New contenders emerge as only one undefeated team remains

Posted on - Latest News, Featured, Division 4 Men's

Billy Bolch

As Swinburne take it all before them in Division 4, it’s not a foregone conclusion that it’s a one-horse race after round 6 of the season, each week a new contender has bobbed up leaving us with more questions than answers. 

Masala hosted Albert Park in an important game with both clubs coming off major defeats and needing a win to stay in touch with the top four. 

True to recent form, Masala were hot and spicy having a dominant first quarter which saw them kick 10 goals to the Falcons’ one. However, during the second quarter, the Falcons started to fly with seven unanswered goals to bring the margin from 59 points down to 10 at the main change. 

Masala stood strong in defence during the third term to keep the Falcons goalless whilst adding three goals to increase the margin to 28 points. Albert Park managed to find a spark in the final quarter kicking four goals but it wasn’t enough as the Tigers answered every challenge with a goal of their own to finish 33 point winners. 

For the Falcons, Alistair and Jack Lupo kicked 3 goals each whilst Reece French-Lightfoot and Sam Lee kicked 2. Masala shared the goals, with Zac Pahos, Andy Moore, Declan Fowler, Dale Gibb, Jana Kumaralingam and Sahil Grewal all kicking two goals each. The best for the Falcons included the previously mentioned goalkickers in addition to Justyn Kennewell and Taylor Brennan. For the Tigers, their best included Jake Dunkley and Matt & Luke Decarne. 

Masala now have a tough challenge ahead of them as they take on Box Hill North in search of their third win of the season. Albert Park will look to rebound as they face an Eley Park opposition fresh off the bye.

In the eyes of some, this match was set to be a walk in the park for the undefeated Swinburne as they faced the winless Box Hill North. However, Box Hill North surprised all and proved to be one of the toughest tests the Razorbacks have faced this year. 

Swinburne started off strongly piling on 6 goals whilst keeping the Demons scoreless. The second quarter saw Box Hill kick three goals to two bringing the margin down to 35 points. The Demons continued the momentum after half-time kicking six goals while keeping the Razorbacks to two and the margin at 16 points with a quarter to play. 

The final quarter was a story of what could’ve been for the Demons with plenty of what-if moments, 2.7 to 2.1 in the final stanza saw Swinburne hold onto a 10 point lead at the final siren and kept their undefeated streak going. 

Box Hill North’s Leon Desmond and ​​Jordan Gasparini kept the Demons in the game with six goals between them. For the Razorbacks, it was Luke McManus who kicked three goals with teammates Aaron Gersch and Nicholas Coad kicking two goals each. Box Hill’s best included Beau Parthenides, Peter Cassidy-Marsh and Brandon Truong. The Razorbacks’ best were Lachlan Randello, Bradley Field and the previously mentioned Luke McManus.

In round 7, Swinburne will face possibly their toughest opponent to date as they take on a La Trobe side that will want to rebound off a narrow loss whilst Box Hill North take on Masala, a side they struggled against in 2021. 

La Trobe and St Johns was set to be the best game we’ve seen so far this season and the game delivered. It was the JOC’s that got off to the better start holding an eight point lead going into the quarter time. 

La Trobe responded in the second and despite very inaccurate kicking put the game back on their terms and led by nine going into the major break. In the third quarter, both teams seemed to replicate their opposition’s second quarter as St Johns kicked ahead and took a five point lead, albeit with inaccurate kicking costing the JOC’s a chance at a bigger lead as they kicked 4.7 to La Trobe’s 2.2. 

The final quarter saw defensive and scrappy football with a combined five scoring shots for the quarter. St John’s managed to hold off La Trobe and in the process handed them their first loss of the season. 

For La Trobe, Riley Alexander once again stood up adding four goals to his season tally which sees him now lead the division with 23 goals. For the JOC’s, Rohan Scott led the way with three goals whilst Steven Sullivan kicked two. When it came to the best for La Trobe, Andy Castles, Patrick Lindsay and Jonty Randall led the way whilst St Johns’ best included Rohan Scott, Nicholas Terrill and Brendan Ash.

La Trobe now faces another tough opposition as they travel away to take on the Razorbacks. St Johns has the bye in round 7 but take on Masala in round 8 in what will be an exciting game.

Eley Park had the bye and will look to take charge as they face off against Albert Park.