Round 9 saw Division 2 compete against the wind in an epic series of hard-fought victories.
Arguably the strongest backline of the division, the Brunswick mix of Jake Ralston, Tahj Haddock, and Lewis White, against arguably the strongest forward line in the competition, the Whitefriars dynamic duo Daniel Wood (who is soaring high on the goal kicking tally at 41 goals) and Samuel Kieseker, foretold this top four clash to be one for the ages.
Brunswick stormed to Alec Gillon Oval and came out with a bang, putting on a phenomenal first half display. Kicking 12 goals in the first half thanks to clever tactics and tough footy, Gus Coverdale played his role with expertise, and Jasper Paevere played his game of the season, winning tap after tap in the ruck and used his strength on the ground.
But the Friars are never ones to give up regardless of a 38-point deficit by half time. The friars came to the third and brought along with them the classic Friars fire, Spencer Larsen ran his boots off to aid the domination of the corridor, Nicholas Garratt put in a blinder of a performance and Ryan Turner displayed that famous Whitefriars never die attitude. But, even Michael Nitas and his 5 total goals couldn’t bring home the victory for the fighting Friars.
Jake Ralston upheld his responsibility with masterful expertise against the goal magnets Daniel Wood and Samuel Kieseker, with the help of Tahj Haddock and Lewis White, keeping the dynamic duo to three goals total. Ultimately the Brunswick gameplan, implementation and class act defensive play proved too much finishing with a 34-point victory. Hopefully a full Whitefriars squad will be available for their round 17 clash, when the two sides meet again.
The Koonung Park skirmish between the Old Yarra Cobras and South Melbourne Districts was a desperate battle for and against the wind. The Swans were unable to capitalise on the wind in the first quarter, while the Cobras were able to capitalise in the second. The likes of Shaun Wilson, Oscar Paulke and Vincenzo Armenia had an outstanding performance, and with the help of star forward Sam Bradford (2 Goals) brought the Swans to a neck and neck three quarter time.
The tight game all day took a different turn in the fourth. Elliott Brandon-Jones put in his performance of the season, and with the help of Nick Zappala and Anthony Lamana in the midfield, the Cobras capitalised on the wind providing opportunity after opportunity for star forwards Anthony Raso (2 Goals) and Jack Hall (2 Goals). By the final siren the Cobras broke away with a 16-point victory and leap themselves to the top four.
Parkside have doubled down on their supremacy over Division 2; now with a four-game win streak after their 42-point victory over St Mary’s Salesian. The Devils possess a demon-like ability to pull opportunity out of thin air. After a neck and neck first quarter, the Devils led by a single point. The Saints brought a competitive edge throughout the second and third but began to lag behind, and the fourth quarter undoubtedly showed it was Devils Day at Ferndale Park. Jack Hamilton put in his best performance of the year dominating the field and kicking 4 goals. Benedict Douglas (2 Goals) and Michael Romano (3 Goals) had an all-star display, while key forward Benjamin Radford (5 Goals) has got his eyes keen on the division’s goal kicking tally. The Devils went 7.2 in the fourth, an unstoppable spectacle that shows a roster filled to the brim with talent with many possessing the skill and expertise in front of goal.
Even without the help of 2010 Premiership Player Dale Thomas, the Old Paradians have put in a masterful display in Round 9. David Huntley held his own with his tough physicality, while Luke Brock had a remarkable rendition of hard fought footy and strong in and under. With the help of James King providing opportunity, Blair Healy (3 goals) and Daniel Comande (2 Goals) converted with style leading to a nail-biting comeback and a 17 point victory over MHSOB.
Jubilee Park saw a lacklustre start for Bulleen Templestowe, with Aquinas shooting to a 20-point lead after the first quarter. Jamie Cortese refused to say ‘no’ with a well-earned best on ground by providing opportunities for Anthony Nicholas Lucisano (5 Goals) to make his mark on the scoreboard. Murphy Moore and Sebastian Failla put in the work and reaped the rewards with the Bullants coming home with a smile and a suspenseful 2-point victory after a desperate comeback.