Burbury helps Ogs bump Bloods from top as Fields assume mantle

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Mitch op’t Hoog – @mitch_hoog

First game back after the Queen’s Birthday bye weekend and many clubs will be thankful for the rest it provided. However, a few teams mightn’t have been too happy with the timing of the bye to interrupt their momentum and good form; none more so than Old Haileybury who were dealt a shock defeat at the hands of an impressive Old Geelong outfit. With Round 9 in the rearview mirror, we’re now officially half way through the 2017 season and there’s still only eight points separating third and ninth place, that’s just two wins between a finals berth and relegation disaster. With a lot of football yet to be played, there’s still plenty of time for teams to put their hands up and start widening the gaps in the Premier C ladder.

After claiming in Round 8 that Old Geelong are capable and worthy of their Premier C status, they’ve come out in Round 9 and proven me right. Travelling away from home and and facing off against top of the table, Old Haileybury, you could be forgiven for giving Old Geelong little chance of a win. However, the Ogs came out firing and managed to inflict Old Haileybury with their second loss for the year in a nail biter. Not to be mistaken for a lucky win, this was a complete performance from Old Geelong, whose elite midfield restricted the Bloods run for a majority of the game. George Burbury led from the front and was best on ground, dominating on all fronts for four quarters and clearly showing why he’s the only Premier C player to be selected in the 2017 Big V Squad. In saying that, the Bloods will be disappointed they weren’t able to snatch the victory from the jaws of defeat given they had 12 scoring shots to three in the final term. In the end, Old Geelong’s defence, with the help of their hard-running mids, did just enough to hold on by the skin of their teeth and claim the upset of the year by four points. The Bloods’ will be none too happy with the timing of the bye weekend disrupting their five game winning streak. For all their hard work, Old Geelong fail to climb a spot on the ladder and remain in seventh with four wins.

With Old Haileybury falling to Old Geelong, Caulfield Grammarians took their chance to assert their dominance on Premier C and reclaim top spot on the ladder. Unfortunately for Hampton Rovers, they bore the brunt of Caulfield’s dominant display and were handed a 107-point beating. The Fields comprehensive performance will send chills down the spine of the Bloods coach, Daniel Ward, ahead of their Round 10 top-of-table clash. The Fields ran rampant around the ground and extended their lead at every break. It was Declan Reilly who did most of the scoreboard damage, kicking a bag of six for the second week in a row and taking his season tally to 28. We know Caulfield are an attacking machine, and with their impressive score of 130, they made it seven weeks in a row where they’ve scored over 120 points. However, possibly more impressive was their defensive display in Round 9, holding the Rovers to just two goals for the day. Andre Lister and Tim Nixon both continued their strong form and were named two of the Fielders’ best for the fifth time this year.

Old Ivanhoe once again proved what they’re capable of, kicking their biggest score for the year and defeating the in-form Williamstown CYMS by a comfortable 47 points. The CYs were coming off four wins from their past five games and were the favourites heading into the match against the Hoers. Right from the start, the fresh legs of both sides after the week off was apparent and both teams combined for 20 goals in the first half of football. The Hoers lead by just 14 points at halftime, and the game was still there for the CYs to claim. However, in the second half, it was Old Ivanhoe, led by Sam Geilings, who were able to maintain the leg speed and kick 12 goals to six in the last two quarters to claim the important win. Sam Geilings is becoming somewhat of a barometer for the Old Ivanhoe team and every time he plays well, the team seems to follow his lead. If they’re looking to get serious and cause some real damage in the next half of the season, Gielings will look to be one of their go to players. In a high-scoring affair, both teams had some impressive displays from their forwards with Brandon Lee top scoring with five for the Hoers. William Ostrowsky was Williamstown CYMS’s best in front of goal with four. For the Hoers, this was an important win in a classic eight point game, and now, despite their unflattering percentage of 89.38, they sit fourth on the ladder with an equal win-loss ratio to the third-placed CYs.

Old Camberwell secured their fifth win for the season to remain within touch of the top four mid way through the year defeating Kew by 55 points at Gordon Barnard Reserve. Kew would have been feeling hopeful after the bye weekend, but the Wellers left little chance of the Bears snaring their first win for the year after the lead at halftime was blown out to 39 points. Kew did manage to outscore Old Camberwell in the third, but failed to take any of that momentum into the final quarter where Old Camberwell kicked away to claim the 55-point win. Chris Hensby continued his good form for the Wellers, kicking two goals and claiming BOG honours for the second week in a row. Nicholas Adamson bagged four to take his season tally to 25 from just the six games. It’s worth mentioning that it was the first game for the year where Kew’s elite forward, Andrew Brazzale, was held goalless. Max Waters and Jack Delbridge did their utmost to the fill the void for the struggling Bears.

Old Mentonians continue their fall from grace making it five losses from their last six matches as Marcellin managed to get themselves back in the winners books after three losses on the trot. The Eagles 47-point win was set up in the second quarter, when, after leading by just five points at the first break, they managed to kick eight goals to two and skip away to a 41-point halftime lead. The second half was evenly matched with Marcellin kicking eight goals to the Panthers seven. Jackson Green was the Eagles best for the second successive match while Andrew Kay booted four. Kyle Conlon worked hard all day for the Panthers as he capped off a solid month of footy with a best on for the losing side. The Panthers now find themselves in the unenviable position of eighth on the ladder, one game clear of the Hampton Rovers who sit in the relegation zone. They’re going to need to do some soul searching in the coming weeks to see if they can snap out of this rut and get their season back on track.