By Tom Feldgen
According to WildFlorida.Tv, “unlike lions, tigers, leopards and jaguars that produce a roar with the vibration of flexible cartilage at the base of their tongue, panthers are usually quiet creatures. When panthers do make sounds they will usually chirp, whistle, purr, scream, growl or hiss”, well this scribe can confirm that the vibrations of the Panthers who originate from Keysborough are at an all time high, and what good vibrations they are. It’s all about the Old Mentonians after two rounds. The Panthers are sitting pretty on top of the table with a percentage of 328.21, with Therry Penola the only other team to register two wins.
Round 2 produced another enthralling weekend of football in Division 1 filled with closely fought contests, thrashings and upsets. Old Geelong welcomed Como Park to season 2016 with a strong victory over St Mary’s Salesian. The first quarter saw the Saints get off to a strong start, using the slight wind advantage to take a 17-point lead into quarter time. From there on in it was all about the Oggers as they went on to comfortably win the remaining three quarters, led by ruckman Josh Hoevenaars and their strong core of midfielders. Jock Grimshaw and Callum Wood each slotted three for the Oggers, while Will Sloss had it on a string. For the Saints, Tiwi Islands based star, Gary Puruntatameri was prominent in front of the big sticks banging home three majors, as did Sidney Jones who was their best for the day.
Pegs confirmed how hungry they are to fight back following their 2015 relegation with a convincing 43-point victory over Old Paradians. The Raiders faithful were understandably excited pre game as the long awaited debut of former Parade College student Adam Pattison was upon us. Despite Pattison’s best efforts first up (2 goals); the boys from the runway were too strong. Jarryd Rogers and Mark Wilson each snared three majors and Robert Baddeley was dominant for Pegs. For the Raiders, Robbie Amerena and Marcus Nolan can keep their heads held high after strong displays, while Michael Bellizia was their only other multiple goal scorer with two.
Brunswick NOBSPC regained some respect over the weekend with a strong performance, however it wasn’t enough to overcome Prahran-Assumption who ran over the top to end up 17-point victors. Goals were at a premium out at St Pats College in Ballarat as windy conditions contributed to an error riddled game. The home side held a nine-point lead going into the final quarter, so someone needed to stand up for the Two Blues. Enter key forward Paddy Harris who virtually won the game off his own boot by slotting three majors in the first six minutes of the term, despite an indifferent first three quarters Harris finished with a bag of five next to his name. Jamie Robbins was the other standout forward for the day with three maximums, small defender John Simonetta ran rampant in the backline and debutant John Stocker was courageous in his first outing for the Two Blues. For the boys from Brunswick, Kyle Docherty provided a strong target across half forward and Chris Ford was good down back.
Therry Penola took the chocolates in another even contest, as they remain unbeaten in 2016. An explosive burst early in the last quarter was enough for the Lions to see off Whitefriars and register a narrow nine-point win. The Lions know how to win a game of footy and on this occasion simply got the job done. The Friars fought hard all day and even led by three points at the last interval, but were overrun in the end. Jarrod Bannister continued his love affair with Whitefriars by slotting five, while Jake Mennuni had a strong game along with (surprise, surprise) Jarrod Egglestone who had another standout game. Friars forward, Ciaran Hickey continued his stellar form in a performance that featured three goals, and Kieran Hayes put in a quality four-quarter effort.
Old Mentonians have well and truly made a statement to start the season with their second consecutive triumph of greater than 100 points and their second team score in excess of 190, forcing this scribe to steal a catch phrase from Brian Taylor… Wowee! On Saturday it was Ivanhoe who were on the receiving end of the Panthers dominance. The Panthers shot out of the blocks with a seven goal opening term and certainly didn’t look back from there, kicking eight, seven and seven in the next three. Darcy Brown was the star of the show this week kicking 7 majors, in his return to the Panthers after featuring for Sandringham Zebras last season, Brown leads the league goal kicking tally with 12. Luke Hull was once again amongst the action down forward snagging five goals, while Comrey Edgeworth was everywhere. The shining lights for the Hoers were Reuben Blackmore-Moore who kicked three and Chris Kingsford who was impressive in his first game for the season.
Division 1 is shaping up to be one of the more even competitions in the entire VAFA, with each weekend bound to feature classic contests. Hence, round 3 should be another belter. Brunswick NOBSPC will look to continue on from their improved round 2 performance this week against a quality opponent in PEGS, Therry Penola are likely to continue their winning ways against St Mary’s Salesian, Old Geelong look set to build on their dominant round 2 performance against Ivanhoe and Old Mentonians will keep setting the standard when they come up against Old Paradians. This week’s match of the round features Prahran-Assumption and Whitefriars. The Friars have been competitive despite remaining winless, whilst Prahran-Assumption has played out two very tight games. I’m tipping the fighting Friars to provide an upset and manufacture their first win of the season.