Division 3: Four to the floor

Posted on - Latest News, Featured, Division 3 Men's

By Gavin Southern – @gavsouthern

With the first week of finals now over, the three games that were played had a little bit of everything. Some one-sided affairs and an upset. What we’ve learned is that you need to bring your “A” game and only the strong will survive. Emmaus St. Leo’s didn’t skip a beat, Hawthorn are 8 on the trot, the Magpies still have goal-kicking issues and Aquinas, who could go out in straight sets, are looking very vulnerable. To the games:

Hawthorn defeated Aquinas

Hawthorn and Aquinas had to travel out to Casey Fields for the battle between 3rd and 4th. Hawthorn came out of the blocks fired up and could have buried them early, however they missed opportunities in front of goal with a strong breeze behind them. Aquinas took their opportunities in the second and kicked some good goals in the term when they had the wind to draw level at half time. The Hawks controlled the ball well in the third and really got on top of them through Jesse “Big Show” Lehmann and Jesse “Little Show” Kenneally. Aquinas was very focused on man of the match, Sam Gold and Dave Pritchard. This allowed Tom Bowler and our other midfielders to run riot. Patrick O’Leary and Alex Guthrie were best for the Bloods. Stephen Tibb and Sam Williams top scored with 2 goals apiece. Jason Ince was the only multiple goal kicker with 2 goals. The loss for Aquinas now has them up against Emmaus St. Leo’s next week, which is not what both of them would have wanted.

Emmaus St.  Leo’s defeated UHS-VU

I checked out Emmaus St. Leo’s and UHS-VU at Scammell Reserve in Oakleigh on Sunday. A cold but sunny day was perfect for the players. The Animals asserted their authority early but were inaccurate in front of goal, kicking 6 goals 8 to 1 goal 2. The Vultures were still upbeat at quarter time, understanding what they were doing wrong and it was clear they still had the belief. The 2nd quarter was a tighter affair but the Animals extended their lead by a further 3 goals to a 54 point margin. Wayward kicking and errors trying to link up cost them a bigger lead as they broke down on a number of occasions. The third was a similarly tight affair but the last quarter was a shoot out, 10 goals to 7 with the Animals taking out an 89-point victory. Anthony Ballard was controlling the backline, Johnathan O’Connor winning the taps and Alex “Doogs” McDougall was creating early. Ryan Harding finished with 6 goals but, it was the high marking of Chris Beluszar (4 goals) who looked more dangerous.  For the Vultures, John Clark (3 goals) seemed to be everywhere, Kane Benstead had 2 goals and Sam McSweeney battled manfully down back.  Man of the match honours was given to Callum Hogan. Not a bad hit-out for the Animals who have one hand on the cup.

West Brunswick defeated Swinburne Uni

West Brunswick and Swinburne University both made the trek north to Garvey Oval, Bundoora for 2nd Vs. 5th. After an arm-wrestle in the first 8 minutes or so, it was the Razorbacks who hit the scoreboard first and were looking sharp early. The Magpies have been struggling in front of goals throughout the year and their woes continued, kicking the next 3 goals 9 before the Razorbacks next point. The third quarter again was tough going for both teams. The Razorbacks snapped 2 quick goals to reduce the margin to 9 but, with about 4-5 minutes left, the Magpies put on 2 goals to maintain the 20-point buffer, which really took the wind out of Swinburne’s sails. Going into the last, neither side could get going until 10 minutes to go, where the Magpies were able to snag 4 goals 2 and run out the match 54 point victors. Dylan Muscat again topped all scorers with 4 goals and James Simpson was BOG for the Magpies. For the Razorbacks, Michael Daly kicked 2 goals and Marcus Lingham and Ben Higgins were the shining lights. Swinburne University will be looking to reboot over the offseason in order to take the next step.

PREVIEW

With Hawthorn throwing a spanner in the works, the Semi finals will be two absolute crackers. It really is anybody’s game. 

Emmaus St. Leo’s Vs. Aquinas – The Animals are a potent line-up. Ryan Harding came off early, aggravating a groin last week but should be right to play. With or without him, their forward line is without doubt their strength. We haven’t seen Ben Nucifora since June and Nick Morrison-Story has also been out the last 2 weeks. The Bloods will need a complete performance to pull this off and I don’t think they will. Emmaus St. Leo’s.

West Brunswick Vs. Hawthorn – People mention the Div 4 Grand Final replay but the Magpies and Hawks are bona-fide division 3 sides now. They faced off in the opening round and both are have vastly improved since then. There is a strong rivalry between these two and both have an incredible knowledge of the other’s game. Hawthorn is the form team in the competition, however the Magpies still boast the best defence. Goalkicking is the key as both struggled in that department last week. This will be an incredible game of footy, so get down to Meade Reserve on Sunday afternoon. West Brunswick

TIPS

Emmaus St. Leo’s Vs. Aquinas
West Brunswick Vs. Hawthorn