Jason Bast – @Jason_Bast
Round 13 is done and dusted and it’s the Cobras who claimed the most exciting result of the weekend, handing North Brunswick their first loss of the season and solidifying third place in the process. In other games, St Francis Xavier claimed their second win for the season, narrowly defeating Masala; Elsternwick delivered another blow to the Rams during their slump of form over the last month; and finishing off the round, Aquinas thumped the Eley Park Sharks by 74 points to claim top spot on the ladder. The Round 13 results has set up what should be an excellent top-of-the-table clash in round 14 between the Bloods and the Bulls. Although both teams have locked in the top two spots on the ladder, the heated clash will be played for pride and ascendency heading into the finals!
Masala FC 13.14-92 def by St Francis Xavier OC 14.11-95
An exceptional fourth quarter comeback has seen the X-men nab their second win for the season against Masala. The Tigers jumped out to an early lead, ahead by 14 at the first break, before St Francis fought back to only be one goal down heading into the halftime break. The Cobras’ kicked 4.4 to the X-Men’s one goal in the third quarter and it appeared St Francis was all but cooked. However, clearly the three-quarter time speech did the job as they came out firing and hammered home six goals to one in the final term to run out the game three-point winners. Masala fought hard, yet perhaps none harder than the forward pair of Josh Kyle and Samuel Freeman who kicked six and four goals, respectively; Matt Disseldorp also played an outstanding game for the Tigers. For St Francis, Jake Cowan finished with five goals and Liam Dullard had a great game and earned BOG honours.
North Brunswick AFC 9.11-65 def by Manningham Cobras AFC 11.12-78
Game two was played at Allard Park and had the third placed Cobras taking on the undefeated Bulls and was set to be a competitive match and it certainly didn’t disappoint. A disastrous first term in front of goal that saw the Cobras kick 1.7 threatened to be their downfall if they couldn’t fix their accuracy. They kicked a much more accurate 3.1 in the second quarter but the Bulls looked like they had woken up as they put on 3.6 to go into the main break with a four-point lead. Manningham kicked away in the third quarter and got out to a 29-point lead and held off a surging North Brunswick in the final term to dish out the Bulls’ first loss of the year. Adam Densten (3) and Jake George (2) were the only multiple goal kickers for the Bulls while Max Coutts has the best game for the team. Chris Jolly booted four goals for the Cobras and Justin Pilcher had another top game finishing the day best on ground.
Elsternwick 10.10-70 def Mt Lilydale OC 5.15-45
Very poor kicking in front of goal saw the Rams continue their poor form on the way to their fourth loss in five games, the fifth result being a draw with Masala in Round 10. Mt Lilydale controlled much of play early but failed to capitalise kicking 1.8 to 0.1 in the first term and going on to be down by one point at halftime – 2.9-21 to 3.4-22. The bad conversion rate continued into the third quarter, Mt Lilydale putting on 2.5 to the Wickers’ 2.1. Despite having eight less scoring shots in the first three quarters, Elsternwick were still in the game. The Wickers put their foot down in the last quarter, kicking five goals to the Rams’ one to run out the match 25-point victors. Geoffrey Hibberd and Julian Yeatman both finished the game with three goals for the Wickers, Yeatman claiming best on ground for his team. Sean Gibson led the way for the Rams with two goals and a best on ground performance.
Eley Park Sharks 8.7-55 def by Aquinas 18.21-129
After a slow start, Aquinas came storming home in the last three quarters to smash the Eley Park Sharks by a whopping 74 points at Whitehorse Reserve. The Sharks kicked five goals to two in the first term before only managing 1.1 to the Bloods’ 5.7 in the second to go into the rooms 18 points down at the main break. It didn’t get much better for the Sharks from there, kicking just two more goals for the game while Aquinas piled on 10 more majors to claim top spot on the ladder. Leigh Booth Kicked four goals for Eley Park, while Lachlan Naulty (4) and Sean Ragozzini (3) were efficient in front of goal for the Bloods. Joseph Morrison-Story finished best on ground after a solid performance.
Round 14 kicks off with what has been set up to be the match of the year for weeks between Aquinas (1st) and North Brunswick (2nd). With the Bulls losing this week it also means the winner of this highly anticipated match will go a game clear on top of the ladder with just four games remaining after the round. I don’t know about everyone else but I will certainly be down at Aquinas College on Saturday to see how this possible Grand Final Preview plays out. The Cobras will be going for another win as they come up against Masala at Koonung Reserve and, Mt Lilydale with be desperately trying to snap their losing streak as they face St Francis Xavier at Mt Lilydale Mercy College. Our last game of the round will be Parkside coming off the bye to battle it out with Elsternwick at Pitcher Park.