By Ren Thompson – @renthompson
The goal umpires were working overtime in Round 13 as glorious conditions resulted in the highest scoring round of the season, with the 12 teams combining to put a combined 1194 points on the scoreboard amassing an incredible 178 goals. Four players kicked atleast a bag of 9 goals – three with ‘Mitchell’ in their name – in the scoring bonanza. There were five blowouts but also a 4-point thriller between Albert Park and Power House that was the match of the round. Lets check out the games…
UHS-VU AFC def. Swinburne University AFC
It was the ‘Mitch Sweeney Show’ at Brens Oval as the Vultures spearhead booted nine goals in the 62-point drubbing of Swinburne University, 113-51. From the opening bounce UHS-VU took the initiative building a 28-point lead after the first term but it was the Vultures defensive effort, especially in the second half where they held Swinburne to only two goals, that was the key to the dominant victory. Gleeson, Esubalew Ramsay and Sequoia Rawson-Smith were among the best for the Vultures while the Ben Higgins tried all day for a Swinburne outfit that would have been disappointed with the result after their near defeat of Hawthorn in the last round. With the win the Vultures solidify their Finals chances, Swinny slips back to two games out of the top six.
La Trobe University AFC def. Parkside Football Club
Meanwhile at La Trobe it was the ‘Mitch Gleeson Show’ as the forward recorded one of the biggest goal hauls of his season kicking 10 as La Trobe thumped Parkside by 132 points, 150-18, and extended their winning streak to an impressive nine games. Defence was again the key for La Trobe as their back six restricted to the Red Devils to only eight scoring shots including two goals for the entire match, while they had nine goal-kickers themselves in the thrashing victory. During this nine game winning streak La Trobe have been defeating teams by an average of 77.2 points, an absurd statistic and if they can keep playing with this devastating form then it is going to take an almighty effort to conquer them.
South Melbourne Districts def. Aquinas OC
How do you top a nine-goal haul and a 10-goal haul? By booting 11 goals of course, which is exactly what Max Mitchell-Russell did for South Melbourne. The forward starred for the Swans as they defeated Aquinas by 75 points, 147-72, at Lindsay Hassett Oval in what was a ridiculously good round to be named ‘Mitchell.’ Building on a tremendous first half effort that saw them double the Bloods score at the main break. South Melbourne didn’t relent in the final two quarters kicking 13 goals and piling on the anguish for Aquinas as they fall to their eight consecutive loss. Mitchell-Russell was the gun but the Swans finished with four other players each snagging two goals in the scoring frenzy cementing fourth spot on the ladder. Aquinas were able to muster what normally would be a competitive score which has been an issue for them during this horrid run but it was the lacklustre defensive effort this time that resulted in the walloping, facing Glen Eira next week the pain might endure for another round.
Power House AFC def. Albert Park AFC
What a match between Albert Park and Power House! Both teams looking to end three game losing streaks were giving it their all for their clubs. 28 goals were kicked but it came down to a difference of only four points. As Power House overcame a 4-point half-time deficit to surge in the second half and defeat the Falcons by 4 points, 96-92, at Beaurepaire Pavilion. In a tight contest throughout Power House used a five-goal third term to wrestle the lead from the Falcons who tried courageously in the final term to snatch the victory but alas their effort fell short in the final moments. A great game between two clubs fighting to stay in the running for September footy.
Glen Eira AFC def. Canterbury Football Club
The unbeaten streak now stands at 13 games as the Glen Eira Saints crushed the Canterbury Cobras by 46 points, 110-64, at Packer Reserve. Although the game was closer than the final scoreboard represents through three periods, it wasn’t until a fourth quarter barrage where Glen Eira booted seven goals to two that broke the game open and saw the Saints retain their perfect record on the season. Julius Waras Carstensen was again the spearhead for Glen Eira kicking five goals while Anthony Cvek was the man of the match. Sam Murphy and Rowan moody were valiant in defeat for Canterbury who are still struggling to find consistent form but cling to the sixth spot on the ladder with only five games remaining.
Hawthorn AFC def. Elsternwick AFC
After the scare from Swinburne in the last round, Hawthorn responded with a humongous defeat of the Wickers by an insane 167 points, 224-57. 13 goal-kickers all contributed to the Hawks 34 goals on the day to record the Division’s second biggest score of the season. In fact Hawthorn recorded their fifth game of the season kicking more than 150 points – the other 11 teams have combined for only seven such games – as they remain on pace to shatter the highest scoring season by a Division 3 team this decade.
With only five games left the battle for sixth is starting to heat up as a top five have started to emerge. Canterbury currently holds the final spot and should have too many weapons for the Wickers in round 14. Hawthorn, Swinny and South Melbourne should all be too strong and record victories. Glen Eira should extend their stellar run to 14 straight games and start to think an 18-0 season record is a possibility. While La Trobe will face the biggest test of their recent winning streak as they host a UHS-VU Vultures outfit that is in the midst of a four game winning streak themselves to wrap up what should be another interesting round in Division 3.
Aquinas OC vs Glen Eira AFC
Canterbury Football Club vs Elsternwick AFC
La Trobe University AFC vs Uhs-Vu AFC
Parkside Football Club vs Swinburne University AFC
Hawthorn AFC vs Albert Park AFC
Power House AFC vs South Melbourne Districts