Fourth-placed Canterbury hosted third-placed Manningham at Surrey Hills in battle for the ‘Cobra Cup’, which in addition to the premiership points and bragging rights, raised much-needed funds for the Cancer Council. With both teams missing some key players, this was effectively an ‘eight point’ clash at this vital stage of the season. Manningham kicked with the breeze in the opener and were able to establish a three-goal lead, then were never headed all arvo. Canterbury’s inaccuracy in the second quarter (2.9) probably cost them any chance of victory, as the boys from Bulleen went on and ran out the last quarter to record a 43-point victory. Overall possession of the ball was pretty even, but Manningham were able to make better use of their scoring opportunities
For the Manningham Cobras, SOJ Leonard covered plenty of ground as a mobile ruck, Ayden ‘Chief’ Sukkel played a great Captain’s game that included a clutch goal to the non-scoring end on half-time, Adam Kinniburgh controlled his wing, Lin-Tse Hong was also lively with three early goals, and the forwards worked well together with Kane Maghamez, Nick Sommerville and Chris Jolly also contributing three goals each. Sean Hanrahan was best for the home team, Sam Murphy with three majors was excellent again, while Alex Wheeler and Harry Berenger worked tirelessly. Even after enjoying a percentage boosting win over the fourth-placed team, Manningham slipped a place (to fourth) due to Westbourne’s huge win over La Trobe.
The Albert Park Falcons hosted the in-form Hawthorn, who have been banking wins and percentage to put a big gap between themselves in second place and the contenders for third place. The Hawks had an excellent start into the breeze kicking seven goals to two behinds, then kept the Falcons scoreless in the second term to lead by 76 points at the main break. Albert Park came back hard to outscore the Hawks in the third term with five goals, which resulted in a deep conversation between Hawthorn coach and players at the last change of ends. The Hawks responded in the last term kicking nine goals to one to run out 118-point victors.
Hawthorn’s best included Cameron Allum, Tom Boots, Travis Whittle, Steven Wintle (6), Nathan Raiti and Coady Travaglia, with a special callout to Rudi Barker who kicked three illusive goals in his first senior game for the club after five years. Justin Mahoney was best again for the Falcons, backed by the hard-running Lucas Gniel, James Faulkner, Stuart Birnie, Jack Amies, Nick Albonico who put in all afternoon.
The undefeated, ladder-leading Glen Eira welcomed the in-form Aquinas, who, while in eighth place, were only a game and percentage off third. It was a danger game for the Gryphons, and it turned out to be a ding-dong battle with Aquinas leading at the end of the first three quarters. Glen Eira have made a habit of starting slowly this year, but they have more than made amends by running out their last quarters strongly, and the home team again produced some last quarter heroics to prevail by five points.
Bloods’ Jarred Sund was a pillar in defence, and Phil Dyck, Dan Foley, James Wright, Nick Morrison-Storey and Lachlan Barnes all played well in a game that could have gone either way. The Gryphons’ Chris Higgins was best on ground, Tim Dobson was spectacular in the final term and Julian Stone was a solid contributor again, while skipper Todd Richardson kicked two genuine Captain’s goals in the hard fought contest to ensure the Gryphons secured the four premiership points and remain undefeated.
It’s rare when a team wins after trailing at the quarter, half and three quarter time breaks, but it happened twice in Round 12 in Division 3. Richmond Central crossed the Yarra to St James Park to take on Swinburne University. Central’s coach ‘Kouma’ mentored the Razorbacks for many years, and his knowledge of the opposition showed in the first three quarters, where the visitors increased their lead at every change. But, even when they’re inaccurate, Swinburne are hard to beat at St James Park and they stormed home in the last quarter with a five goal to one term to run out 12-point victors.
Will Wood, Matt Greenwood, Riley McRae, Jackson Manning, Haydn Glass, and Ged Shearer had big afternoons for the Razorbacks, while Riley Livingstone kicked four majors. Big Tom Foott showed plenty of presence around the ground, Ricky Costanzo and Steve Bugeja were lively and Jake Munro was good up forward for the Snakes, who will be looking to bounce back next week against the Falcons.
Along with the two top teams, the other form team of Division 3 are Westbourne Grammarians, who hosted La Trobe University, who were buoyed by their big win last week. The Warriors have turned their season on its head, and stormed up the ladder over the last month and the hosts didn’t give the Trobers a look in early, with a ten goal to nil first quarter. La Trobe bounced back in the second, but Westbourne stretched their lead through to the second half to win by 130-points and boost their percentage and rocket up the ladder into third place.
La Trobe’s usual suspects were again their best players with Joel McCarten, Tom Mooney, Josh Rogerson and Matt Ogle continuing their consistent seasons. Adam Salamone was best for the home team, supported by Michael Culliver and Adam Imber and Liam Jones. Up forward Dale Collins (10s) and Paddy O’Brien (7) shared the spoils. The win has given Westbourne a percentage boost, and plenty of confidence, which they’ll need when they host the undefeated Glen Eira in the match of the round.