Division 4: Chafing and can’t shake cricket season

Posted on - Latest News, Featured, Division 4 Men's

Rich Hummerston

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Over the course of a cricket season, you pick up a number of remedies for the dreaded chafe. Some like medicated creams like 3B cream, while others tend to go down the more traditional path and grab for the talcum powder or Vaseline.

Well just when you thought it’d be safe to tuck the Vaseline away for another year, mother nature puts on an opening day that would have been more appropriate for 80-overs in the field than a four quarters of footy.

The completion of round one usually brings a sigh of relief for players, coaches and scribes alike. For players the completion of round one brings the end of monotonous preseason running, replaced with the far more enjoyable match simulation drills for goal kicking. For the coaches, the game plans devised over summer BBQ’s and camping trips get their first live run. And for the scribes, the offseason rumours that cause havoc on our predictions make way for cold hard statistics and legitimate playing lists.

Masala’s initiation into the major leagues went off without a hitch after they strolled home comfortable winners over the much improved Chadstone. Kicking against the breeze in the opening stanza, Masala opened their account early and led from start to finish. Samuel Freeman of Camberwell Grammarian fame booted three majors for the home side and was well supported by Jordan Toikalkin and Jaryd Coghill. For Chadstone it was Ian Bingham, back from his lengthy spell on the sidelines who impressed and Caillin Austin who was awarded best afield.

Mount Lilydale’s return to Division 4 football didn’t have the same fairytale start as their fellow counterparts, falling victim to the well drilled Box Hill North. The benefits of Box Hill North’s regimented and brutal preseason was on show as they cruised home to the most comfortable of victories. While the sides traded blows in the first quarter, the fight would become one-sided early into the second half. Rowan Lawrence had the ball on a string, his benefactor Daniel Penny, who managed an impressive seven goals due to Lawrence’s relentless attack on the ball further up the ground. Mount Lilydale were well supported by David Brambilla and Adam Thorne.

Traditionally in Division 4 football, a side’s performance in round one is inversely related to the hype around their preseason. Fortunately for Point Cook and their loyal band of followers, they’ve bucked the trend. Not since Hawthorn in 2005 has a side been more highly rated before a ball has been bounced but as opposed to the Hawks, Point Cook actually delivered. Trailing the whole game, Point Cook arguably put together their greatest final quarter to date to pinch victory at the death. Julian Mandahl as phenomenal, particularly in the last while for Manningham it was reigning Meehan Medallist Tommy Bell who again impressed.

Parkside were agonisingly close from having the dream start to their reintroduction to the VAFA, falling to the highly touted Canterbury Cobras by the smallest of margins. Capitalising on Canterbury’s inaccuracies and their almost brand new starting lineup, Parkside put behind the terrors of season’s past and announced themselves as a force to be reckoned with. Shane Potter up forward was in great touch from the outset and Shane Mclaren was allowed to roam around at will, gathering touches as he went. With 20 minutes to play and momentum in heavily in their favour, the fairytale looked a certainty. Unfortunately for the Devils, Canterbury unleased their brand new recruit in Scott Fitzgerald with devastating consequences. He booted five final quarter goals and helped Canterbury to the four points.

South Mornington’s inauguration was a baptism of fire, going down by 87 points to the highly fancied, North Brunswick. Unfortunately for the relegated Tigers, they were never in the contest, the bulls piling on goals at will. Ben Gallagher was in scintillating form in front of the big sticks, slotting a Michelle while his brother, Shaun, was best on.

This week I’m selecting North Brunswick to deliver a reality check to Box Hill North, while Canterbury should extend a warm welcome to Masala, they’ll stroll home comfortable victors. Manningham will be trying to right the wrongs of last week’s capitulation with a hiding of Chadstone and Parkside should get the chocolates against Point Cook in the game of the round. Rounding out the week’s play I’m selecting Westbourne Grammarians to get up over Mount Lilydale, despite the longest trek in the VAFA.

North Brunswick v Box Hill North

Canterbury v Masala

Chadstone v Manningham

Point Cook v Parkside

Mt Lilydale v Westbourne Grammarians