This shaped up to be a huge weekend in Division 1 Football with many of the top teams facing off for supremacy to see just who truly are the real deals at the midway point of the season.
Let’s kick things off with the battle of the mid table, with Old Peninsula taking on Whitefriars in a game that realistically could affect the final spot of the finals later in the year, and it did not disappoint. Both teams got away with a hot start packing on plenty of goals in the first, but it would be Peninsula who would round out the half 13 points ahead. In the third it became a bit of an arm wrestle as that 13 point lead came back to single digits, with some of Whitefriars classier movers in Little and Feher bringing the team to life. In the end, Peninsula were able to do what they haven’t been able to for much of this year and close the game out, running away 21 point victors to nab their second win of the season.
The next game of the day was a battle of the bottom with Therry Penola taking on the winless St Mary’s Salesian out at John Pascoe Fakwner Reserve. Incredibly, the highest goal scorer of the round across any team came from Therry Penola as it absolutely drowned goals early with 14 in the first quarter alone. It just seemed like there must have been an agreement before the game to lay off the defence with 153 points scored to the half, and the man making the most of them was Brenton Eggleston who would aid the team in a 59 point victory, contributing 11 goals himself to the grand tally. This honestly seems like it would have been a great game to spectate given it was so high scoring and free flowing the entirety of the game.
Now here we go, a big one here. Taking a look at this game last week I tipped the upset here between Glen Eira and Old Camberwell, who this year have been one of the more inconsistent teams in Division 1. Glen Eira is a team that when they are on they can demolish teams, but when off can become a shell of their best, and thankfully for these men they were able to harness some of their best football and really test last year’s minor premiers in Old Camberwell. They commanded the lead early and never waivered running the game out as 39-point winners in an honestly impressive display of grit and fight, now leaving what I called the Coupe De Gras in Camberwell with a 2-4-1 record approaching the halfway mark of the year, leaving plenty of question marks for them to work out.
Now here are the marquee games of the round, and it was all kicked off with the battle of Kew and Prahran Assumption, a game that was sure not to disappoint and absolutely did not. This was a really good test of Prahran who have been really one of the big lifters from the previous season, and with Kew nursing a 5-1 record heading into the game it was a big moment to take a run at the best and see how you go, and by only spotting Kew a 19-point advantage at 3 quarter time it was sure to be an absolutely cracking final term. Sore bodies and hard running provided some absolute fireworks win the final quarter and with their backs against the wall with a fast-finishing Prahran breathing down their necks, the boys from Kew held on for their best win of the year by a singular point, advancing to that 6-1 record and a second on the table…
The final game of the round and one that absolutely TRULY piqued my interest was the undefeated PEGS taking on who I think are the most dangerous side in the competition in Oakleigh. The only way I think I can describe this game is an absolute shoot out, with goals absolutely launching from everyone and everywhere, with the contest stretching no further than a 7 point lead throughout the whole 4 quarters. With the leading goal kicker for the comp in Aaron Cloke being unable to miss, up against a goal scoring regular in Thomas Saggio of PEGS the dual did not miss a shot, which was almost literal for Oakleigh kicking only 2 points after quarter time and 13 majors to cause the upset of the season, taking down the once undefeated PEGS in an absolute thriller that saw 9 goals for Cloke and 5 to Saggio, in what will be surely a season defining win for the men down at Oakleigh.