BY MICHAEL SHOLLY
Whilst the Premier Sections take a break the majority of our competition saddles up again this week with the four division sections and the underage competitions all playing before the bye. There may be some interesting results in the junior sections as those playing in their seniors may take this opportunity to re-engage with their junior teammates and play today.
After last week’s round a number of the sections have taken shape. In Division 1, ladder leaders Kew and Ormond both withstood some serious challenges from Prahran Assumption and North Old Boys St Pats respectively before prevailing. The win by St Mary’s Salesian has strengthened their hold in the four forging clear of fifth by two games and a huge percentage. The great form of OG’s means the battle for the double chance is alive. The fight for relegation is really hotting up and it could be percentage that splits them at the end of the year. Only two games separates fifth from ninth.
A similar pattern has emerged in Division 2 with Ivanhoe taking all before them and look set to finish on top. St Johns recovered after a couple of losses with a strong win and they too are assured of September action. The upset of the round was Elsternwick toppling Eltham Collegians which placed their spot in the four in jeopardy. They host neighbourhood rivals and third placed Old Paradians today in the match of the round. A win for OP’s would just about secure a finals spot for them. The Wickers win has levelled them up with Monash Gryphons and MHSOB in the fight for relegation.
With a Final 6 in Division 3 the opportunity for clubs to participate in finals is still a possibility for all. The resurgence of Glen Eira shows that if you string some games together anything is possible. The top 3 of Emmaus St Leos, West Brunswick and Aquinas are locks with a number fighting for the next three spots. Hawthorn has been strong over the past month along with Glen Eira and they should make the grade, which leaves UHS-VU and Swinburne to battle out the remaining spot. This is a very tight section and we look forward to an exciting climax to the season.
In Division 4, Canterbury stamped themselves as the premiership favourites defeating second placed Pt Cook by 50 points at Saltwater Reserve. They have been in the VAFA for three years and look set to start climbing the grades. Westbourne Grammarians have displaced Pt Cook in second place and are the obvious challengers. First year Parkside are clinging onto 6th spot but Mt Lilydale’s recent form will have them eyeing off a spot in the six, they are now less than one percentage spot of achieving this. Their Round 16 match at Pitcher Park could be the decider.
In the Under 19 Premier Section Old Xaverians, St Bernards, St Kevins and Beaumaris are leading the way. The two undefeated sides in the juniors are both in Section 4. Peninsula have been leading the way all year but the interesting side is Mazenod who were promoted from the Colts competition after 6 rounds. Unfortunately they are not fixtured to play each other in the home and away rounds and will have to wait until the finals.
Finally, the VAFA Under 23’s are playing in the carnival in Tasmania and we congratulate Simon Caven from St Bernard’s on his appointment as captain with Gabe Hamilton from Old Trinity his deputy. Hopefully we have made the Grand Final which is being played today. There will be live streaming of the match on afltas.com.au or follow the scores via twitter on @VAFA_HQ or on vafa.com.