This round saw all the favourites win in convincing fashion. The weekend’s average winning margin was 65 points. A small breakaway group is starting to form at the top of the ladder, making the battle for fourth (currently held by Masala) even more interesting.
The round commenced with a 2nd vs 7th clash as Swinburne hosted Box Hill North in the clubs inaugural Pride Game. Box Hill North on the lookout for their first win in season 2022. An even game is what we saw in the first quarter but it was the Razorbacks that got off to a narrow lead of two points. Swinburne then turned on the jets in the second quarter kicking six goals whilst only allowing a single goal from the Dees to increase their lead out to 38 points.
Box Hill made a third-quarter push as they added on three goals whilst only conceding a single goal from the Razorbacks to bring the Swinburne margin down to 28 points. If the Demons could replicate their third-quarter efforts then the Razorbacks could have been in trouble. However, it was not to be as Swinburne ran away kicking five final quarter goals and leaving with a 55-point win.
The best for the Razorbacks were Aidan Vesty, Jed Toner and Zachary Lassey. The best for the Demons were Peter Cassidy-Marsh, Sean Donovan and Findlay Hanna. Swinburne pair Aidan Vesty and Trent Ryan combined for half of the Razorbacks’ goals with four goals each. Declan Watts and Joseph Zambelli were also contributors with two goals each. Sam Kenna kicked 2 goals for the Dees with other contributors including David Edwards (1) and Jordan Gasparini (1).
Swinburne will now play a struggling Eley Park side and will look to put more pressure on La Trobe. Box Hill North will now play Albert Park in what should be an exciting matchup.
St John’s faced off against Eley Park with a win significantly benefiting both teams’ seasons. The JOCs got off to the perfect start kicking seven goals whilst keeping the Sharks to two, taking a 31-point lead into the first break. The second quarter saw inaccurate kicking from both sides with a combined eight behinds. The JOCs however were able to build on their lead going into the major break with a 43-point lead.
The third quarter saw the JOCs open the game up more as they were able to add on an additional four goals whilst also keeping the Sharks to a single goal pushing out the lead to 63 points. The fourth quarter saw the Sharks make a late push to narrow the margin but inaccurate kicking only led to one goal from five scoring shots. In the end, it was the JOCs that won the game convincingly by 80 points, in the process making them a dark horse come finals time.
The best players for the JOCs were Michael Horton, Brendan Ash and Sam Gaitley. The best for the Sharks were Luke Wakeling, Shannon Blewitt and Jack Craig. Michael Horton was the major goal scorer for the JOCs with 5 goals, Ethan Hope (4) and Jason Naffa (3) were also big contributors. For the Sharks, their only multiple-goal scorer was Jacob Baddock who kicked two.
St Johns will now take on Masala in what will be a close contest. Eley Park now takes on an equally tough challenge in Swinburne.
The round concluded with an exciting twilight fixture between La Trobe and Masala. The Trobers got off to the perfect start getting an early lead over the Tigers kicking five goals and getting out to a 30-point lead. Masala was able to lift their defensive stocks in the second quarter however the Trobers still found a way to break through adding on three goals whilst keeping the Tigers to a goal.
Heading into the third with a 45-point lead, La Trobe started to really take control of the game with their running play being their key to victory. La Trobe was however able to build on their lead, putting them in front by 56 points with 20 minutes to play. Whilst Masala finished strong it was La Trobe that ran out convincing winners by 62 points.
La Trobe’s best included Archie Conboy, Charlie Scanlon and Riley Keath. The best for the Tigers were Jake Dunkley, James Dekel and Joel Dunstone. The main goalscorers for the Trobers were Riley Alexander (5), Riley Keath (2) and Josh Rogerson (2). The goalkickers for the Tigers were Brandon Kelly, Zac Pahos, Declan Fowler, Tom Edwards & Jana Kumaralingam.
La Trobe will now have the bye before returning to take on Eley Park in another twilight fixture. Masala will now face St Johns in what will be another tough matchup for the Tigers.
Albert Park who had the bye will now face Box Hill North in what is a must-win match for the Falcons.