The love triangle which encompassed the top three Premier B teams disbanded after Round 10 when St Bernard’s re-faced and defeated their only conquerors to date in 2018, Old Carey. Prior to the round, the top three sides had all dropped four points on just the one occasion, all of which were at the hands of each other. Playing this time at their stronghold; the Snake Pit, the Snow Dogs were on song early, nabbing an 11-point lead at the first break which they built to 45 points at halftime and 76 points at the end of the third. The Panthers showed fight in the fourth term, outscoring the home side 4.2 to 3.1, making them just the second team in the Premier B to outscore the Snow Dogs in a quarter (let alone a match). For the sixth week in a row, Old Carey’s Jason Ashby (1) featured in the best, this time in the top position, while Tom Jepson and Will Nichols (1) were also good. For top dogs St Bernards, Edyn Sibbald was awarded the BOG accolade for the first time this season, while competition sharpshooter, Chad Jones, had an absolute field day booting eight majors, successfully placing himself on top of the goalkicking table.
Though it might have looked like a relatively straightforward match on paper when fourth placed Caulfield Grammarians played ninth placed Old Haileybury, the Bloods took it to the Fields all day before drowning them in a six goals to two final term to spark a miraculous 25-point upset. Though trailing to the away side by nine points at the conclusion of the opening term, Old Haileybury regrouped to edge the narrowest of leads at the end of the half (one point), which progressed to four points going into the final term. Louis O’Keefe (1) and Dominic O’Keefe both featured as the Fields best, while the impact of Peter Gleadhill, Riley Thompson and Jack Munro (2) were noted for the Bloods in their team earnt victory.
Despite a stifling five goal to one opening term, Ajax again lacked a consistent four quarter effort to close out third placed University Blacks when they travelled to Melbourne University. Restricting the visitors to just 11 points after the first quarter break, the Blacks tallied an impressive 114 points over three quarters, thanks largely to a staggering 14 individual goal scorers. The University side acknowledged Hugh Curnow (1) as the BOG, while Douglas Arnold was also named in his first game of senior footy for 2018. Daniel Janover-Rocha, Richie Simon and Daniel Cohen were acknowledged for the Jackas.
Parkdale Vultures’ run of good form was halted at Gerry Green Reserve when a finals-hungry Beaumaris line-up put on a comeback performance against the sixth placed home side. A four goal to one opening term by the Vultures put them in good stead for the match, but the Sharks proved relentless from the second term onwards when they led by four points before the final quarter before comfortably closing out the game by 32 points. Beaumaris’ Robert Cathcart (3) notched back to back BOG accolades for his work in front of goal, while Lewis Diggins and Jonno Nash were at their consistent best. The Vultures Charlie Dillon (3) and Alexander Derzekos (2) were imposing with three and two goals respectively, while Cameron Dickie was impressive in his first game of senior football for 2018 and was awarded BOG.
In the lowest scoring affair of 2018, Mazenod and Monash Blues were at a stalemate at Central Reserve before the Nodders clinched a two point victory. Though the Blues have been undeniably more competitive in recent weeks, their inaccuracy in front of goals and inability to convert majors, as highlighted by their lowly 46.9 point average per game, will need to be rectified if they want to remain in the Premier B competition in 2019. The Nodders Rees Thomas was named as their side’s best, while Jarryd Raffa was integral with his two majors in the low scoring outing where only seven goals were slotted for the whole afternoon. Beau Harris was again a standout for the Blues, and was awarded for another BOG outing, while Cameron Pither and Charles Cosgriff were also good.
After their inspired win against then fourth placed Caulfield Grammarians, Old Haileybury will enter Round 11 out of the bottom two for the first time since Round 4 with genuine confidence and a thirst for victory; a mentality which couldn’t come at a better time when their next opponent is St Bernards. Though the Snow Dogs handed the Bloods a 77-point beating in Round 5, the Bloods have notched eight premiership points since, and boast a 14.79% improvement to their percentage. Can the Bloods down two finals favourites in two weeks?
Back on deck at the Gary Smorgon Oval, Ajax have the opportunity to redeem themselves when they host Mazenod. The Jackas comprehensive loss to Uni Blacks saw them drop from seventh position to the dreaded relegation zone in ninth, though they only trail eighth placed Old Haileybury by 2.14%. Buffeted by their 34-point win over the home side in Round 2, the Nodders will look to repeat that outcome this weekend, as a stumble could very well see them drop into the bottom two.
Licking their wounds from just their second loss of the season, Old Carey will be determined to pounce on the flailing Parkdale Vultures on home soil. With a difficult last four rounds to reflect upon, which includes two losses and two narrow wins by just two and four goals, the Panthers line-up has evidently been challenged, which may just be the opportunity Parkdale need to seize those four points and level the scores following their Round 5 loss last time they met.
It is unlikely that Monash Blues’ prospects will be any less bleak after Round 11 when their fellow University side in University Blacks join them at Frearson Oval. When they last met in Round 5, the Blues relinquished an astounding 167 points and only managed to tally 1.7 for the entirety of the match. Though greatly improved since, the Blues will need to muster far more than their 46.9 point average if they want to compete with the Blacks, who average 108.3 points week in, week out.
Caulfield Grammarians had the upper hand by 32 points when they faced-off against Beaumaris in Round 4, and with September looming ever closer, this might just be a preview of who will round out the final four. With a mere 4.62% separating the Fields (4th) from the Sharks (5th), expect a highly contested game with the result coming down to the wire.