By Ren Thompson – @renthompson
Round 17 answered one question; the six teams heading to the finals are set. The Vultures and La Trobe continue their hot form, Glen Eira bounce back after a defeat, Albert Park grits out a win playing for pride, and Hawthorn are smashing scoring records is what abounds in Round 17. Lets check out the games…
UHS-VU AFC def. Canterbury Football Club
A first quarter barrage has propelled the Vultures to a victory as they defeated the Cobras by 27 points, 110-83, at Brens Oval and secured fourth place in the process. From the opening bounce UHS-VU were determined to put the result beyond doubt as they booted an impressive six goals to Canterbury’s two and springboard to their eighth straight victory hitting form at the best time of the year. Nick Rowland put in a best on ground performance while Kynan Barnes slotted four majors in the win. After an explosive opening to season 2016 the Cobras found the second half of the season tough going and have now been eliminated from the Finals, next week’s final game against Parkside will be the final hit out of an inconsistent 2016 but are assured of another season in Division 3.
Albert Park AFC def. Elsternwick AFC
The Falcons have added to the woes of Elsternwick handing them their ninth straight defeat, this time by 20 points, 88-68, at Elsternwick Park. With both teams playing for pride, Albert Park missing out on Finals footy and Elsternwick heading down at season’s end, the teams came out swinging in an entertaining first half where the Wickers clung to a narrow 2-point lead heading into the main break. However it was a third quarter where Albert Park kicked two goals and an astonishing eight behinds where they wrestled back the lead from Elsternwick for good en route to their seventh win of the season. James Brick had another man of the match performance and arguably has secured the Falcons player of the year. For the Wickers James Christie lead the resistance but it wasn’t enough for the home team.
La Trobe University AFC def. South Melbourne Districts
La Trobe continue their stellar recent form at the business time of the year as they were too strong for South Melbourne defeating them by 53 points, 111-58, recording their twelfth win in the past thirteen games. Showcasing the best defence in the division the Trobers were tenacious holding the Swans to a single point in not only the first quarter but also the third quarter while they continued to pile on the goals. Bryce Dowler recorded six majors in the blow-out win with Michael Burrowes dominating all game long. Rory Kennedy was valiant in defeat for South Melbourne that grips to fifth place ahead their final game against Swinburne. La Trobe’s Mitch Gleeson looks to have sewn up the goal-kicking race in the victory finishing with another three goals, moving to 69 on the season and extend his lead to seven with only a game to go.
Power House AFC def. Parkside Football Club
Knowing a win would secured them Finals football Power House were on a mission as they thrashed the Red Devils by 85 points, 120-35, at Pitcher Park. The visitors exploded out of the gate scoring 11 goals to four in the opening half understanding that it needed a complete team effort to gain the victory against the pesky Parkside squad, the squad responded with 11 individual goal-kickers chipping in for the win. Darragh Leonard and Barry Cox were among the best for Power House while Michael Muir and Darren Gresham tried all day for Parkside playing with a nothing the lose mentality. The victory extends Power House’s winning streak to five straight games, and with a potential first round Finals match-up against either Hawthorn or Glen Eira, their hot form could cause some concern for the top teams. We shall wait and see.
Hawthorn AFC def. Aquinas OC
Another week another thrashing by Hawthorn. This week it was Aquinas who felt the immense scoring pressure of the Hawks as they suffered a 137-point demolition, 186-46, at Rathmines Road Reserve. The impressive 27-goal onslaught by the league leaders, including Sam Gold and Ross McDermott each recording bags of six majors, and 10 individual goal-kickers that has seen Hawthorn smash the Division 3 scoring record. In 2012 Yarra Valley scored 2336 points from 18 games, this season Hawthorn have flown past that already scoring 2467 points with a game in hand! Can any team stop them?
Glen Eira AFC def. Swinburne University AFC
Glen Eira returned to their winning ways with a 119-point thumping of Swinburne University, 170-51, at St. James Park. A team that was evidently frustrated after last week’s first loss of the season, the Saints removed all talk of dropping two straight games as they booted nine goals and held Swinny to a single behind in the first quarter dominating the contest. However the Saints were not finished marching just yet, adding to the woes of the Razorbacks slotting another nine goals in the third quarter while holding Swinny scoreless. A dominant display of football. 13 goal-kickers all added to the enormous score and the incredible defensive effort from the team on a mission. Next up for Glen Eira is Hawthorn and their scoring wrath with the winner enjoying a massive advantage.
The final six are set, although the battles at the top and for fifth continue to rage as we head into the final round of the season. La Trobe and UHS-VU will look to get through their last round match-ups injury free and should continue their winning form. Power House could leap South Melbourne with a win over the Wickers, while the Swans host the pesky Swinny. However the major match-up is between Glen Eira and Hawthorn that will see the winner secure the number 1 spot in a mouth-watering match-up and potentially a grand final preview.
Aquinas OC vs La Trobe University AFC
Canterbury Football Club vs Parkside Football Club
South Melbourne Districts vs Swinburne University AFC
Albert Park AFC vs UHS-VU AFC
Glen Eira AFC vs Hawthorn AFC
Power House AFC vs Elsternwick AFC