By Christian Burgess – Premier C Scribe
It looks like four clubs will be fighting off relegation prospects in the last five rounds. Ormond, Marcellin and Old Camberwell are all equal on three wins with incredibly tight percentage separating the three while Oakleigh sit in 7th spot after Old Camberwell defeated them by one goal last Saturday. All of the mentioned four teams excluding Old Camberwell will face a top 4 side this weekend, making the last four rounds even more crucial. According to the current ladder positions, Ormond will have the easiest run home of the bottom three sides while Marcellin in 9th position will have the most difficult. At the other end of the ladder, Caulfield moved to top spot which is the first ladder change since Round 3 this year. The top four teams are all likely to remain and contest in September but have two challengers in Kew and Williamstown who are two games behind the top four. Of those two, Kew looks the most threatening. They have defeated Mazenod and Old Ivanhoe in recent weeks with two admirable defeats including an 8 point loss to Caulfield and a 3 point loss to Peninsula.
Old Ivanhoe’s critical inclusions including Groth, Everington, Colbert and Ferguson played pivotal roles in the Hoe’s win over Williamstown with all four of the inclusions featuring in either the Hoe’s best or goal kickers. Williamstown’s second quarter saw them shoot to a 22 point lead thanks to their six goals and seven behinds to the Hoe’s three points. But that was where the run stopped, thanks to Mal Mitris marking and repelling all of the Cy’s attack. With only one point separating the two at ¾ time in the Cy’s favour , and the Hoe’s kicking into the wind, they managed to finish strongly kicking 6.3 to the Cy’s 1.4. The Del Monte duo proved unstoppable. Michael continued to feed his brother Adrian, who dominated the forward line kicking seven of his sides 13 goals. Williamstown missed the chance to make their move in the final four had they defeated the Hoe’s. They now sit 6th on the ladder, only percentage behind Kew and will face Old Camberwell (8th position) this Saturday. Old Ivanhoe now nervously sit in 4th position, the last position up for grabs for those chasing a finals appearance which is highly sought after by Kew and Williamstown.
Caulfield Grammarians never looked worried during their comfortable victory over Ormond at Glenhuntly Oval. The Fields averaged over nine scoring shots for each quarter in what looked like a one sided affair according to the score card, but both sides missed their chances. The Fields could have possibly extended their lead to beyond 100 points if it weren’t for their 21 behinds and Ormond could have walked away with more confidence had it not been for the 29% efficiency in front of goal. Barker, Reilly and O’Keefe and snagged three goals each whilst Simic, Stewart and Meddings managed two each. Ormond’s main man in attack, Robert Chisholm was reduced to only two goals whilst Luke Gogis was best for Ormond for the second consecutive week, and has appeared in his clubs best 9 of a possible 13 times.
Peninsula put in another dominant display against Marcellin and only require one more win in the last five games to lock themselves in for finals. In over a month, the Pirates have not had less than 30 scoring shots, with last Saturdays performance a highlight again with 40. It was a low scoring opening quarter with 9th placed Marcellin going into the first break up by one point. However after quarter time, the Pirates kicked 20 goals and 13 behinds to extend their lead from 52 points at half time, to 78 points at three quarter time before eventually finishing 90 points clear of Marcellin. Stefan Barbour was at his best combining with Alexander Marshall who played his best game for the season, totaling for 11 goals. Marcellin remain in 9th position on the ladder and of the bottom three teams, have the most difficult run home (according to current ladder positions).
Kew provided the upset of the round, keeping their finals chances alive by defeating Mazenod who have now dropped two games in a row. Mazenod jumped out of the blocks best, racing to a 24 point lead at quarter time. But, the Nodders would only manage one more goal after quarter time as Kew found their feet and played a more direct brand of football on their home deck. Kew pride themselves on tough, contested football at Victoria Park, and after quarter time, they did just that. Liam Kinsella used his pace to cut through Mazenod’s defence opening up opportunities for his forwards. Lachlan James soaked up his opportunities in front of goal kicking 3 majors. Kew’s impressive win keeps them in the hunt for a finals appearance and shows what they are capable of come September but cannot afford to lose another game during their last five. Mazenod were uncharacteristic as their usual ‘choker hold’ defence that keeps teams from scoring was opened up to Kew’s 22 scoring shots.
Old Camberwell are doing all they can to fight off relegation including their one goal victory over 7th placed Oakleigh. That win put the Wellers in 8th spot due to their percentage but now keeps Oakleigh within arm’s reach of the bottom three. The Wellers jumped to a 20 point lead at quarter time and despite the contest being closer than the scoreboard reflected, the Wellers extended their lead to 29 points at half time. The Krushers had enough of the football but struggled to make an impact on the score board when the Wellers often capitalised inside their forward 50. Despite an inaccurate third term to the Wellers, it looked as though they had done enough, kicking 3.7 and extending their lead beyond 6 goals. But, a gallant final term saw the Krushers fall agonisingly short kicking 6.6 to the Wellers 2.3, failing by 6 points at the final siren. It had the potential to be a shootout between second and third placed goal kickers, Cloke and Kanz. Kanz finished the beneficiary with 5 majors and the four points to Cloke’s three goals.
Expect the ferocity of the competition to build in the remaining five games as every team now has extra motivation, with either relegation or promotion a possible outcome.
Mazenod v Ormond
Old Ivanhoe v Marcellin
Caulfield v Kew
Old Camberwell v Williamstown
Peninsula v Oakleigh