Brin Duggan – BrinDuggan
‘Twas the week of the PEGS v SMS game, when all through the league
Not a player was stirring, not even Adrian Romanyk.
The guernseys were washed and packed for the game to prepare,
Hoping the flag favourite would win this warfare.
It’s like Christmas Eve in Division 1 with two 5-0 teams coming up against each other in Round 6. As far as May games go, this is as big as it gets! Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let’s look back on what Round 5 left in our stockings.
It was coal for Brunswick and a new bike for Preston as they clashed at Alec Gillon. A 40-point halftime lead for the Bullants proved too much for the accurate NOBS to overcome in the last half. NOBS accuracy prevented the margin from blowing out further, but Preston still ran out 33-point winners despite a 13 scoring shot advantage. Liam Sutton continued his scintillating form as he was named best on ground again for the victors while Oliver Lang booted three majors. For the losing side, Anthony Argento battled hard down back to be named his side’s best player. Preston continued their fantastic run in Div 1 and now sit at 4-1 while Brunswick, somewhat unluckily, are the inverse of their rivals at 1-4.
Ormond were spoilt as they took care of Oakleigh to the tune of 24 points. The Krushers started accurately and jumped out to a 15-point lead by halftime. However, despite trailing, Ormond were arguably the better side, registering five more scoring shots. After the main break, the Monders came out firing, kicking 9.7 to just 3.5 in a dominant display. Despite Liam Gillard’s BOG performance and Tim Scott’s six-goal effort, the Krushers eventually went down swinging. The Monders can thank Matt Hine, Isaiah Tahana and Sam Mason for the win after they combined for nine snags. After three straight wins, the Oaks drop to fifth position, one behind their Round 5 foes with both sides sitting on three wins.
SMS lucked out in Round 5 and found a brand new set of wheels in their driveway in the form of Jackson Strangward. Unfortunately for Whitefriars, there wasn’t much in their stocking that could help overcome a strong Saints’ outfit. A spirited first quarter from Whitefriars left the Saints with some questions; however, the questions were soon answered with SMS piling on 8.3 and holding the Friars scoreless to take a 50-point lead into the main break. The story remained the same in the second half with SMS firming en route to an emphatic 83-point victory. For the Friars, Mark Richards produced his strongest game of the season while Michael Nitas continued to play a lone hand up forward chalking up his 11th and 12th goals of the season. SMS had contributors across the board and Manny Dolan did Manny Dolan things to finish with six of the best. He now sits on 28 goals after five games and haunts the nightmares of the Div 1 key backs.
After visiting Therry, PEGS zoomed home, tore off the wrapping paper and revealed a communications-scrambling drone in their stocking (this may come in handy against St Mary’s next week). Therry, meanwhile, were not so lucky gifted nothing but a 60-point defeat from PEGS. A 34-point halftime lead barely told the story of the 14 more scoring shots that PEGS had registered and things did not improve for Therry after the main break. The score line could have been considerably uglier had PEGS converted some more of their 24 behinds. Trent Skurrie kicked four goals and helped blow the final winning margin out to 60 while Sahand Ghasimzadeh had his best outing for PEGS and was duly hailed BOG. On a dark day for Therry, John Humphrey can hold his head high after a solid performance. Therry now languish at 1-4 and while PEGS are soaring at 5-0.
Ivanhoe trudged home from Thomas Carroll with sadness across their faces after they received an 18-point defeat courtesy of St Johns. Ivanhoe’s fast starts were a distant memory against the JOCs as they failed to score in the first quarter and allowed 28 points against. Encouragingly, they managed to outscore St. John’s for the rest of the game and prove to themselves that they have what it takes to remain in Div 1. A positive take-away for the Hoers will be the continued improvement of Nick Thornely who has started 2017 as one of their best players. For the JOCs, superstar, Glenn Costas, hit the heights of his league medal season as BOG while Rohan Scott and Aaron Thornton combined for eight goals. This game could end up being significant in the 2017 relegation battle with Ivanhoe struggling on one win while St. Johns now jumps into sixth place.
Regardless of the quality of their gifts, each side will want to utilise them however they can. Ormond will look to be rewarded with more spoils as they host Whitefriars. I can’t see any gifts helping Friars too much this week and I’m picking Ormond by 50+. Meanwhile, Ivanhoe will be looking to bounce back as they welcome Brunswick to Ivanhoe Park. The NOBS will want to pressurise their coal into a Diamond, and while that may be extreme, I think they’ll come home in a tight one. In a match of undefeated powerhouses, PEGS will be thankful after receiving the perfect gift to immobilise the Saints’ new wheels. Their strong defence could be just the thing that brings SMS to a halt. At the runway, PEGS just win this one in match of the round. St. Johns will be strutting around on the back of good win; however, Oakleigh might just be the remedy to halt the JOCs. I’m picking Krushers by 30. Finally, Preston will be ringing the bell on their bike as they invite Therry over for a play at W.R Ruthven Reserve. I’m picking Preston to peddle off to a comfortable win.