Sharks hammer down 4th with Dogs in their sight

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Alisha Min

“Control the controllables” is a hard reality to face when your finals berth pends on certain outcomes from other matches, but Caulfield Grammarians took an important step in September’s direction when they put Ajax away by a solid 56 points in Round 14. The Jackas continue to be plagued by a lack of four-quarter scoreboard impact, as they forfeited their two-point buffer from the opening term and enabled the Fields to outscore them by 50 points for the remainder of the match. The Jackas Joshua Ludski (1) and Kane Nissenbaum were admirable in defeat, while the Fields 150 gamer in Round 15 and club captain, Tim Nixon, was at his absolute best, earning the honours for the day.

As you’d expect from a team seated six places higher with a six game advantage, Beaumaris accounted for 10th placed Monash Blues by 49 points at Frearson Oval. 11 individual goalkickers, including double digits from Sam Gibbins (2) and William Edmonds (2), enabled the Sharks to run-out this contest comfortably, while the concerted efforts from the Blues’ BOG Gerard Dillian and Nicholas Petering was noticeable. Beaumaris’ last six rounds, all of which were victories, have seen them improve phenomenally regarding their scoreboard conversions and limiting opposition fire-power, a fact that is exemplified in their 37.6% boost in percentage from Round 8 to Round 14. In terms of their average points scored, the Sharks have progressed from approximately 78 points per match in Round 1-8 to a whopping 103 points per week since. Meanwhile, they have also tightened up significantly in defence, allowing just 46 points per match in the last six rounds rather than their previous average of 78.

It was pegged as a close-one, and it didn’t disappoint. 6th placed Parkdale succumbed to Old Haileyburians (7th) by two-points in what was the narrowest margin of the weekend. Nothing separated the sides for the better part of the day, epitomised by the even score-line (32 points) and scoring shots (4.8 apeice) at the major break. Emerging ruckman, Lachlan Treverton, was irrefutable for the Bloods, earning himself his second BOG accolade for the season, while a string of five multiple goal scorers, particularly Nick Gooda’s three majors, brought home the goods. The Vultures, who have effectively slid to 7th following this, their 5th consecutive loss, praised Jarrod Peake, Jack Edwards (2), Daniel Rendell (2), and Nathan Papatsanis (4) for their roles in what concluded as “the one that got away” for a club slipping precariously close to relegation.

A flying start simply wasn’t enough for University Blacks to win and withhold 2nd place from Old Carey at Melbourne Uni. Though Blacks regulars Lochie Dornauf (3), Jordan Quaile (2) and Jarrod Carlson performed admirably when the visitors questioned, the Panthers evidently had all the answers after a half-time regroup, dispelling the Uni boys hopes with a nine goal to four second-half. The Panthers’ Jason Ashby (1) claimed his third BOG accolade following the encounter, while Marc Lock (3) and Liam Mackie showed class around the ground.

You’d be forgiven if, at first glance, you thought the final score in the St Bernard’s v Mazenod match was a mistake but, unfortunately, that was not the case. Upwards of 10 senior players were out for this crucial contest, courtesy of the calling of greener pastures at Byron Bay’s Splendour in the Grass music festival, and it showed given the Nodders managed just a single point for the entire match. Though certainly not needed given their game clear advantage in 1st, and pre-existing 38.45% superiority over 2nd place, the Snow Dogs certainly wouldn’t mind the 24.72% boost and 13-goal showstopping performance their Premier B Sharpshooter, Chad Jones, amassed for the occasion.


Beaumaris will be looking to continue their hot-streak this weekend, and win their 7th game in succession, when they host the imposing St Bernard’s. Their last encounter, just six games ago in Round 8, was a one-sided affair in favour of the Snow Dogs, who notched a comprehensive 95-point victory at the Snake Pit. On that occasion, the ladder-leaders put on a defensive masterclass from the opening bounce, stifling their visitors to just a solitary goal each quarter for the first three terms, whilst scoring 97 points themselves through Shaun Clarke (4), Tom Sullivan (3) and Michael Caven (3). Bolstered by their dominant reserves side, particularly with former AFL gun, Stephen Milne (6), showing his class in their 183-point thumping last weekend, Beaumaris will well and truly be circling this time around, so expect a great contest at Shark Park.

With the first hurdle (Uni Blacks) cleared in their run home to finals, and with Ajax the next obstacle in sight, Old Carey is well-positioned to retain 2nd on the ladder come Round 18’s end. The Jackas, who have won once in the past six rounds, should seek solace from the last time they faced the Panther’s in Round 9, despite losing, given they held them to well below their season average of 98 points per game (85 points), and fell short by a reversable 24-point margin. Ajax’s beacon up forward, Jake Lew, will need to be prevalent if they are to attain victory against the class of Old Carey, though admittedly, it’s hard to envisage the spread of Panther’s contributors unable to grasp the four points here.

Both Parkdale and Mazenod would see their Round 15 match-up as a very winnable outing; a mentality which makes even the most unlikely of games exciting to behold. A debilitating 184-point loss to St Bernard’s did Mazenod’s ambition to avoid relegation no favours as they retained 9th position, but fell 7.19%, in a contest where percentage could just be the deciding factor when determining the 2019 season. Similarly, Parkdale will enter this off the back of a loss, their 5th consecutive to be exact, albeit their most recent of which was by a much slimmer two points, while also occupying their lowest ranking since Round 6 (7th). Only five points differentiated these sides when they last battled in Round 9, which was coincidentally the Vultures most recent win, and I’d expect a similar outcome here given Parkdale’s return of players.

One down, four to go. In what looks, on paper, to be their most straightforward match in their final stages of the season, Caulfield Grammarians will host Monash Blues at Glenhuntly Oval. Cast your minds back to Round 2, and you will recall the Fields getting the job done by 71-points at Monash Uni, despite the wet’n’wintry conditions of play. The Blues will need to better their first half score from that instance, where they managed just one goal to the Fields eight, if they want to truly compete this time around.

Uni Blacks are unlikely to be perturbed by Old Haileybury’s run of form when they make the trek to Caulfield this week. The Bloods were undoubtedly competitive in their last battle in Round 9, holding Premier B’s second highest point scorers to 89, almost three goals less than their weekly average, but it’ll take a resolute Haileybury outfit, and some, to upset this finals favourite. Blacks, through their magnitude of scoring outlets (Huntington, Dornauf, Beasley, Curnow), to win.