The first third of the season is done and dusted, and as said dust settles and reflecting on the weekend, it was the most consistent round of the season as some of the high flyers of the competition began to separate from the pack.
The biggest win of the round came from Ferndale Park, as the bottom of the table St Mary’s Selesian took on the ladder leaders PEGS. The game started like no other this season, with PEGS booting 13 majors in the first quarter to a scoreless St Mary’s, it became quite clear that this outing was going to be a percentage booster for the top of the ladder PEGS outfit. With five players booting over three goals each, PEGS ran amok through the midfield and managed to run out 164 point winners against the continued winless St Mary’s.
Prahran Assumption hosted Therry Penola at Toorak Park, the Lions were keen and hungry to build on the success of their first win. Early on it looked like the underdog story could keep its momentum with a two goal margin heading into the half. However, for a team like Prahran, with Matty Clifford in front of goal it became only a matter of time to gather their composure and keep Therry to one goal after halftime, running out as 67 point winners. For Therry Penola it’s encouraging to see them put two quarters together that seemed to be winning or near winning efforts, however that second half blowout will be something to think about and lament on over this week.
One of the more interesting games on paper however it didn’t eventuate in reality was between Oakleigh and Peninsula. These two teams finished within a spot of each other last year, and though Oakleigh has shown they have improved, it’s always curious to see by how much. Peninsula clearly came out strong, matching it with Oakleigh in the opening term, but sadly that would see the end of the closeness in this contest, only managing three majors after quarter time. For Oakleigh their impressive run of form continued, the accuracy and consistency of last year’s leading goal scorer Aaron Cloke just keeps elevating this team into a genuine contender, sitting third on the ladder based purely on percentage with a 5-1 record.
The battle of 5 vs. 7 on the ladder, Glen Eira looked to propel themselves into the top 4 and announce themselves as another contender facing Whitefriars, a team who at their best can threaten. I put a lot of heat on Whitefriars each week, however this is a week where I was burned, as the running and scoring of the Gryphons proved too much for the Friars. This game should have been blown out and won by significantly more, Glen Eira booting 11.19 to bring home a 48 point win. This victory gives the Gryphons a huge confidence boost for the risen Division 2 team, and if a little more accuracy had fallen their way could have given them a handy percentage boost, which will go a long way towards the back end of the year.
The final, most exciting and engaging game of the round was between two Eastern-suburb rivals in Old Camberwell and Kew. These two sides were at the top of the ladder at the conclusion of last year’s covid affected proceedings, but this year it’s been different. It started up all square with a good shootout early with neither team really being able to pull away and take control of the game – however, this would all change later in the piece as this Kew outfit ran away with it late to secure a big victory over a really struggling Old Camberwell team.