By Ren Thompson – @renthompson
With only four rounds remaining in season 2016 every game is proving to have Finals implications as six teams continue to battle for the remaining three spots. A top three have clearly emerged with the undefeated Glen Eira, the high scoring Hawthorn, and the dominant La Trobe all recording victories and assured themselves September footy. Meanwhile the battle for positions four through six is heating up as the Vultures are hoping for a top four finish, South Melbourne are hanging on by the skin of their teeth to fifth, and Power House are hoping to crash their way into the top six with another stirring victory. Lets check out the games…
UHS-VU AFC def. Aquinas OC
UHS-VU showcased their scorching form as the Vultures proved too strong for Aquinas defeating them by 39 points, 98-59, en route to their sixth straight win and firm as a top four chance. A dominant third quarter where UHS-VU piled on five goals while holding the Bloods to only five behinds broke the game open as the lead ballooned to 47 points before the final margin. Aquinas now fall to their tenth straight loss and face the real prospect of regulation at season’s end facing a difficult run home. The Vultures on the other hand are firing on all cylinders and will be able to gauge their form travelling to face the undefeated Glen Eira next week in a great test before Finals footy.
Hawthorn AFC def. Canterbury Football Club
It was an absolute thumping at Canterbury Sportsground in Round 15 as Hawthorn booted an astonishing 27 goals in their 121-point win over Canterbury, 174-53. Jason Ince and Richard Ogge were on fire as the duo combined for 11 goals, while Sam Gold was the best on ground adding three goals himself for good measure. Rowan Moody was best for the Cobras who cling to sixth spot on the ladder on percentage alone, it was their early season thrashings that built that percentage and they will need to rediscover that early season form once again to hold on to their ladder spot to play in September.
Glen Eira AFC def. Elsternwick AFC
Perfection is becoming a real possibility now for the Glen Eira Saints as their dream season continues with a 113-point demolition of the Wickers, 146-33, at Elsternwick Park. Julius Waras Carstensen led the 11 individual goal-kickers with four goals as the Saints kicked their second biggest score of the season. Elsternwick struggled to hit the scoreboard in reply to the Saints onslaught going goalless in the second and fourth quarters to compound the pain as the Wickers have now lost seven straight games. The Saints run home includes hosting the red-hot Vultures, away to a pesky Swinny outfit and the showdown with the Hawks in Round 18, three wins away from the perfect 18-0 season, can they do it?
South Melbourne Districts def. Parkside Football Club
The Swans overcame a lacklustre first half performance to fight and scrap their way to a vital 5-point win over Parkside, 60-55, at Lindsay Hassett Oval. Trailing by 12 points at the half-time break Gary March pleaded with his chargers to lift and that is exactly what they did in a stellar third quarter where the Swans recorded four majors as they wrestled back the lead from a Parkside squad playing with pride powered by an impressive day from Anthony Vlitas and three goals from Steve Clarke but it wasn’t enough as the Swans held on to the much needed victory. With the win South Melbourne go two games clear in fifth place and hopefully have assured themselves to play Finals footy.
La Trobe University def. Albert Park AFC
La Trobe were a team on a mission at Beaurepaire Pavilion as they overcame last week’s frustrating loss with a resounding 78-point demolition of Albert Park, 114-36, and albeit secured a top four season finish in the process. The game was closer through three quarters than the final score reflected as it was nine-goal to one final quarter by the Trobers that resulted in the blow-out victory. Bryce Dowler booted five majors, Mitch Gleeson extended his lead in the goal-kicking race to 10 with another three goals taking his season total to 62, while Elliot Kelly was the best on the day for La Trobe. Although statistically still a chance Albert Park will need to win their final three games and have some results go their way to find themselves playing Finals footy.
Power House AFC def. Swinburne University AFC
Stirring second halves are becoming the calling card for Power House as they used a 10-goal second half to come from trailing by as much as 27 points to defeat Swinburne by 15 points, 89-74, at St. James Park. Needing the victory to stay in the hunt for the Finals, Power House used the second half scoring barrage to stun the Razorbacks who had led at every change before seeing the win slip through their grasp and possibly their Finals chances too with the loss. Declan Nannery and Eddie Nyary were the best for Power House in the win, while Nick Mauran was valiant in the defeat for Swinny. Power House have three very winnable games on their run home as they hope to extend their current winning streak that stands at three straight.
Round 16 might prove to be the defining round of season 2016 as Swinburne and Albert Park desperately need to score a win to remain with the Finals battle pack. Aquinas and Elsternwick face-off in a game where one team will finally avoid the pain of a loss and end their horror losing streaks. Hawthorn will look to stay on track to smash the season scoring record when they travel to face the inconsistent Swans. While Glen Eira will face one of the most difficult tests to their unbeaten season chances when they host the red-hot Vultures. However the game of the round might be the contest between Power House and Canterbury where both teams will be giving it their all as the winner will hold the sixth and last Finals spot, well for atleast one week. Can’t wait.
Aquinas OC vs Elsternwick AFC
La Trobe University AFC vs Swinburne University AFC
South Melbourne Districts vs Hawthorn AFC
Glen Eira AFC vs Uhs-Vu Afc
Parkside Football Club vs Albert Park AFC
Power House AFC vs Canterbury Football Club