A weekend in Division Two where there weren’t too many surprises, clubs followed the script but that doesn’t mean it’s simply a foregone conclusion with 3 home and away rounds remaining.
Ivanhoe AFC are locked in for finals and will finish first, with a top of the table clash coming up this Saturday against West Brunswick it’s going to be a precursor (potentially) to what we may see in the first semi-final this year.
West Brunswick can lose a double chance if they lose this week with Brunswick and Old Paradians snapping at their heels. And, behind them, MHSOB are still in the mix.
So, while the weekend went as predicted. It’s all unknown beyond that.
Brunswick stayed in touch with the top two after a hard fought win over Yarra Old Grammarians. Two points was the margin that separated the sides at quarter time, all square at half-time before the Bushrangers held a 1-point lead at the final change.
Holding Yarra scoreless, Brunswick were able to pull away with four final quarter goals to come away winners by 28 points in a game where the margin didn’t reflect the level of pressure that the Bushrangers brought to the contest.
Thomas Wilson (3) is having a stellar season in front of goal. He’s hit the scoreboard in every game he’s played this year, with 38 his tally to this point. Aidan Pollock’s last month has been superb for the Wickers.
Matt Young fought valiantly for the Bushrangers, kicking a goal and being named their best for the day. This weekend they face Bulleen Templestowe with an eye to get back on the winners list, and leapfrog the Ants to move up to 7th spot on the ladder.
Bulleen Templestowe had a second quarter to remember against Old Paradians, with a 5-goal blitz to go in at half-time in front by five points. Unfortunately, the only five goals that came after half-time went the way of the Green, Blue and Purple to win by 27 points.
Like Wilson at Brunswick, Anthony Cafari (3) has kicked goals in every game he’s played this season and been the number one focal point for the Paradians. He’s got a great sidekick in Luke Brock (2) offering the one-two punch to opposition defence.
Max Tieman was named the best player for the Ants, while the goal kicking machine Anthony Lucisano was held to just a solitary goal in the tough conditions. The Parade train rolls onto Ross Gregory Oval this weekend to face Power House. A win this weekend could snuff out the chances of the Unicorns’ hopes of playing finals.
MHSOB still have a pulse in the season after coming from behind to win against Aquinas at Aquinas College. Trailing at the final change by 16 points, the home side were held scoreless against the wind and the Unicorns slammed home four goals to leave with the four points.
Without power forward Ashan Wijayakumara, Larry Hanly (5) was the man who stepped up to fill the breach, supported by Chris Tetaz (2). Aquinas’ Matt Aver (3) always knows where the goals are as does Billy O’Loughlin (2) who moved to 24 goals for the season.
While the chances of playing finals have slipped away from Aquinas in recent weeks, they have the opportunity to finish the season on a very high note playing three sides sitting below them. And, that might be the springboard they need to take winning momentum and formulas into 2023.
Manningham Cobras had the game taken away from them very early on in the piece against West Brunswick. Held to just three behinds in the first half as the Magpies opened up a 51 point lead.
Perhaps the most pleasing thing for the Cobras was the performance of Frances Joseph who has now rolled out five consecutive best player finishes for the club. From a West Brunswick point of view, it’s a box they had to tick. And the coaching staff may well love the fact that from 18 goals kicked, 12 individual goalscorers.
They have the biggest challenge in Division 2 this weekend, the ladder leaders Ivanhoe AFC. To be able to not have a heavy reliance on one forward may prove to be their one wood in this contest.
Ivanhoe AFC were enormous after quarter time. Power House went toe-to-toe with the benchmark for the first 30 minutes of the contest. Billy Drake slammed home a staggering 13 goals, while coach of the side Ash Close added another three to his name.
The only slip up from here will be if the players start thinking too far ahead of the next four quarters. But with Ash Close, Wayne Schultz, Scott Selwood leading the charge, they wouldn’t be thinking beyond the next day.
While Round 15 may have gone to script with not too many surprises. Round 16 is sure to throw up some curveballs. Which team is going to be most likely to throw a cat amongst the pigeons?