By Jarryd McGuane – @JMcGuane
Round 13 of the Division 2 season has proven to be unlucky for some, as a surprise loss for MHSOB has taken control of fourth place out of their hands.
In the match of the round, Yarra Valley OB returned from the bye to hold off Eltham Collegians by four points at Doncaster Reserve. Eltham Collegians opened the game as the stronger side taking a seven-point lead despite less scoring shots. This awoke the Bushrangers, who piled on 6 goals to the Turtles three to lead by ten points at half time break. The only thing stopping Yarra Valley OB from leading by more was their inaccuracy and it would continue in third quarter. The Bushrangers would kick 5.3 but allowed 7.2 to see Turtles take a one-point lead into the final quarter despite four less scoring shots. Both sides added two goals in the final quarter but six more behinds for Yarra Valley OB secured the tight four-point victory. Jonathon Trend was best afield for the Bushrangers with three goals apiece for Ross Little and Christopher Hodgens. Ben Gill was arguably the best player on the field and for Eltham Collegians, adding nine goals to his season tally.
At Kevin Bartlett Reserve, Richmond Central remain winless as West Brunswick thumped the bottom side by 99 points. The game started slowly, with a single goal from West Brunswick giving them a seven-point lead at quarter time. The Magpies extended their lead to 19 points in the second quarter with a four goal to two second quarter. Richmond Central could hold West Brunswick to one goal in the third as the game stayed within reach at 21 points at the final change. The floodgates opened in the last with 14 goals to two stacked on by West Brunswick to see the margin finish at 99 points. Chris Germon had a day out for the Magpies with a bag of seven goals, with Chris Simpson getting his second best on ground performance in the last three weeks. Josh Sharp was the lone hand for Richmond Central up forward with three goals, and Beau Mcgoldrick battled hard for the Snakes.
In the upset of the round, Bulleen/Templestowe claimed their third win of the year defeating MHSOB by nine points at Ted Ajani Reserve. The game started in a back and forth fashion as it would remain throughout as both sides finished the first quarter at 3.5.23. MHSOB were the stronger side in the second quarter and would take a six-point lead into the half time break. But the Bushrangers blew the game open in the third and five goals to two gave them a 13-point lead into the last quarter. The Unicorns kept battling and reduced the margin in the final quarter but it was not enough as Bulleen/Templestowe secured the deserved nine-point victory. Brodie Mclaughlin was the best on the field from Bulleen/Templestowe, with three majors for Billy Wilson. Nicholas Hawking was the major goal kicker for MSHOB with three, with Mason Fennessy-Kent battling hard all day for the Unicorns.
A slow start at Thomas Carroll Reserve didn’t stop St Johns OC defeating Emmaus St Leos by 17 points in a low scoring game. Emmaus St Leos opened the game quicker of the two sides, getting two goals on the scoreboard to St Johns OC single goal to lead by four points. The top of the ladder JOC’s reduced the margin in the second as they were able to get three goals on the board to the Animals two to only trail by two points at the half time break. The best defence in the Division tightened as St Johns OC only allowed a single goal for the Animals in the third as they took the lead out to 13 points at the final change. Emmaus St Leos battled valiantly in the last with two goals, but St Johns OC had too much control to run out with the 17-point victory. Dylan Webb returned from two weeks of holidays for best on ground performance down back for the JOC’s, with Rohan Scott their major goal kicker with three. Paul Baranello and Daniel Hill kicked two each for the Animals, and Max Catchpool tried hard to hold of the strong JOC’s.
Round 14 of Division 2 sees Emmaus St Leos return home to Bennettswood to take on the inform Bulleen/Templestowe. A win for either side would see them jump their opposition on the ladder, with the possibility of the loser falling to second bottom. For that to happen, Eltham Collegians would have to return to their form that they had previous to bye as they face ladder leaders St Johns OC at Eltham College. Richmond Central remain at Kevin Bartlett Reserve as they still chase their first win of 2016, as they face Yarra Valley OB trying to maintain their hold on fourth place. While in the final game, fifth placed MHSOB hope a slip up from Yarra Valley OB and a win against third placed Preston Bullants at Melbourne High School will hand them fourth place back. West Brunswick enter the round with the bye and can rest assured of remaining at least four points ahead Preston.
Emmaus St Leos vs Bulleen/Templestowe
Eltham Collegians vs St Johns OC
Richmond Central vs Yarra Valley OB
MHSOB vs Preston Bullants
West Brunswick has the Bye