Glen Eira hosted Canterbury at Packer Park, where a large crowd was in attendance for the highly anticipated top of the table clash. The tragic sudden passing of long time, much loved Glen Eira supporter Brian Spink was front of mind for the black armband-wearing Gryphons, who were clearly playing for more than the four points. Canterbury started fast, tackling hard and attacking the goals to hold a handy 17-point lead, but the Gryphons lifted in the second, led by hard nut Daniel Entwistle, Ash Carey and the skipper Todd Richardson, who slipped his taggers to hit the scoreboard and cut the lead to three points at half time.
Glen Eira controlled in the third, but inaccurate kicking only saw them lead by 3 points at the last break. Canterbury started the last term confidently, but the Gryphons meant business, finishing the term with 24-4 forward fifty entries to run out 28-point winners. The large, vocal home crowd cheered off Nathan Dennis and Alex Ross, who shared their 100th games for the victors. The Gryphon’s best included the Carey brothers, Lachlan Pound, Todd Richardson, Julian Stone and ‘Batwing’ Barrett. Canterbury were valiant in defeat, with Rohan Walmsley, Sam Murphy, Martin Astbury, Sean Hanrahan, Rob Goodwin and Harry Beringer all standing tall. Their loss may have seen Canterbury drop a place on the ladder, but they certainly lost no admirers.
Hawthorn hosted Manningham, and were quick out of the blocks to lead by 35 points at the first break, and preserved that margin all afternoon. Best for the Hawks were Patrick Brooks, ‘Sid’ Whittle and ‘Kout’ Raiti, who kicked five goals and was plucking them around the ground all day. Jason Stephens also kicked five majors, and was best for the visitors, supported by ‘Sugar’ Kane Maghamez and Konrad Bendrups. The win saw the Hawks jump to second place, while the Cobras remain within striking distance of the top four. Post match, both clubs had functions at Beer Deluxe in Hawthorn, where a good night was had by all. The Hawks will need all their strength this week against the in-form Swinburne.
Swinburne travelled to Parade College to take on La Trobe in the University challenge. Swinburne Razorbacks were on top of the Trobers from start to finish, winning every quarter thanks largely to the Razorback’s Ged ‘Ed Sheeren’ Shearer, who was strong on the ball, teaming up with ‘Polar Bear’ Joldy Bradley and Jackson Manning to win the ball forward. Swinburne had 12 goal kickers, and Ben Higgins with eight majors was the main man up forward, but the crowd’s reaction was loudest when the ‘Badger’ kicked truly, highlighting why he’s the Razorback’s main man. The Trober’s Tom Mooney and Brad Fendyk were typically brave, and it was good to see Liam McClintock and Josh Rogerson play well.
Westbourne hosted Aquinas, and a big Ladies day with over 100 women attending the BCNA fundraiser luncheon. The visitors came out hard, kicking the first three goals and Westbourne looked in trouble. The Warriors, led by Michael Culliver, responded with the next eight goals and went into the half with a 21-point lead. After the break, Westbourne kicked on with big efforts from Brayden Smith and livewire Patrick O’Brien, blowing the lead out to 42 points five minutes before the last break, before the game changer Anthony Mattioli got going and back-to-back goals to Ash Naulty cut the margin to 26 points at the last break. Aquinas started the last well with Naulty strong overhead and the gap closed to five points deep in the last before Westbourne kicked two late goals to hold off a brave Aquinas.
Best for the home team were Culliver, O’Brien, Brayden Smith, Harley Tunnicliffe and Justin Porter. The visitors’ best were Anthony Mattioli, Dan Foley, Lachlan Naulty and the reliable Jarred Sund, while Ash Naulty’s eight goals took him to the top of the sharpshooter’s table. The victory was the Warriors’ best this year, and keeps them in touch with the logjam for a finals spot. They will also have added confidence for when they take on Canterbury this week, who they’ve beaten in their last three contests, while Aquinas remain one game clear of the drop zone.
Albert Park hosted Richmond Central, who’ve given the top teams a run for their money in recent weeks. The visitors dominated the clearances in the opening quarter, creating plenty of scoring opportunities, while restricting the Falcons. The shackles were broken in the second term, with free flowing, free scoring, end-to-end footy prevailing, but the Snakes were double the Falcon’s score at the main break. Richmond won more ball in the third, laid 24 effective tackles and kicked six goals to one. The Falcons didn’t lie down, winning the last quarter, with Nick Materia best again for the home team, supported by Brodie Matheson, Adrian Snowden and Tyson Cattle. Richmond’s Tom ‘Sock’ Foott was BOG, continuing his great season, supported by Geoff Uhrhane, Fletcher Thompson, ‘Tractor’ Noffke and Marek Pietrzak (4) The Richmond faithful were delighted to see ‘Munners’ bag five majors, in a timely return to form ahead of this week’s game against the all-conquering Gryphons.