Mitch op’t Hoog
Yet again, Premier C has thrown some curve balls at the loyal punters with Round 3 producing some genuine upsets and surprise victories. Old Ivanhoe pulled off the win of the round against an in form Old Haileybury while Old Geelong claimed their first win of the season against a previously undefeated Old Camberwell. In the wake of all the upsets, it’s Old Mentonians who have risen to the top of Premier C and remain the only undefeated team.
In an upset few saw coming, an unassuming Old Ivanhoe Grammarians held off Old Haileybury by two points to secure their first win for the season in a nail biter. While the Bloods day was marred by inaccuracy, the Hoers had some standout performers to help them open their account in 2017. The Haileybury players won’t be looking forward to watching the replay of the final term as the Hoes kicked two straight goals to the Bloods seven behinds. Had the Bloods converted more than five goals from their 26 attempts, the end result would’ve been very different. To Ivanhoe’s credit, they had some standout performances from their key players, namely their captain, Mal Mitris. Mitris was everywhere for the Hoers and is building himself a reputation as a big game player. Mitris was well supported by David Bruno who dominated the ruck duel in his first senior game for the year. The Bloods will lose top spot following the loss but with a bit of kicking practice during the week and building on the strong performance from Adam Budge for the second consecutive week, I suspect the Bloods will bounce back in no time.
After their reality check against Old Haileybury last week, Caulfield Grammarians bounced back in style to record a 58-point over Williamstown CYMS who were coming off a solid performance against Old Geelong. Grammarians came out flying, collecting seven scoring shots in the first quarter to the CY’s four. Yet, despite their early dominance, Caulfield failed to convert early and at half time there was only a 15-point distance between the two teams. In the second half, though, the Fields put their kicking boots on and that all changed. The 15-point half time deficit increased to 29 points heading into the last term and in the final stanza, it only grew larger. Caulfield piled on eight goals to three and stormed home to record their second win of the year. Jackson Small was named best afield and Louis O’Keefe bagged three for the Fields to take his tally to eight for the season. William Ostrowsky and Daniel Calman-Orr can hold their heads high after solid performances for the CYs.
Old Geelong started well and stayed strong to keep a fast finishing Old Camberwell at bay and record a three goal win to open their account in 2017. Taking advantage of the scoring end in the first quarter, Old Geelong raced out to 23-point quarter time lead. In the second term, Old Camberwell fought back and reduced the margin to two goals at the long break. Having come from behind to win in both Round 1 and 2, the Wellers again found themselves with a task ahead of them. It took another clutch performance from Simon Bennett (five) to keep his team in with a chance, but unfortunately, this week too few of his teammates followed his lead. Old Geelong managed to steady the ship and secure their first win for the season in a hard fought battle. Will Sloss, Harry Graham and George Burbury (two) all starred for the Ogs in what was a much-needed win for the recently promoted side. After their first loss for the season, The Wellers sit fifth, and after their first win for the year the Ogs move to seventh.
In the wake of the Bloods upset loss, Old Mentonians have taken over as Premier C ladder-leaders heading into Round 4. The Panthers served Kew their third disheartening loss for the year to assert their dominance on Premier C and clearly position Kew at the bottom of the ladder with a percentage of just 38.66. To Kew’s credit, there were just two points in it at quarter time, however, in the second quarter, the Panthers flicked a switch, started hitting targets and kicked eight goals in a hurry to establish an insurmountable lead. Jack Davis (five) and Luke Hull (four) did the bulk of the damage in front of goal while 2016 Pepper Medallist Daniel Maitland was at his dominant best. Andrew Brazzale (four), Rob Maibaum (four), and Daniel Boehm were best afield for the Bears in what was their smallest loss for the year.
Marcellin continued to impress in Round 3 as they climb to second spot on the ladder defeating a sluggish Hampton Rovers by 46-points. It was a six-goal to one second term that put the Rovers to bed early and gave the Eagles the half time lead. Despite holding the Eagles goalless in the third term, the Rovers lacked firepower up forward to do any scoreboard damage of their own. For Marcellin, it was Robert Costanzo (four) and Daniel Mc Mahon (three) who did the most damage. It was Luke Deville who performed best for the now eighth placed Rovers. If they’re hoping to return to Premier B in the near future, the Rovers are going to need to turn their season around, starting against Old Ivanhoe next week.
In this week’s matches, Williamstown CYMS at home take on a red hot Marcellin. I’m tipping Marcellin by a very slender margin. Hampton Rovers will look to bounce back and get their season on track against Old Ivanhoe Grammarians who’re coming off the back of a nice win. I’m hoping Rovers will recover and record their second win for the year. Caulfield will face off against Old Camberwell in what should be a competitive match. I’m going with Caulfield to win by 3-4 goals. Old Haileyburians will look to bounce back against top-of-the-table Old Mentonians in what should be a blockbuster of a match. I’m picking Mentonians to continue their good form and remain undefeated after Round 4, only just. Lastly, Kew, still searching for their first win, will come up against Old Geelong. This should be a comfortable win for Old Geelong, though I’m hoping the Bears can produce something to get their season started!
Williamstown CYMS v Marcellin
Hampton v Old Ivanhoe
Caulfield v Old Camberwell
Old Haileybury v Old Mentonians
Kew v Old Geelong