Who will step up in the second half of the year in Division 3?

Posted on - Latest News, Featured, Division 3 Men's

Half through the regular season and, like many other VAFA sections, the competition in Division 3 is a tight one. Currently, the teams sitting anywhere from fourth place to eighth place on the ladder can only be separated on percentage. As we move into the second half of the year, it will be interesting to see which teams, and more importantly which team leaders, put their hands up to take the reins and steer their side clear of the relegation zone and into finals contentions. At this stage it’s anyone’s guess, but one thing’s for sure, UHS-VU and Power House are a lock for finals as they continue cruising at the top end of the table.

The Vultures secured their ninth win of the season when they met Westbourne Grammarians at Brens Oval. The Vultures were made to work to keep their unbeaten record alive as Westbourne started well, kicking five goals straight to lead by nine points at quarter time. There was reason for concern in the UHS-VU camp as Westbourne again kicked truly on every attempt to record eight goals straight by halftime. However, the third quarter proved to be decisive as UHS-VU kicked away with Mitchell Sweeney booting five for the day to bring his goal tally to 25 for the season as Michael Hurley showed his class with a best on ground performance as his side ran out 24-point winners. For the Warriors, Benjamin Johnson was dangerous in front of goal snagging five as Michael Culliver and Agon Bahtiri were the most impressive for the away side around the ground. Westbourne will look to get back to the winners ledger when they face Point Cook next week whilst UHS-VU might have a goal scoring shootout against Richmond Central.

La Trobe put distance between themselves and the relegation zone as they had an important win over Canterbury at the La Trobe University Oval. The Trobers showed their mettle in the tight encounter with the Cobras who will challenge for a finals spot. It was hard to split the evenly matched sides as the Trobers held a three-point lead at halftime. The second half saw La Trobe stay strong and kick seven goals to the Cobras’ five and run the game out  surprise 10-point victors. Brady McDonald was best on ground for La Trobe in the attritional match as Jonathan Neville (4) was the main destroyer in front of goal. For the Cobras, the goal kicking load was shared with Ryan Pearce, Mitchell Szabo and Thomas Lowden all kicking two goals as the latter was named best afield. Canterbury travel to the Ross Gregory Oval next week to face in-form Power House fresh off a dominant display against Swinburne University.

Richmond Central are one of five teams only one win away from the relegation zone as they found themselves on the winners list with a win over bottom placed South Melbourne. The Snakes have been reignited in 2017 after failing to win a game for two years in senior football. Currently, they sit seventh on the ladder via percentage. South Melbourne may have been thinking this week was the week they could break their duck in terms of losses when they found themselves leading by three points at quarter time. However, the Snakes proved their class in the final three terms, overpowering the Bloods and kicking away to run out 29-point victors. Jake Munro proved again why he’s one of the best forwards in the competition, snagging six majors for the day while Cameron Pullen and Tom Foott were the best around the ground for the away side. For South Melbourne, Jason Clifford played a lone hand kicking five goals and being the most impressive for his side.

Of the five teams to have a 4-5 win/loss ledger, Point Cook sits lowest placed at eighth courtesy of their unflattering percentage of 83.29%. In the context of their seaons, the Bulldogs had a crucial win over Albert Park to give their Division 3 survival chances a big boost. It was a must win game for both sides and it lived up to all expectations. Albert Park went into the quarter time break with a nine-point advantage and with the good work of Thushan Shrimpton, Luke Liddiard and James Brick, the Falcons managed to be leading by seven points at halftime. The Bulldogs wrestled their way back into the game in the third quarter and Albert Park held an all too slender two-point lead at three quarter time. It was a best on ground performance from Robbie Milne that propelled the Bulldogs into the lead in the last and the rest of the team managed to follow his lead. Jordan Steen and Tristan Furr, two goals apiece, provided assistance as the Bulldogs crept over the line to win one of the games of the year by three points. The Falcons will be confident of getting back to winning way when they host winless South Melbourne next week.

Power House proved they weren’t going to have a sluggish start after the bye when they had a comfortable victory over in-form, third placed Swinburne University. Power House sprung out of the blocks having 11 scoring shots in the first quarter to lead by 22 points. River Carroll continued his prolific form with a bag of six goals to bring his season tally to 28. Swinburne rallied to keep up with the Power House and keep hopes alive of a come-from-behind victory, yet, the House proved to be too strong as they recorded 40 scoring shots for the day in a dominant display. Dominic Mitchell was best on ground for the away side as Nicholas Nagel and Tal Sardone were also impressive. For the Razorbacks, Ashley Woodhead and Nick Mauran worked hard all day whilst Thomas Birchmore kicked three majors.