Anna Pavlou – @Annalyst_Sports
They say a week is a long time in football but two weeks has brought great change for all Division 2 sides. Teams like Bulleen and Yarra Old Grammarians have come out to fight after the bye round and have proved that they could be more potential finals contenders, while Power House have shown more guts when it came to stringing together a four-quarter performance. The bye has proved that it was useful for some clubs, while it may have halted some momentum for others. Here’s how Round 10 went down.
Emmaus St Leos vs Power House
In an emotional battle for both sides in honour of Emmaus St Leo’s Paul and Nathan Baranello’s brother Damien, who passed away earlier this week, a decision after the final siren has caused controversy. After a gutsy comeback to trail by only a few points at three quarter time, Power House’s Ben Circosta (his team behind by only four points) marked 35 metres out on a harsh angle on the final siren. His kick, which was signalled a goal by the goal umpire was overruled by the field umpire so the Animals have claimed a three-point victory. Both Nathan and Paul Baranello were named best for the Animals, while Darragh Leonard and Tal Sardone excelled for the House.
Old Paradians vs Bulleen Templestowe
Close but no cigar for a valiant Bulleen Templestowe who couldn’t knock over Old Paradians and went down by 16 points. A close battle ensued from minute one with both sides neck and neck. The Bullants holding a ten-point lead at quarter time. The Raiders, trailing by only one goal at the main break, missed seven chances in front of goal in the first half, but made up for their poor kicking in the second half. The Raiders’ Marcus and Adam Nolan (3 goals each) were up against Bulleen’s Mr Consistent Anthony Lucisano (2) and Billy Wilson (2), as both sides battled it out in front of goal in the third term, with the Raiders kicking five majors to the Bullants three. Going into the final quarter, Old Paradians were holding on by a mere point, but they kicked four to break away from a hard fighting Bullants side, who fairly tested the best Division 2 side in 2018. Pat Moio was strong for Bulleen with Anthony De Propertis earning his first votes this season. The Raiders looked to Ryan Jeffrey and Aaron Serafin who were named best for their undefeated side.
UHS-VU vs St Johns
Keeping St Johns to only one goal at quarter time, set up UHS-VU for their sixth straight win of 2018, by 90 points. Led by a seven-goal haul from star Brandon Jackson, after a 10-goal first half, the Vultures went on to hold the Jocs goalless in the third and boot another nine majors. The games fate was all but sealed as the Jocs failed to make use of their opportunities in front of goal, managing only five majors and 10 misses. For St Johns, who slip further down the ladder, must regroup to avoid the dreaded relegation zone. Aaron Thornton booted three while Daniel Cattolico earned his first votes as best. On the other end of the scale, this win is a fantastic percentage boost for Uni High who hold their top-two-spot comfortably, Nick Devereux kicked four and Ben Dimattina was named BOG.
Yarra Old Grammarians vs Whitefriars
Yarra Old Grammarians have solidified their top four-spot with a gusty eight-point victory over Whitefriars, who now sit equal third with the Rangers. In a high scoring affair, the Friars kicked five to get away early, but were matched by the Rangers, who booted six of their own majors to trail by only 11 points at half time. Goals came from Michael Scott (3) for the Rangers and Lewis Neate (3) for the Friars. Both sides second halves were intense and high scoring as they both almost doubled their first half scores. Both sides defences were handed a beating all day as it was goal-for-goal, but the Friars defence allowed an inspiring comeback in the final term for the Rangers, who were losing all day. The Friars disappointed with the drop off in the last quarter, named Max Warrick as their best, with more goals coming from trusted Michael Nitas who snagged three. David Wildsmith earned his first BOG accolade for Yarra, ably supported by a spread of ten goal kickers, including Kelvin Moore (2).
MHSOB vs Eltham Collegians
Eltham have slumped to their 10th straight loss of 2018, with MHSOB bouncing back after the bye to come out 114 point victors at home. A seven-goal-to-one first term demonstrated that the Unicorns were refreshed after the bye weekend. The Turtles would only manage another goal up to halftime as they struggled to stop another five-goal onslaught in the second quarter. One positive to take away for Eltham was their third quarter defence which tightened to allow the Unicorns only two majors, while kicking two of their own. However, MHSOB made sure to come backing fighting in the final term, booting seven to one to mirror the first quarter performance. The Unicorns are now battling for a top four spot and will take the huge percentage boost to creep closer to their opposition above them. The Unicorns had a massive spread of 14 goal kickers, led by Kane Smith’s six goal haul. Their BOG was Bradley Jordan (1), followed by Jarryd Pagonis, while the shining lights for the Turtles were their goals from Paul Vidinopoulos (2), Brayden Meade (2) and Fraser Cloney (1). Lachie Smith was named best for the Turtles across the ground.