Round 18 has arrived and three sides have punched their tickets for September action (Kew, Preston Bullants & UHS-VU), with three others (Oakleigh, Peninsula & Therry Penola) still a mathematical chance to sneak into that fourth and final spot. Get your calculators out as we go through what could happen in this final round of football for the 2019 home & away season.
Peninsula vs Oakleigh
Despite having their four-game winning streak snapped by the Bullants on the weekend, the Peninsula have well and truly earned their right to fight for their September lives, putting together an impressive late-July/early-August run that saw them take down both Kew and UHS-VU and play into this ‘win and you’re in’ situation. Oakleigh enter on a four-game win streak and are in the box-seat to once again feature in finals action, as they hold a game in hand, plus 9.88% over the Pirates. A Krushers’ win will see them slot into fourth, unless UHS-VU lose to St Mary’s than they may move into third. In order for the Pirates to sail into the four, they’ll need to really do a number on Oakleigh, with at least a 70-point thumping being required to leapfrog them into September action.
Therry Penola vs Kew
The other side still an outside chance to make the four is Therry Penola, as they used a mid-season run that saw them win eight of ten to turn around their 0-3 start and put themselves in at least a mathematical chance to qualify for the four. Their opponents this week, the Bears, have been around the top of the table for most of the year and a win here will almost certainly finish their season with the minor premiership, but a loss could see those aspirations dashed as a red-hot Preston is right on their tail. The Lions percentage of 114.87 is 18.66% behind Oakleigh, meaning they’ll need to hope Peninsula beat the Krushers enough to lower their percentage, while destroying the Bears by well over 100 points to elevate over both. An extreme outside chance, but worth the mention nonetheless as Therry have put up an outstanding fight to be in this position.
Prahran Assumption vs Preston Bullants
Thanks to their 58-point win over the Pirates on the weekend, Preston Bullants improved their winning-streak to 10 games, in which they hold an average winning margin of 48 points. Sitting in second, a win over Prahran Assumption paired with a Bears loss to the Lions will see them take top spot and snatch the minor premiership to cap off a memorable 2019 home & away season. A more likely scenario will see the Bullants finish in second and hold a home final in the first week of September. Prahran will finish the year in eighth spot, above the relegation zone and will return to Division 1 in 2020.
St Mary’s Salesian vs UHS-VU
UHS-VU may have snapped their three-game losing streak on the weekend when they downed the Paradians, but the damage may have already been done as those crucial losses may almost certainly see them miss a top-two finish, despite hovering around the mark for the better part of the year. Needing a win over the Saints and either Therry and Prahran to get unlikely wins over Kew or Preston respectively, UHS-VU will most likely enter September in third. St Mary’s Salesian will finish the year in 7th and return to Division 1 next year, but have a chance to leave a mark on the competition this weekend as a big win over the Vultures could potentially see their opponents slip to fourth, with an Oakleigh victory by 20-points or so potentially enough to see UHS-VU fall from 1st to 4th in just one month of play.
Old Paradians vs West Brunswick
Both Old Paradians and West Brunswick will be relegated to Division 2 for 2020, as both sides managed just two wins apiece for the year entering this clash. The Westies have arguably been the more competitive side of the two, as they hold an average margin of defeat of 53.8 points compared to the Paradians 85.2, but it’s clutching at straws as both sides will be undoubtedly disappointed with their respective years.