By Rich Hummerson – @Richie_Humm
It’s finally here, the final round. The 30-degree days, the hill sprints the anticipation of new season feels like a decade ago. For some, the last round brings a relief, another season under the belt, some better for the run, some worse. The off season provides an opportunity to take stock, address the reasons for the premature finish to the season, and begin to rebuild.
But for others, the curtain call means the summer of regret begins. A platitude of what if’s haunting you throughout the summer, or until, the first delivery of a cricket ball. But however you feel about the final round, playing finals or not, season 2015 in division 4 has been a cracker, and it’s only going to get better. As you all sit down to your pasta on your Thursday night or enjoying this yarn over a hotdog on Saturday, I thought I’d make it easy for you and decipher the top six as it stands.
The final six appears all but settled after the weekend’s results, while there is room for sides to swap and change within in the six, Mount Lilydale will have to knock off Point Cook if they are any hope to sneak into finals contention.
Canterbury and Westbourne have locked in the top two rungs, providing Westbourne don’t get hammered by 200 points, Point Cook has third secured and Box Hill rounds out the top four, their spot cemented.
The last two spots however make for a far more interesting final round, with any of Parkside, North Brunswick or Mount Lilydale potentially missing out on a finals dance. North Brunswick has the bye, stranding them on 36 points. They pushed Westbourne to the death last weekend, but couldn’t get the chocolates, meaning they have an agonizing wait before confirmation of their finals participation.
Fortunately for our bearded brethren from the North, Mount Lilydale have a tough task ahead, travelling from the far east, to the far west for a clash against premiership aspirants, Point Cook. Should Mount Lilydale pull off the upset of the year, and win by a significant margin, they will leap ahead of North Brunswick and leave the bulls licking their wounds.
In the games over the weekend, Parkside smashed Masala by 132 points. There was no stopping the ruthless Parkside boys, with Shane Potter kicking 9 and Brandon Walters snagging 4 of his own. Masala remain 1.5 percentage points clear of Chadstone, however the wolves are sniffing in the final round. Potter and Walters will create headaches in their finals, with their current matchup due to take place against Old Westbourne. Josh Kyle kicked 3 for Masala in one of few bright moments for the side.
North Brunswick pushed Old Westbourne to the brink in a tough week for the club. They lost club legend Peter Dowsett last Wednesday. The Bulls came out snarling, sticking with Westbourne throughout the game, only to pull up 18 points short at the close of day. Luke Vella kicked 3 for Old Westbourne and William Soonalole was their best. For the Bulls, Andrew Keegan was stoic down back and Robert Santacroce kicked 3.
In other results, Canterbury smashed South Mornington by 191 points, Manningham knocked off Chadstone in a relatively tight affair by 33 points and Box Hill North pulled off an upset against Point Cook as their rematch approaches.
MATCH OF THE ROUND
Canterbury play Old Westbourne in what appears to be a grand final preview. This will be an interesting clash, as both sides don’t have a whole lot to play for. I’m tipping Canterbury to come away with the points, but this game won’t tell us a whole lot as I expect a few cards to be kept up sleeves.