After missing two top four games last week, let’s turn our attention to what is fixtured for Round 9 – of course, there’s a lot of water to go under the bridge before we get there but we’re an optimistic bunch.
West Brunswick vs Old Paradians
Well, at least we get one top four battle this week with the third-placed Raiders travelling to Ransford Oval for a match-up against the fourth-placed Westies. Parade has only faced one top four side so far this year when they lost to MHSOB by 63 points in Round 2, but they’ve played well since, doing what needs to be done with five straight wins without blowing any sides apart other than Bulleen Templestowe. The Westies lost by 98 points to Glen Eira in Round 6 but they’ve been far more convincing against the lower sides with an 87-point win vs YOGs, a 62-point win vs both Aquinas and Power House, and a 68-point triumph over the Bullants.
Aquinas vs Manningham Cobras
The Bloods will be looking to put Round 7 behind them after losing to MHSOB by 114 points – their biggest loss of the year. In fact, no other team has even scored 114 against them. They’ve only had one win but interestingly enough, they’ve outscored the Cobras 460ppg – 439ppg. The Cobras won’t be stressing about their offensive output given they’ve won two more games and sit in sixth spot on the ladder. They were gallant in their last match vs the Raiders (41-point loss) after two impressive wins over Power House and Ivanhoe.
Yarra Old Grammarians vs Power House AFC
In a battle of seventh vs ninth, both of these sides are desperate to begin distancing themselves from relegation. Yarra enter on the back of a commanding 84-point victory over Bulleen after a tough couple of weeks against the top few sides. Power House is yet to win since edging past the Bullants in Round 3, and with an average of 49ppg (17 less than YOGs), they’ll need to find more goals from more sources.
MHSOB vs Ivanhoe AFC
This one is simple in theory but difficult in reality – Ivanhoe need to slow down the offensive juggernaut that is MHSOB’s front half. Led by Ashan Wijayakumara (33 goals) and Larry Hanley (22), the Unicorns are ranked first for points scored with an average of 131ppg. They’re also only averaging 46 points against, showcasing their defensive prowess as well. The Hoers have been impressive this season with a win against West Brunswick and hard-fought losses to Glen Eira and Parade. This Unicorns outfit, however, should be too strong.
Glen Eira vs Bulleen Templestowe
The 7-0 undefeated kings of Division 2 will face the currently winless Bulleen Templestowe in an old-fashioned David and Goliath match-up. Since kicking 86 points against the House in Round 3, the Bullants have managed a top score of 62 while losing by an average of 90 points in their last four games. The Gryphons, on the other hand, have posted strong wins vs Ivanhoe and West Brunswick in the past two games and will fancy their chances in Round 9.