The last 100% record in Premier C was lost this week as Hampton Rovers tasted defeat for the first time. The loss did not cost them top spot, but it certainly opened up the competition for those below them.
Old Ivanhoe continued their charge up the ladder, earned by playing good, accountable football. Mazenod will feel that they had as good a hold on this match as did their opponents, but they will rue their profligacy in front of goal, especially after half time where they kicked 3.13. The contrast could not have been as stark: Old Ivanhoe kicked 12.1 in the last three quarters to maximise their opportunities after Mazenod led by 14 points halfway through the second term. Old Ivanhoe had almost reached parity by half time, and led by ten at the last change, but it was here that the Nodders could not capitalise on their territorial advantage. Only one goal in the final quarter from nine scoring shots against three straight goals meant that Old Ivanhoe were able to win by 14. Luke Scuderi kicked another six goals to tally 26 for the season, while Matt Fewings shone in Mazenod’s second straight loss.
Old Geelong welcomed the hitherto-unbeaten Hampton Rovers to Como Park, and in a finals-like battle, emerged victorious. Most of the damage was done in the twelve minutes leading up to half time, where Old Geelong broke free of the arm wrestle that was the start of the match to slam on five of the last six goals of the first half, leading by 22 at the main break. Although Rovers kicked four goals to one in the windy conditions in the third term, they could only reach the home turn eight points adrift of their hosts. Kicking to the scoring end in the final quarter, Old Geelong were able to capitalise on their earlier good work, equalising their opponents’ second-half score to record a 22-point win. Chris Hatzis was Old Geelong’s talisman in front of goal with four, with Ben Webb best afield. Four Hampton players kicked two goals each, with Anthony Felino and Richard Atkins their best.
A battling Ormond side travelled to Frearson Oval searching for a win that would keep them in touch with the finals race. Sadly for them, it was only the Monash boys that came to terms with the wintry conditions, holding Ormond goalless for the first three quarters and keeping them to just one for the match. The Blues kicked three goals in the opening term and two more in the second, to open up a 32-point break at half time. With Monash having the wind in the third quarter, things looked bleak for Ormond, but a creditable defensive effort kept Monash to 1.3 for the term and gave them some hope turning for home. However, only one of Ormond’s last term scores was a major as Monash kicked three goals while Ormond chased the game, to score a resounding 47-point win. MacGregor Cameron and Charles Cosgriff stood out for the victors, while Travis and Matthew Hine were Ormond’s best, Travis Hine kicking their only goal.
Parkdale Vultures certainly didn’t have things their own way on a cold, windswept Ruthven Reserve, on a day where 18 of the 20 goals were kicked to the scoring end. Parkdale kicked the only two goals of the day against the monsoon in the first quarter, but Preston used their advantage well to kick six of their own. The Vultures were as good as level at the half, but the young Bullants were able to set them a three-goal target in the final term. As they valiantly tried to restrict Parkdale’s ball movement they were swamped by the marauding Vultures, who were able to turn a 21-1 fourth quarter inside-50 count into a return of 6.7 to record a four goal win. Four players kicked two goals each for Preston with Liam Sutton and Matt Perazzola their best. Parkdale had eleven single goal kickers, with fearless midfielder Jack Love and tall Liam Purcell winners on the day.
Old Mentonians held sway territorially in the first half but could only convert their dominance into an eleven-point lead, kicking 3.13 in the tricky conditions to the main break. They found their kicking boots after half time, with all five of their third quarter scores being majors as they held the University to two goals in reply. UHS-VU kicked the first goal of the final term to cut the margin to 18 points and spark hopes that a charge could be mounted, but when Old Mentonians kicked three in quick succession the game was all over bar the shouting. The 34-point margin proved more comfortable than it sometimes looked against a University side that is on the improve. The two Dimattinas, James and Ben, were best for UHS-VU whilst Tom McCarthy and Lewis Oliver continued their recent good form for Old Mentonians.
Premier C Men’s action continues over the Queen’s Birthday long weekend while the rest of the VAFA has a bye, and VAFA Media will be streaming three games live, headlined by Ormond v Hampton Rovers on Friday night from 7pm.