Another clutch victory for De La, while Tigers add 4 more points to their record

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Eliza Wright

This week St Bedes/Mentone overpowered Williamstown as did the Uni Blacks over Old Carey. De La were crowed victors by 1 point in a final quarter showdown and a twilight match saw Old Haileybury defeat Fitzroy. Only two rounds to go in the home and away season and some changes to the top four are still on the horizon. De La, SBMT and AJAX all sit one game out of the eight.

Which of these teams can pull off some victories in their final dash to the finish line?

In a nail-biting finish down at Gary Smorgon Oval, De La Salle were crowned victorious over AJAX. De La begun this game on the front foot, leading by 4-points after the first term. Ryan O’Meara got going early, running hard at the ball all day. The second quarter saw Adam Caplan and Ben Krongold lift with their run and carry providing AJAX with a 17-point lead. Amongst the 9 goal scorers were Reece Israel and Jordan Cohen, working hard through the Jackers forward line and securing themselves two goals each.

This seesawing affair was not over yet as De La took the lead after the 3rd quarter break. Antony Forato and Hugh Nicholson continued their hard work up forward, ultimately leading to their 1-point victory.  This loss sees AJAX drop down to 7th on the ladder while De La jump up to 5th. De La’s round 17 battle against Williamstown could be interesting for their finals campaign, while AJAX face a tough battle against Old Haileybury.  

Fearon reserve hosted St Bedes/Mentone in round 16 as Williamstown faced off against The Tigers. SBMT controlled the momentum of this game from the first bounce as Alexander Browne and Simon Richards provided essential pressure early. Williamstown put up a good fight as Nathan Malkoun and Dean Cutajar brought the heat around the contest.

St Bedes/Mentone found all the answers with Michael Barnes and Caleb Lewis kicking 4 and 3 respectively. In the end, CY couldn’t catch the Tigers with a final score of 11.10-76 to 17.14-116 falling the way of SBMT. The Tigers are not out of the finals race just yet, with the ability to snatch fourth sport still on the cards, although they will have to pull off an upset win against Beaumaris next week. As for Williamstown, they will come up against De La. Having beaten them by 5 points earlier in the year, they are certainly a chance to snatch another four points.   

First on the ladder were up against last this week as Uni Blacks were victorious over Old Carey by 64 points. Uni Blacks got off to an uncharacteristically slow start as the Panthers were in front by 1 point. This lead was short-lived as the Blackers responded quickly. Matt Grocott and Lachlan Knight’s three goals each helped force the Uni Blacks to a 27-point lead.

The second half saw the Blackers stretch this margin to 44-points as Henry Bennett and Nick Hey’s ball movement made the Panthers pay. Riley Thompson and Anthony Caminiti made sure Old Carey didn’t go down without a fight with a final score of 6.11-47 to the Uni Blacks 15.21-11. The Uni Blacks will enjoy a bye next week while Old Carey will host Fitzroy at the Carey Sports Complex. With percentage coming into play in the top four, if Old Carey can lift their defensive efforts next week, they will certainly rattle the Roy’s finals race.  

To cap off the round, a twilight battle between Fitzroy and Old Haileybury at Brunswick Street Oval saw the Bloods triumph by 79 points. Old Haileybury hit the ground running, forcing their way to a 27-point lead in the first term. Brodie Steele’s hunger for the footy saw him dominate through the middle meanwhile Durras Seccull added another 6 goals to his tally for the year, seeing his lead for the Coleman increase to 10 points.

Old Haileybury worked hard to fight off the Roys as their margin grew to 70- points in the second half. Samuel Loewe and Max Sievers brought the pressure around the ground, helping them maintain momentum until the final siren. Despite the score line, Nathan Ligris continued his determination down back as did Martin Deasey meanwhile Donovan Toohey’s work up forward earned him a spot among the best for the Roys. Fitzroy currently sit 4th on the ladder with De La, SBMT and AJAX hot on their heels meanwhile a successful few round for Old Haileybury has allowed them to maintain 3rd.

The fixture is on the Roys side in round 17 as they take on Old Carey next week meanwhile Old Haileybury will look forward to AJAX.