Animals back in the hunt, Wickers back on track

Posted on - Latest News, Featured, Division 3 Men's

Sheridan Harris

Four games remain for the home and away season, and it’s still not set in stone for Division 3 Men’s. Some premiership contenders have returned to winning form in round fourteen, while the ladder still remains tight.

It’s been a tough 2022 for the Westbourne Grammarians who are still valiantly crawling to the end of the season, despite once again not being able to field a reserves side, while two top four sides have gotten back on the winner’s list.

Eight individual goalkickers got Canterbury over the line by 52 points against Richmond Central at Kevin Bartlett Reserve. Two goalless quarters at the start and the end of the game allowed the Cobras to take the win as they jumped the Snakes in the first term, before quietly plugging away until the last, where they kicked five goals to seal it. For the away side, Thomas Lowden (3), John Nicolopoulos (3), and James Boarotto (3) all starred in front of goals, with the latter earning best on ground for his efforts. Dane Roy (2) was the only multiple-goalkicker for Richmond Central as Tait Forster took top honours.

Parkside have continued their winning streak with a fourth win in a row, this time over North Brunswick at Pitcher Park by 46 points. It was a Red Devils day for the better part, despite the relatively low scores, with the home side out of the blocks early before the Bulls fought their way back. One goal in the third and then a goalless final term to North Brunswick while their opponents kicked four was an apt final chapter. For Parkside, Shane Doherty kicked two goals and Lewis Balcombe two, while Michael Romano took top honours. Sam Willatt (2), Joseph Flynn, Kali Dawborn, and Gary Savage were North Brunswick’s only goalkickers, but Harry Wilson was named their best player.

It’s back on the winner’s list for Elsternwick, who travelled to Rathmines Road Reserve to face Hawthorn and ultimately left the field 31-point winners. The contest was fairly even for most of the first half as the Wickers kept their noses just in front despite the Hawks rallying in the second term to get with in five points. But it wasn’t enough, as the away side kept their opponents goalless in the third quarter before adding four of their own majors in the fourth. Elsternwick stalwart Justin Hunter returned to the lineup and kicked two, matching partner in crime Julian Yeatman (2), and Nicholas Lowrie (2), but it was Patrick Burnell was best on ground. For Hawthorn, Luke Piccolo (3) was their only multiple-goalscorer, and Eamonn Avery topped the best players list.

Emmaus St Leo’s have kept the Westbourne Grammarians goalless to win by 151 points at Westbourne Grammar. It was a relatively tame start to the game compared to previous clashes, with the Animals taking a 24-point buffer into the first break before blowing it wide open to be well ahead at half time. The Warriors seemingly had no answers to the continued onslaught and were arguably lucky to not have lost by more given the away side’s missed opportunities in front of goal. Jonathan Greensides (4), Matt Hill (3), Lawrence Virgo (3), and Riley Thompson (3) on debut were stellar in front of goal, while Hugh Schaeche’s three goals were enough to earn him top honours in the winning team. Despite no goals on the board, Ben Stoios was the home side’s best.

Ladder-leaders South Melbourne Districts return from their bye still on top, travelling to Bennettswood Reserve to face an Emmaus St Leo’s side eager to get their hands back on the fourth position.

Elsternwick return home to Holmes Todd Oval and will welcome Richmond Central, who will be looking to get another win on the board after a loss in round fourteen.

It’s 8th v 9th at Allard Park, with the Westbourne Grammarians taking on North Brunswick. Both teams suffered losses in their last games and will no doubt be looking at this match as redemption.

Canterbury have all but sewn up a top-3 spot as they welcome Hawthorn to Canterbury Sportsground. The Hawks will be rueing a missed opportunity in round fourteen and go into this game looking to rebound.

Parkside go into their second bye of the season in some good form.