By Gav Southern – @gavsouthern
The finals series have started with two scintillating matches last Saturday and there’s more in store. Westbourne continue to dominate the field and are the first team to earn the right to play off in the Grand Final. Point Cook played catch-up all day and despite a late rush simply ran out of time. Eley Park owned the match for 80% of the time but, it’s about who’s leading when the siren goes. This time it was Mt. Lilydale that shone through and as a result, the Sharks have bowed out. The stage is set for an awesome Prelim. But first, let’s check out the semis:
S/F 1: Westbourne Def Point Cook
The match between 1 vs. 2 kicked off with a fast start by Westbourne, kicking 4 goals to nil in the 1st and slowly increased that lead throughout the day. Point Cook squandered opportunities and some poor ball skills and turnovers led to a number of Westbourne goals. The scoring then stalled for 15-20 minutes with the Warriors on a safe 27 pt buffer which took them into the long break. It wasn’t until Westbourne had built the lead to 51, before we saw a couple of late goals to Point Cook in the last quarter. Point Cook were able to reduce the margin to 33 when the siren sounded. Although heavily tagged Jordan Lampi (4 goals) was one of Point Cooks best along with Robbie Milne who ran hard all day. For Westbourne, Dale Collins (1 goal) was well held but, the Doggies had no answer for Nick Schiano (4) and Chris Hudson (3). BOG was Adam Imber, who hadn’t had a BOG since April 30. The Warriors will be riding high but, there’s a weeks rest and just one more hurdle . . . .
S/F 2: Eley Park Def By Mt. Lilydale
When a game’s largest lead was 15, you know you have watched a tight contest. This match between the Sharks and the Rams was one for the ages. The Sharks started off well and led early with 2 first quarter goals to Paul Tempone (3 goals) in only his 5th game for the year. Andrew Zaicos of Eley Park, also was busy early but missed a couple of opportunities to give Eley Park a greater lead. The match grew tighter throughout the day saw scoring become harder as the match went on. BOG was the Rams Daniel Dimitriou (3 goals), who was instrumental in controlling the middle and ensuring the Rams stayed in touch. Sharks, Jesiah Mc Garvie was dominant early playing off half back but, the Sharks disposal into the forward line lacked polish and the Rams were able to spread well, piercing the Sharks zone, led by Captain Sam Hickey (1). Also for the Rams, Max Hampton didn’t affect the scoreboard but, set up countless scoring opportunities from the middle and half forward. Mt. Lilydale were able to get the ascendancy early in the last qtr and led by 4pts with under a minute to go. Trent Sigalas took an absolute screamer for the Sharks, 30 out but, missed the shot to win the game as the bell rang. The Rams now face a hungry Point Cook, who want another crack at the Warriors.
As Westbourne get the week off, our Prelims are now going to be at their ground.
This Preliminary final between Point Cook and Mt. Lilydale, shapes up to be epic. After both sides have split their matches this year, anything is possible this week. When each side lost to their counterpart during the year, kicking straight was a bug-bear. Will this determine Saturday’s victor as well?
Both coaches, Roger Hand and Ian Denny, should know each others game plan inside out and who can do the damage.
Just had dot a few I’s and cross some T’s.
Whilst going into the game as favourites, Point Cook averaging averaging 115 pts a game and only 75 against the Rams, would be a concern but, as previously stated, kicking straight will alleviate this. The Doggies cannot afford to rely on mid-fielders this week to shoulder the scoring. William Dawson especially, needs to fire. Kicking 5 in the win and goal-less in the loss speaks for itself. Jordan Lampi, is another impact player from the mid-field that needs to fire who is without doubt, the most damaging to the scoreboard with 24 goals for the year. Other factors are down back where Mason Kip has controlled proceedings all year along with Robbie Milne. Both enjoy running forward and starting the wave forward.
At the other end, Mt. Lilydale have have been building towards this moment for a few years now. Whilst there have been some up and down performances, half their issue has been trying to keep their stars on the park, such as Captain Sam Hickey (11 games), Stephen Donald (30 goals in 8 games) and Ryan Gromadovski, who we haven’t seen since July. Their evergreen players who have been big for the Rams, playing every game, are key Mobile forward, Max Hampton (48 goals), early B&F favourite, Daniel Dimitriou (17 goals), Backman Dave Brambilla and Sean Gibson (24 goals). The Rams were my dark horse at the start of the year and it’s completely up to them.
Good Luck to both sides. My tip . . . . . Point Cook
Point Cook Vs. Mt. Lilydale
Division 4 Team of the Year
|FB:||T. Conny (MAN)||D. Brambilla (MTL)||T. Sigalas (EP)|
|HB:||N. Trewhella (NB)||M. Kip (PC)||R. Milne (PC)|
|C:||N. Zappala (MAN)||D. Dimitriou (MTL)||S. Lester (BHN)|
|HF:||D. Viola (EP)||C. Hudson (WG)||C. Hunter (WG)|
|FF:||P. Notaro (NB)||D. Collins (WG)||W. Dawson (PC)|
|F:||D. MorrIsh (WG)||J. Lampi (PTC)||B. Christie (EP)|
|INT:||D. Fernandez (Chad)||T. Bailey (MTL)||S. Freeman (MAS)|
|T. Canny (BHN)|
|COACH:||R. Hand (WG)|
|CAPTAIN:||D. Morrish (WG)|