Preston Bullants are starting to find their groove again. After losing the opening nine rounds of the season they’ve put together back-to-back performances that will fill them with confidence.
Reward for effort on the scoreboard, reward for effort on the ladder. Old Peninsula the latest to run into the in-form Ants. It was a see-sawing affair through the opening three quarters, with scores level at the final change.
Preston were able to get the game on their terms, win the final quarter and now sit just one game behind West Brunswick in eighth spot.
Full credit to Pat Davies and Connor Howard, combining for seven goals from the Ants 12. Sean Calcedo & Nicholas De Andrade named amongst the best.
The Pirates have dropped their last three matches, falling from 5-3 to 5-6. They’ll be keen to arrest the slide this weekend, although they’ve got the toughest challenge in D1 Men’s awaiting them: Glen Eira.
For three of the four quarters, in a battle of the top four, Glen Eira only held an eight point lead over UHS-VU.
The boys of Uni High gave the undefeated Gryphons a shake for much of the afternoon. The margin extended to 18 points at three quarter, most around the ground would have assumed the ladder leaders to run away with the points, but credit to the boys of Brens Oval, they came back at them to close within 8 points on the final siren.
In a quirk of the fixture, it was the first meeting of these two sides through 2023, they’ll meet again in Round 17 and potentially for a third time through September. UHS will take away plenty from this contest, and perhaps the same for the Gryphons too who have come up trumps for the 11th consecutive time this season.
With Oakleigh two games behind Glen Eira, the next fortnight for the Gryphons are at Packer Park. They have a chance to expand the gap and lock into top spot almost a month out from the finals. UHS-VU hold a one game gap over Prahran in fourth. They’re on the road for the next fortnight before a run of five straight home games at the fortress to finish the season.
Oakleigh sits in between the Gryphons and UHS, they were 30 minutes away from falling short on the weekend to Kew before a nine goal final term saw them swing a 17 point deficit, into a 38 point victory.
Luke Ashen took the spoils in front of goal for the Krushers with six. Aaron Cloke, just the three. The season tally for Cloke moves to 42. Josh Hall and Harry Boontjes were instrumental in turning the fortunes of Oakleigh around.
Kew did everything right through the first three quarters, a five goal opening term, withstanding the pressure and opening up a 32 point lead at half-time. Lachlan James kicked four goals and was named Ian Aitken’s best player on the day.
They’ll feel disheartened to fall away as they did in the final term, it’s been a ring of fire the last month for the Bears, facing off to Glen Eira (1st), beating UHS-VU (3rd) and now challenging Oakleigh (2nd).
They’re around the mark, and can certainly trouble some sides in the final seven weeks of the season.
Prahran FC had a professional win over Ivanhoe AFC to keep themselves ahead of Therry Penola in the fourth spot.
The margin extended at each break from eight points, to 27, to 48 and finished at 64 points when the final siren rang.
Ethan Plaza (4 goals) and Shane Chapman (3 goals) did the damage on the scoreboard. Mackenzie Mayne and Jayden Williams did the damage with the ball in hand.
Without one of their runners and gunners, in Ethan Wild it was Nicholas Vines who produced two goals for Ivanhoe, and Harrison Bourke was named the best for Wayne Schultz’s side.
Next weekend is the battle of the black and white stripes at Ransford Oval. A repeat of the 2022 Division 2 Grand Final between Ivanhoe AFC and West Brunswick. Earlier this year, West Brunswick turned the tables in the season opener, can they repeat the dose?
Prahran FC will face Oakleigh in a top four battle, with the Lions clipping at their heels, it’s a game they can’t afford to drop.
Therry Penola are in the position they’re in off the back of a handy 66 point win over West Brunswick.
After kicking two goals in the opening term, the Magpies were held goalless after that as the Lions pulled away from them to bank another four points, and accumulate additional percentage.
Jack Pelosi, the sharpshooter in front of goal with four. Blake McKinnon was the best on the ground.
They’ve had an up and down 6 weeks of footy, the Lions, having lost games they probably should have won against sides below them.
UHS-VU pose a challenging threat, back at home this weekend. A scalp here throws the bottom rungs of the top four into chaos.
Just the way we like it.