All business from here in Division 2

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

By Jarryd McGuane – @JMcGuane

The last round of the Division 2 regular season saw MHSOB fall short of finals, as wins for Yarra Valley OB and West Brunswick locked in the top four positions.

St Johns OC finished their season in the best possible shape as they defeated relegated Richmond Central by 283 points at Thomas Carroll Reserve. It was Richmond Central’s last chance to for a win in 2016, but they were outmatched from the opening bounce. They would be held scoreless in the first half, giving up 12 and eight goals in each quarter respectively to trail by 73 points at quarter time and 127 points at half time. St Johns continued the same onslaught in the second half kicking 10 goals in the third and 14 in the last, while Richmond Central remained scoreless. St Johns OC goal sneak Aaron Thornton came off a few dry weeks to claim the Division’s leading goal kicker with 16 for the day and a best on ground performance. Mitch Broughton tried hard all day for the Snakes.

West Brunswick secured second place on the ladder heading into to finals and ended the final hopes of MHSOB, as they defeated the Unicorns by 20 points at Melbourne High School. West Brunswick started the stronger of the two sides, putting four goals on the scoreboard while giving up two to lead by 10 points. The momentum switched in the second, as the Unicorns piled on 5.0 to 3.4 for the Magpies as West Brunswick held onto a two-point half time lead. This would be as close as the Unicorn would get for the remainder, as West Brunswick led by 16 points at three quarter time and 20 points at the final siren. Zac Tisdale maintained his fine goal kicking form for West Brunswick with five, as Codie Wills was the best on ground. Kane Smith was gallant up forward with four for the Unicorns, and Matt White battled hard all day.

Despite inaccuracy, Yarra Valley OB sealed the final place in the top four as they held off Bulleen/Templestowe by 37 points at Ted Ajani Reserve. The game started in a tight fashion as both sides kicked three goals, with an extra behind for Yarra Valley gave them the smallest of quarter time lead. The Bullants didn’t keep up their attacking flair in the second quarter, as they were held to two behinds for the quarter and conceding two goals to trail by 17 at half time. But the momentum turned after the break as four Bulleen/Templestowe goals to two for the Bushrangers had the game balance at five points at three quarter time. The final quarter followed the pattern of the second as it was five goals to none in the favour of Yarra Valley was the difference. Ben Trend was again Yarra Valley’s best, with Matt Stone putting three goals through. Jack Cowell put in another performance as Bulleen/Templestowe’s best.

Preston Bullants overcame a slow start to defeat a gallant Eltham Collegians side by 35 points at W.R. Ruthven Reserve.  The Turtles have been a dangerous side this season and this game was no exception as they jumped out to a 16-point quarter time lead. Preston overturned the deficit in the second through a five goal to one quarter to lead by 10 points. After half time, Eltham Collegians took their turn to win the quarter on the scoreboard, but only reduced the margin by one point to a nine point three quarter deficit. In the last, it was a repeat of the second quarter as the Bullants kicked away to victory with five goals two one. Jay Phelan put in a strong shift for Preston and the majority of the damage was done by Roland Buttigieg. Bryan Galvin slammed through four goals for the losing side, with support around the ground from Jonathan Iaquinto.

With the regular season over, we now move into the business end of the season with the Division 2 final series. The qualifying final sees St Johns OC facing West Brunswick, with the winner advancing to the grand final in three weeks’ time. St Johns OC have been the dominate the best part of the season with injuries effecting major players, so I would be extremely surprised if their currently fit side didn’t advance straight to the grand final. Preston Bullants face Yarra Valley OB in the elimination final to face the loser of the qualifying final. Preston were unlucky to miss out on second place because of percentage and proved throughout the season they are not to be taken lightly. Late season form has gotten the Bushrangers into this position and their best can match anyone in the competition. Despite this, in what I expect to be a tight affair, Yarra Valley OB’s form will evade them and the Bullants will advance.


Preston Bullants vs Yarra Valley OB

St Johns OC vs West Brunswick