Despite posting victories in round 1, both Canterbury and Point Cook opened their seasons in pretty unconvincing fashion. Canterbury, barely limped over the line against Parkside, a side that has since posted only two wins for the year, and Point Cook were forced to come from well behind against Manningham, who similarly, have only saluted twice this season. Since that underwhelming opening day, the two sides, one from the booming west, and one from the leafy east, have experienced an almost identical period of success, leaving the competition in its wake, and unfortunately for the rest, creating a two-horse race in the process.
It was supposed to be the game of the round, first versus third, on North Brunswick’s deck, a ground nearly double the size of Canterbury. What ensued was anything but. With both sides impervious to injuries and mid-season overseas jaunts, both sides boasted near best 22’s. Canterbury jumped out of the blocks early, and put on a lead that would never be surrendered. For Canterbury, it was the usual culprits in Ben Peel, Rohan Walmsley and Jeremy Gillen through the midfield who were first to the footy all day, while a new look forward line returned fantastic dividends for Jimmy Wilson and Andrew Bakey who netted four goals apiece. For North Brunswick, who battled to fire a shot all day, Thomas Davis and Peter Butler impressed on a dark day.
It’s not often that the exploits of division four make the national rag, but thanks to an incredible haul from Westbourne’s Dale Collins, on the back of a remarkable three weeks of footy, our humble Division received unprecedented coverage in all the major papers. Truth be told, I’m not certain it was actually printed, (lets be honest, not much is these days) but it certainly made the websites. Collins was simply outstanding, clunking everything that came his way as Westbourne made very light work of Masala. Collins won the accolades for the finished product, but it was Brayden Smith and Chris Sneddon who made it all possible with their handy work further up the ground. The efforts of the reliable Jordan Toikalkin and Adam Gleeson ensured the final deficit for Masala wasn’t larger.
Playing host to South Mornington, Box Hill, predictably, jumped out to an early lead, a lead they would sustain throughout the day, posting victory by an eventual 71 points. Daniel Penny up forward proved his class again. On the back of last week’s 11 goals, Penny kicked another six this week, and Drew Howlett chimed in with five of his own. For South Mornington, who are continuing to show a gradual improvement, it was Jack Nisbet, Jacob Smith and Michael Heib with his four goals that impressed the travelling South Mornington fans.
Last time Manningham and Point Cook met, the result could have gone either way, Manningham holding a lead usually large enough to earn the four points before they coughed it up. Point Cook scraped home narrow victors. Since that game, the two sides have had vastly contrasting seasons. Manningham, who made a case for a grand final berth last year boasted a mediocre record of two wins and 3 losses while Point Cook remain unscathed. Yet despite the differences, the two sides once again, gave the masses another Division 4 classic and unfortunately for Manningham, the result would remain the same, Point Cook winning narrowly. Andrew Auciello and Tommy Hyde were sensational for Point Cook and for Manningham it was Chris Jolly and Adam Pianto who chipped in with handy efforts.
It’s been a rough few years for Mount Lilydale, dancing on a line between the Division 4 and another return to Club XVIII footy. So when the lads from down the Maroondah Highway bellowed out the club song after a 119 point victory, their rough voices could be heard in Hawthorn. Max Hampton led an even spread of goal kickers with a Michelle, and Jarrod Runge must have had close to 50 touches. For Chadstone it was Caitlin Austin who stood tall again.
As has been the case all year, it’s another week that should be gentle on our tipping record. Point Cook travel to Masala where they will, unfortunately for the home team inflict pain. North Brunswick play host to Mount Lilydale where, despite a big win against Chadstone last week, a similar result awaits. Parkside make the trip from North to South, and will return with the points and Dale Collins is a chance to kick another bag against Chadstone. Box Hill are hosting their Eastern Freeway counterparts in Manningham in the game of the round, and I’m tipping Manningham narrowly here.
Westbourne Gr v Chadstone
South Mornington v Parkside
Masala v Point Cook
North Brunswick v Mt Lilydale
Box Hill North v Manningham Cobras