The adage goes “a week’s a long time in footy” and a mere seven days after this scribe had all but locked in the ladder positions for the rest of the season and proclaimed there would be no movement between the two halves of the competition, we’ve had our first major upset of the season.
After getting touched up by the rampant Canterbury the week before, North Brunswick looked to bounce back, and a clash against the lowly placed Mount Lilydale on their home deck would present the perfect canvas for their retribution. Kicking seven goals in the first quarter, things got off to a dream start for the home team, the perfect rebound beckoned. However, the joy for the Bulls would be short lived, Mount Lilydale, in an unprecedented display of form, slotted six goals, seven behinds and went into the rooms with a narrow lead. The two sides exchanged blows throughout the second half after the break, before Mount Lilydale pulled away by six goals, recording their greatest victory in recent times. Tom Bailey put on one of the best games for his club to date, and Tommy Mcquinn had a great day in front of goal, helping himself to four. For the losing side, who will need to plug the hole in the sinking ship before the damage is irreparable, Ben Gallagher and Daniel Nugent performed well, as always.
If there is a bloke in all of Australia in better form than Dale Collins, I’d like to hear it. If bags of 7, 7 and 15 in recent weeks weren’t enough, he’s helped himself to a lazy 17 to help Westbourne post another huge victory over Chadstone. Collins set the club record of 15 goals in a game the week earlier against Masala and he broke his own record in brilliant fashion. In a testament to Chadstone’s gradual improvement, they managed to keep Westbourne at arm’s length early on, and kept Westbourne to a modest 14 goals in the first half. After the break though, it was unfortunately the same tune we’ve heard many a time this season as Westbourne got firing. The visitors slotted 20 second half goals. Joining Dale Collins in the best for Westbourne was Michael Culliver and Tim Rogers while for Chadstone it was Daniel Allsopp and David Bennett who fought hard on a rough day.
The Point Cook travelling party will be very familiar with the Monash freeway this year as they once again headed out east to enjoy the spoils of Noble Park for their contest against Masala. In similar fashion to the Chadstone vs Westbourne game, Masala held Point Cook to a modest score up to half-time, before the Bulldogs flexed their biceps and quashed Masala with relative ease. However to Masala’s credit, a 92-point win is far less than we all expected. For Masala it was Zach Kelly, Jaryd Coghill and Wayne McMahon while Matthew Herbertson with five goals and Cody Day impressed for the travelling Point Cook.
South Mornington played host to Parkside and again, the result for the much maligned South Mornington was far better than anyone expected. The Tigers only going down by a meagre 20 points. Despite coughing up the first four goals of the game, the Tigers rallied in the second quarter to go into the sheds with a small lead. It was a low scoring affair in the third quarter and the stage was set for an almighty tug-of-war in the last term. Unfortunately for the Tigers, their home advantage wouldn’t be enough to help get them over the line. South Mornington ran out of puff and Parkside ran out victors. Jacob Smith and Nicholas Leskovec were sensational for the Tigers and Kade Woodruff and Michael Heib did their bit in front of goal. For Parkside another win on their way to building something back in the VAFA.
Coach Jock McDonald and his Manningham Cobras have been left licking their wounds after another disappointing loss, this time to Box Hill North by 19 points. The loss now sees Manningham in 8th spot on the ladder and out of touch with the top six of the competition. Despite getting off to a brilliant start, the Cobras began to falter in the second stanza, relinquishing the lead at the main break. After a spray that could be heard in Camberwell from coach McDonald, the Cobras rallied again, heading to the final break with a marginal lead. But for the under-performing Cobras, their efforts in the third would go unrewarded, Box Hill storming home to win by over three goals. Laynton Allan performed admirably as always for the Cobras and Anthony Russ was formidable up forward, slotting five majors. For Box Hill it was Colin Osborn and Ross Wilding who ensured they got the points.
After a well-earned break for all sides, I’m picking South Mornington to carry on their recent improvement with a solid win over Masala. Canterbury will exert their dominance as competition leaders over Manningham as will Point Cook over Mt Lilydale. Box Hill North should salute against Parkside and Westbourne will continue to inflict misery on North Brunswick.
Masala v South Mornington
Manningham v Canterbury
Mt Lilydale v Point Cook
Parkside v Box Hill North
Westbourne Gr v North Brunswick