Is the Division 2 top four settled?

Posted on - Latest News, Featured, Division 2 Men's

By Jarryd McGuane – @JMcGuane

Round 15 of Division 2 saw the top four edge further away from the competition and two sides guarantee themselves Division 2 survival.

In the game that had a lot on the line for both sides, Eltham Collegians appear to have staved off relegation with a 30-point victory over MHSOB at Eltham College. The fifth placed MHSOB needed a win to remain in touch with the top four, but didn’t look like they had their head in the game from the start. They allowed the Turtles to get a four goal to one advantage and lead by 20 points at the first break. The momentum would remain in the second, as the Unicorns only could add one goal with three more Eltham Collegians goals saw the margin grow to 35 points at half time. With finals on the line, the Unicorns peppered the goal in the third quarter with nine scoring shots but only two being goals meant the margin was only reduced to 33 points. The final quarter would again see MHSOB win the quarter but inaccuracy again hurt any threat upon the Turtles as they ran away with the 30-point win. Ben Gill was again damaging up forward for the Turtles with four goals, with Tom Wenborn named their best on ground. Declan Hamilton-Ho battled hard for MHSOB, with Nathan Hawking adding three goals for the second straight week.

West Brunswick avoided an amazing upset and kept control of second place as they came from behind to defeat Bulleen/Templestowe by seven points at Ted Ajani Reserve. West Brunswick was the faster starter of the two sides jumping out to a nine-point quarter time lead. The inform Bullants showed that they may be out of final contention but are going to be dangerous, as they held the Magpies to one goal and kicked four of their own to take a 13-point lead into the long break. The margin would increase by one point by three quarter time as both sides kicked two goals in the term. But West Brunswick are in second place for a reason and they tightened the screws, allowing one goal and kicking four for the quarter to kill of the Bullants challenge. Evan Lloyd was influential for the Magpies for the second straight week, with four players kicking two goals apiece. Anthony Lucisano and Alan Hodges kicked two each for the Bullants, with Rob Edsall their best.

Yarra Valley OB overcame a slow first half and furthered secured their top four position from fifth placed MHSOB as they defeated Emmaus St Leos by 32 points at Doncaster Reserve. Yarra Valley OB were the better of the two sides in the first quarter taking a 10-point lead, despite inaccuracy hurting the Bullants. Emmaus St Leos continued to prove that they belong in Division 2, as it was their turn to dominate in the second quarter and they would take a six-point lead into the second half. The coach of the Bushrangers must have had some stirring words at the half as once again they came out firing, this time with a four goal to two quarter meant they would lead by 13 points at the final change. The floodgates opened in the last as both sides piled on the goals, the Animals despite four goals of their own would not reduce the margin as they allowed seven goals in an entertaining final quarter. Jordan Canham and Chris Hodgens combined for eight goals for the Bushrangers, with Rory Chipman earning his first best on ground performance of the season. Peter Baranello was the Animals best for the second week in a row and added three goals to be their leading goal scorer.

Despite a strong start, Richmond Central fell to the Preston Bullants by 33 points at W R Ruthven Reserve and appear certain of being relegated to Division 3 for 2017. The Snakes start strong defensively against the third placed Bullants, holding them to one behind and taking 14-point lead at the end of the first term. The Preston Bullants blew the game open in the second and showed why they are a threat to St Johns, as six goals to one gave the Bullants a 19-point lead. In an even third quarter, both sides added three goals as the Snakes were able to reduce the margin to 17 points. Richmond Central needed everything to go right in the final quarter but 1.6 in front of goal allowed the Preston Bullants to breathe easy with their four final quarter goals. Shay Keillor-Reed was the Bullants best, with four goals from Liam Carter being the major contribution on the field. The Snakes had no multiple goal kickers, with Beau McGoldrick again battling hard.

Round 16 sees Richmond Central still chasing their first win of the year against Eltham Collegians at Kevin Bartlett Reserve, despite already being guaranteed of relegation to Division 3. At Ransford Oval, West Brunswick host Emmaus St Leos as they try to extend their lead from Preston in third. The Preston Bullants feature in a real eight-point matchup as they face Yarra Valley OB as W R Ruthven Reserve with a Bushrangers win nearly guaranteeing a finals appearance. St Johns OC return from the bye as they face Bulleen/Templestowe at Thomas Carroll Reserve. MHSOB have the bye and hope that results go their way as they still chase a top four spot.

Tips

Richmond Central vs Eltham Collegians

West Brunswick vs Emmaus St Leos

Preston Bullants vs Yarra Valley OB

St Johns OC vs Bulleen/Templestowe

MHSOB has the bye