s powerhouses reassert dominance

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Zac Jennings

With the play button pressed once again on season 2021, the home stretch towards the finals is upon us, with the Division 4 powerhouses again reasserting their dominance, whilst a dark horse secured its most important win of the season.

St. Johns have grabbed their best win of the year by defeating fellow finals contenders La Trobe University by 13 points. In a tightly contested affair, the inaccurate JOC’s were able to capitalize on their ability to apply scoreboard pressure, with the win giving them a nice two-game buffer inside the top four. After trailing at quarter time, St. Johns were able to take a seven-point lead into the main break, before going on to register win number six in their return to divisional football. St. John’s goalkicking livewire Aaron Thornton kicked four majors in the win, with Sean Gaitley and Rohan Scott leading the charge for the JOC’s. Joe Gibson was awarded best afield for La Trobe, kicking three goals.

St. Johns will take on local rivals Masala-Dandenong as they look to further cement a finals birth, while La Trobe University will travel to Lindsay Hassett Oval to face second placed South Melbourne Districts.

Oliver Dufficy’s 14 goal performance has seen South Melbourne Districts completely dominate Masala-Dandenong by 197 points at Lois Twohig Reserve. After leading by seven points at the first break, the Bloods kicked 30 goals to Masala’s one in what was another statement made to the rest of the division, which featured 21 unanswered goals in the second half. While Zephyr Howson’s six goals and Michael Dufficy’s five were completely overshadowed by Oliver Dufficy’s haul, it still wasn’t enough to land him best afield honors, with Oscar Paulke earning those in a seemingly all-time incredible performance. For Masala, Tom Williamson fought hard on what was a tough day, also hittting the scoreboard with a goal of his own.

South Melbourne Districts will next host La Trobe University in a second versus third clash, while Masala will take on local rivals St. Johns.

An eight goal to one second quarter has set up another comprehensive victory for ladder leaders Elsternwick, as they recorded win number ten for the season against Box Hill North. With a 58-point lead at the man break, the Wickers showed why they have topped the Division 4 table since round two, slamming home 15 second half goals to run away 147-point winners. Justin Hunter booted six goals for the Wickers, with Dylan Jones kicking five in what was a best on ground performance. Austin Wilcox was the standout for the Demons.

Elsternwick will look for another dominant output as they take on Swinburne University, while Box Hill North faces Eley Park.

And finally, an absolute shootout occurred at St. James Park, with Eley Park back on the winners list after a two-point victory over Swinburne University. With an incredible 34 goals kicked in the game, the Sharks were able to overcome a 22-point deficit at half time, keeping their slim finals hope for 2021 alive. Benjamin Cox and Mitch Walker booted four goals each for Swinburne, with Aaron Colvin best on ground for the Razorbacks.

Eley Park will look to keep pushing for a potential finals birth as it hosts Box Hill North at Whitehorse Reserve, with Swinburne University off to face ladder leaders Elsternwick.