Skills & commitment on tough day of Div 2 footy

Posted on - Latest News, Featured, Division 2 Men's

Anna Pavlou – @Annalyst_Sports

They say the weather is a great leveller in football and this week was a perfect example of skills versus commitment with a host of low scores in the tough conditions, but the teams and players willing to put their bodies on the line were aplenty and half brought home the 4 points.

3 teams remain undefeated while 3 teams are yet to register a win in 2018. The next few weeks will go a long way in shaping what promises to be another even season. Let’s recap Round 2 and look ahead to Round 3.

Both the Vultures and the Rangers had impressive first up victories last week and were keen to back up in Round 2. For 3 quarters this game was a tight struggle with no team able to break away. With only 6 goals apiece and only 4 points separating the teams, the last quarter opened up with 9 goals kicked. UHS booted 7.5 to 2.0 to win running away by 39 points and remain undefeated. James McGee (3) and Mitchell Sweeney (2) led the way up front for the Vultures, while James Healey and Nick Wallace dominated. For the disappointed Bushrangers, Rory Harbeck booted 4 and the Fleming boys (James and Will) were well supported by Matt Young who continues his good start to the season.

The Raiders ventured out to Melbourne High School to take on fellow finals aspirant MHSOB. Both sides chalked up Round 1 victories and were keen to make an early season statement. However, this game was done and dusted by half time with the Raiders having 21 scoring shots to 5 and opening up a match winning 46 point lead. Despite being held scoreless in the 3rd quarter, the Raiders booted another 7 goals in the last quarter to run out 59 point winners. The Raiders had 5 multiple goal kickers led by Will Gilmore with 3 and Luke Grech and Darcy Kotter in great form. For the Unicorns, Brad Jordan and Ryan Curwood flew the flag along with Kane Smith who booted 2.

The House played host to the Animals on a wet and blustery Ross Gregory Oval in Albert Park in what was a tight encounter between two evenly matched sides. The teams traded goals in the first 2 quarters and it was the House who led by 4 points at the half. So often the third quarter is the one that ultimately decides a game and so it was with the Animals booting 6 goals to 1 to break away. The House couldn’t find a way back after that and despite an even last quarter the Animals won by 25 points. For the winners, Newbegin Baxter dominated for the second game in a row ably supported by Alex McDougall and Johnny Greensides while Tom Birkett and Dan Hill shared 6 between them up front. For the House, Euan Edwards played well at both ends of the ground assisted by Dom Mitchell and Fiachra O’Deasmhunaigh with Luke Stubbs chipping in with 2 goals.

St Johns were eager to repair round one’s mistakes when they took on Eltham and they did just that when they defeated the Turtles by a comfortable 53 points at home. With a six goal to nil first quarter, the Jocs had settled in for the rest of the game. The Turtles couldn’t manage to claw their way back into the contest, despite kicking three in the second quarter to St Johns’ two. The Turtles struggled to make any statements from there on and St Johns took the four points. Aaron Thornton was on fire for the Jocs in front of goal, kicking seven and was assisted around the ground by Travis Hendy and Daniel Abou-Karroum. Brayden Meade kicked 2 for the Turtles. Other notable Turtle performances came from Luke Ogilvie and Troy Jinnette who continued their consistent round one form.

Whitefriars again proved too good against a deflated Bulleen, coming out 81 point winners at their home at Whitefriars College Oval. A low scoring first quarter was counteracted by the Friars as they kicked away in the second and beyond. Michael Nitas was again damaging in front of goal, kicking six, which led his boys to their comfortable victory, along with BOG performances from Hewitt Murray and Jamus Campbell. The last quarter sealed the result, as the Friars kicked nine unanswered goals. Leith Wallis was again a stand-out for the Bullants with Darcy Price coming close behind him.


Hard work from the Vultures in 2018 has placed them in good steads heading into round three when they take on St Leos, who are riding high after their first win last week. UHS-VU play best on a bigger ground and Bennettswood Sports Ground has plenty of space for them to utilise. St Leos showed guts when they needed to and should look to their forwards Tom Birkett and Dan Hill to do the damage when required.

MHSOB are expected to bounce back after their bitter loss last week to the Raiders. The Unicorns are more than capable of running over the Turtles, who will need a big step up from everyone, lead by in-form Troy Jinnette. MHSOB however know how to play their home ground and with help from big-bag goal kicker Kane Smith, should be able to outscore the Turtles.

The undefeated Old Paradians take on a team they know from prior experience, but Yarra Od Grammarians are looking for redemption after their shock loss against the Vultures last week. Both high scorers, there is no doubt both sides will be relying on their defence to hold up against power forwards Gilmore (Old Paradians) and Harbeck (Yarra Old Grammarians).

St Johns took the four points last week, but they need to be consistent in order to be judged with the best. Against a winless Bulleen, the Jocs have the opportunity to flex their muscles, but should be wary of Wallis around the ground. The Bullants must be able to put pressure on the scoreboard, as they are only averaging around 60 points a game compared to the Jocs’ 85.

Power House have a lot riding on their round three clash against the undefeated and smooth sailing Whitefriars. The high scoring Friars know how to dominate, so the House must figure out how to stop their run-on. The Whitefriars men know how to hurt teams on the scoreboard, averaging 20 goals a game so the House should keep their eyes on star forward Michael Nitas in particular. Power House need their new recruits to find some form in the meantime.