Ivanhoe Rise Above

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Brenton Mann

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After the weekend’s results, Ivanhoe and St Johns sit atop the Division 2 ladder with unblemished records while the lowly South Melbourne is left languishing without a win. Ivanhoe enhanced its finals credentials after toppling fellow top four aspirant, Eltham Collegians by four goals at Ivanhoe Park. St Johns put South Melbourne to the sword with a commanding 29 goal win, and for the Districts, things seem to be going from bad to worse. Melbourne High broke its 16 game losing streak with a spirited 16 point win over a disappointing Old Paradians, and sent the Unicorn Club into raptures. The promoted sides cracked their Div 2 duck with Richmond Central three goal winners over Monash and Northern Blues thumped Elsternwick on Sportscover Arena.

Both Northern Blues and Elsternwick were coming off Round 2 losses, and for the Blues, another opportunity to register their first win in Div 2. For the Wicks, a chance to build some consistency after an indifferent start to the year. The wide expanses of Sportscover Arena suited the slick outside game of Northern Blues down to the ground. They burst out of the blocks with a six goal opening quarter and were never headed. A shocked Elsternwick fought for the following three quarters, but it was a bridge too far. The Blues runaway winners by 38 points.

Old Paradians headed to Melbourne High in fine form and would have looked to build on that against the lowly Unicorns. After the first quarter the game was going according to script. Parade held Melbourne High goalless and took a 22 point lead into the first change. Football however has a tendency to not run to script. The Unicorns, sick of losing decided to make a stand. They slammed home six goals to one in the second term and transformed a 22 point deficit into a nine point lead. The Raiders scorned by their performance, won the third quarter but were still four points down. But the Unicorns were determined not to let this opportunity slip and stormed home in the last and finally saluted by 16 points.

After kicking a bag of 10 in his side’s loss to Parade a week prior, Jake Munro made it 17 in two weeks as he carried Richmond Central to its maiden win in Division 2. This was a game of two halves. Monash had the better of a tight first half, it was able to hold the Snakes at bay and took a 13 point lead into half time. This was a perfect opportunity for the Gryphons to go 2–1 and knock on the door of the top-four, unfortunately they let it slip. The Snakes put them to the sword with an eight goal third quarter and opened up a match-winning six goal lead. The Gryphons to their credit continued to fight, and won the last quarter but it was to no avail. Snakes forward Jake Munro proved the difference, and is one of the in-form forwards of Div 2.

Ivanhoe hosting Eltham Collegians was the match of the round, and after it delivered. Ivanhoe further underlined its scope for improvement after a workman like 24 point win. The Hoes now are the form side of Div 2 and the loss will provide the Turtles with lessons that need to be learnt if they’re to take that vital next step. The Turtles been anchored to Div 2 for several years and 2015 is possibly their best opportunity for that elusive Grand Final birth. Ivanhoe led from start to finish and held Eltham at arm’s length all day. The Blackmoore-Moore brothers provided a potent combination up forward for Ivanhoe and combined for six goals.

St Johns dealt South Melbourne its second 100+ point thumping in as many weeks, with a demoralising 171 point win. The writing was on the wall out at Thomas Carroll when the Districts reserves side forfeited and their seniors coming off an embarrassing performance against Ivanhoe in Round 2. Although the scoreboard didn’t reflect it, South Melbourne’s pressure was on early but St Johns simply had too much class around the ball. The JOCs on-ball brigade continually pumped the footy inside 50 and for a Districts defence under siege, it seemed mission impossible. JOCs’ veteran half forward Kane Arnold wound back the clock with a scintillating six goal display, and saluted in trademark style. Co-captain Glenn Costas was dangerous and elusive all day, while Rohan Scott with five and Aaron Thornton with seven cashed in. St Johns won’t take too much out of this game, given the opposition and are yet to face a fellow top-four side.

 

Round 4 Tips

Elsternwick vs St Johns

Eltham Collegians vs MHSOB

Old Paradians vs Monash

South Melbourne vs Richmond Central

Northern Blues vs Ivanhoe

{Photo from Ivanhoe Park Anzac Day Service – Credit: Phil Skeggs}