Division 4: Point Cook and Box Hill North to step up

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

By Rich Hummerson – @Richie_Humm

The bye week. It can be a blessing or a curse. For sides that have already cemented their seat upon the finals express, it’s undoubtedly a blessing. A chance for the players to rest their weary calves, book a brief sojourn to Bali (providing the ash cloud buggers off), enjoy a bit of team bonding, collaborate on a boy band idea to raise funds for footy trip and take stock before their shot at the ultimate prize.

But for the sides climbing their way up the ladder, the bye makes for drastically different reading. Riding the wave of momentum, the bye proves to be an annoying roadblock, stifling the much-needed momentum as they head towards the end of the home and away season, and with it, the hopeful pull of finals.

With the challenges an 11-side competition throws up, time will tell which sides have negotiated the bye weeks better.

With juggernauts Canterbury and Westbourne on the sidelines this week, it allowed sides of the ilk of Point Cook and Box Hill North to step out from under the radar, and bathe in the glory traditionally afforded to the top tiers of the ladder.

Box Hill North played host to Masala at Elgar Park on Saturday. In a romance novel, the proclaimed champion of multiculturalism in football would have stormed passed Box Hill and claimed the points during Multicultural Round. Unfortunately, the picturesque meander through the leafy eastern suburbs of Melbourne would be as good as it got for the travelling Masala, going down by 127 points. Given the arctic breeze that appears to have plagued Melbourne for the past six weeks, the conditions at Elgar Park were sublime, with a great display of skills on show for the unusually large crowd. Daniel Penny was formidable up for throughout the day, kicking seven, a total that would have been much higher had he not been suffering from a case of the yips in front of the big sticks. Nicholas Lang played his best game for the club to date; some estimates on his disposal count reaching above 50. While Leon Desmond played a brilliant second fiddle role to Penny, kicking four and unselfishly dishing many more off. For Masala who tried all day, It was Bradley Park and Samuel Freeman who impressed.

North Brunswick, Parside and Mount Lilydale are all fighting it out for the last two rungs in the top six. As much as I hate the adage, the Parkside vs Mount Lilydale at Pilcher Park, was most certainly an eight point game. With Mount Lilydale’s season having more peaks and troughs than a night out with Ricky Nixon (toot toot), it’s hard to ever predict their form, and despite coming up against a side lower than them on the ladder, they crawled out of the gates. Parkside were the polar opposite, piling on the first four goals of the game and building what would prove an unassailable lead.  Scott McLaren notched up what must be BOG number 13 this season, clearing the ball at will and making incredibly light work of the throng of opponents he endured throughout the day. Timothy Wise was back to his usual lofty standards and Darren Gresham put in his best performance to date for the club. Despite the thrashing, Mount Lilydale was buoyed by performances from Daniel Dimitriou, Nick Hartrup and Adam Thorne. Their season looks to be coming to an end, with finals appearing almost out of reach after a very disappointing month.

As all games are at this end of the season, it was a must win for North Brunswick as they left the trendy north and headed to the industrial west for their clash against Point Cook. Leaving their fixies and beard oil behind, the Bulls headed across the Westgate brimming with confidence. The canvas to announce themselves as genuine contenders awaited.  Unfortunately for the Bulls, the return trip was far less enthusiastic, heading back north with a 39-point loss in tow. After a lamentable first term, the Bulls rallied in the 2nd term, and went into the sheds only 2 kicks down. After a brutal address nearly worthy of a YouTube upload from the Point Cook coaching staff, the Bulldogs came out firing, flexing their bicep and running out comfortable victors. William Dawson was sensational in front of goal for Point Cook kicking 7 goals, and Mason Kip had the ball on a string. For North Brunswick, it was Luke Mahoney and Peter Putler who stood tall.

The Match of the Round for round 17 is potentially season-defining. Box Hill North hosts Point Cook in a clash that, with a win, could see Box Hill North lock up 4th and Point Cook become a genuine chance at top 2. With Old Westbourne due to take on Canterbury in round 18 and Point Cook hooked up to face Mt Lilydale in the final round, a win could see them avoid playing Box Hill North in the first week of the finals. They’ll win by 23 points.

Tips

Masala v Parkside
North Brunswick v Westbourne Grammarians
Canterbury v South Mornington
Box Hill North v Point Cook
Manningham

VAFA Statement
Posted February 24, 2024
SKOB Saints in the Top End
Posted February 9, 2024
2024 Division 3 Men’s Fixture
Posted February 9, 2024