A contender emerges as two matches see a battle to the end. Chapter 3: Pressure

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Billy Bolch

Round three of the season saw a team put themselves forward as the team to beat and the frontrunners for the flag as well as two close contests played in great spirits.

North Brunswick faced off against Eley Park in a game where both sides needed a win but for different reasons. The Bulls wanting to keep their foot on the accelerator and the Sharks needed a win to get their season back on track. The Bulls got off to the dream start with a mammoth 10-goal first quarter that they were able to maintain whilst keeping the Sharks scoreless. A major comeback was needed after half-time if the Sharks were to comeback from being 85 points down. 

The Bulls put those chances to rest after one of the biggest quarters of the season so far, adding a whopping 12 goals, extending the Bulls’ margin out to 155 points. In the end, it was the Bulls that ran out with a dominant 162-point win over the Sharks.

Major goal scorers for the Bulls were Andrew Ramzy (8), James Miralles Lombardo (3) and Ashley Rae (3). Kane Scanlon had 2 goals for the Sharks. The best for the Bulls were Gabriel Carrubba, Jacob Cornejo and Andrew Ramzy. The best for the Sharks were Benjamin Ferguson, Will Male and Alex Penkethman. The Bulls will now play their first game of the season away from Allard Park as they make the trip to take on St Johns. Eley Park will be back on their home deck as they look to defeat the Falcons. 

Box Hill North and St Johns battled in a fixture that either team was capable of taking out. The Demons got off to a great start with a 5-goal quarter whilst managing to keep the JOCs to two goals, putting the pressure on early and holding a 20-point lead at quarter time. The JOCs then rebounded in the second quarter with four goals of their own, but the Demons went in with a 13-point lead at halftime.

Both teams tried to get the edge over the other in the third however it was a major stalemate with both teams adding four goals to their tallies, resulting in the margin heading into the final quarter, adjusting to a 12-point Demons lead. The final quarter was a nail-biter with inaccurate goal kicking costing the JOCs a victory. Despite having 10 scoring shots they were only able to kick a solitary major which wasn’t enough to outscore the Demons who escape with a 10-point win.

Alexander Williams and Jack Dullard both kicked three goals for the Demons whilst Kristian Smythe added 2 of his own. Benjamin Ayche had a quality day up forward with five goals. The best for the Demons were Alexander Williams, Aaron D’Amato and Rowan Lawrence. The best for the JOCs were Ethan Hope, Benjamin Ayache and Brendan Ash. The Demons look to continue their momentum as they host Masala whilst the JOCs will look at rebounding when they face leading contenders North Brunswick at home. 

Masala welcomed Albert Park as both sides faced off in one of the closest matches for the round. The Falcons came out swooping early with a strong 6-goal start whilst holding the Tigers to a 3-goal first quarter which gave them a 17-point lead at the first break. With the sun coming out from behind the clouds, the Tigers had a huge second quarter kicking seven goals which helped them not just get back into the game but gave them a 21-point lead at the major break.  

The third quarter saw an even quarter with both teams adding two goals to their totals which saw Masala take on a 24-point lead, a lead which could’ve been larger if the Tigers capitalised on their 10 scoring shots for the quarter. Despite having a great final quarter with some major efforts by Falcon Jack Lee up forward, a 5-goal quarter for the Falcons was not enough to take over the Tigers who had a 4-goal final quarter to win a close and well-played match by 19 points. 

Brandon Kelly was the sharpshooter up forward for the Tigers with six majors, other goal scorers for Masala were Luke Pipolo (4 goals) and Declan Fowler (2) who made a successful return to senior football. Jack Lee was the man on a mission in front of goal for the Falcons with a whopping 10 goals. The best players for Masala were Luke Pipolo, Jordan Gibbon and Deakin Harris whilst the best for the Falcons were Jack Lee, David Buegge and Sam Lee. Masala will now take on the surprise of the season as they take on Box Hill North who currently sit in third place. The Falcons will look to get back in the winners’ column as they once again play away, this time against Eley Park.