Jason Bast – @Jason_Bast
Well that’s it, the 2017 home and away season is done and dusted. It flew by and now we have 3 weeks left before crowning the 2017 premier’s. The final round saw the powerhouse side of the comp go down in unusual fashion and 4th place sealed up by the bye. North Brunswick put a dagger through Eley Park’s finals hopes. Manningham will go into the finals with copious amounts of confidence after taking down top placed Aquinas. Parkside defeated Masala to end their season on a high note and Elsternwick beat the X-Men down at Elsternwick Park.
Masala FC 13.19-97 def by Parkside FC 16.12-108
Despite neither side playing for a finals place, it didn’t stop the Tigers and Parkside from putting on a good show in the final game of the season. Masala were very wasteful early kicking 2.9 (21) in the first quarter compared to the Red Devils who put on 5.5 (35) to take the lead into the first break. The Tigers pulled the margin back a bit before half time to go into the change rooms 6 points down. A brilliant 3rd term from Masala saw them take the lead and start the 4th quarter with a 2-point lead. the stage was set for a very entertaining final term of the season for the two clubs and, it was Parkside that end their year on the high note following a 4 goal to 3 last quarter, coming home with an 11-point win. Sam Freeman ended the match with 3 goals and best afield honours for Masala. For Parkside Michael and Isaac Romano both booted 4 goals while Michael Sabelberg finished best on ground.
North Brunswick 19.15-129 def Eley Park Sharks 7.13-55
It was a must win match for Eley Park but unfortunately, they’ll be celebrating mad Monday early after failing to knock off the rampaging Bulls side. The first quarter was a close one with the Bulls taking a 1-point lead into quarter time. The 2nd quarter wasn’t as pretty for the Sharks as the game started to slip out of reach when North Brunswick kicked 5 goals to 0 and stretched the margin out to 24. A 6 goal to 3 term in favour of North Brunswick all but sealed the Sharks’ season. Unable to slow down the Bulls’ scoring the margin blew out to 74 points. Jesiah Mcgarvie had another solid game, kicking 3 goals and Owen Dickson had arguably his best game for the year for the Sharks. For the Bulls Andrew Keegan finished best on ground and Jake George kicked 6 majors to increase his season total and end the year with the goal kicking award.
Elsternwick 18.13-121 def St Francis Xavier 14.8-92
Another game of the round with neither team a chance to play next week. Despite the early end to the year both teams gave it their all down at Elsternwick Park. Both teams booting 5 goals in the first quarter had it appearing like a close game was on the cards. Elsternwick kicked 6 goals in the 2nd while the X-Men could only manage 3, the half time margin sitting at 20 points. A close 3rd quarter saw the Wickers increase their lead by 1. A relatively close 4th quarter had Elsternwick going home with a 29-point win. Jake Cowan ended his season on a slightly positive note kicking 4 goals for St Francis and getting the votes for best on ground. No stats were available for Elsternwick
Manningham Cobras 13.7-85 def Aquinas 5.10-4
The big shock of the round came in the final match, Aquinas kicking an uncharacteristically low score as the went down to the Cobras at Koonung Reserve. Manningham will go into their finals run with immense confidence after knocking off top place. The Cobras came out on fire booting 6.2 (38) to the Bloods’ 1.3 (9) in the first quarter and continuing their form in the second with another 3 goals to 1. Aquinas won the 3rd quarter but were still trailing Manningham by 28 points. The Cobras held the Bloods goalless in the last quarter to run out the match 45-point victors. Michael Muller and Chris Jolly did the damage up forward for Manningham kicking 4 and 3 goals respectively. For Aquinas Patrick Mahon booted 4 goals and Jai Perret finished with best on ground votes for the team.
The first round of finals brings us a heavyweight fight between top placed Aquinas and 2nd North Brunswick, the last game between the pair was an entertaining match to say the least, add some finals intensity to the mix and we’re in store for a great match. In the 2nd game of the week it’s the 3rd placed Cobras playing Mt Lilydale in the knockout match. Mt Lilydale will want to try and make the most of their lucky last couple of weeks but they’ll need to throw everything they’ve got at the inform Cobras.