Friars fight for fourth

Posted on - Latest News, Featured, Division 2 Men's

There were comfortable wins across the board in all bar-one match, with the Friday night thriller delivering a 4-point nailbiter. The ever-comfortable ladder leaders, Parkside, were taken down a notch in one of the upsets of the season, with Brunswick now hot on their heels.

Round 16 kicked off in prime-time fashion, as Bulleen Templestowe and Aquinas battled it out under lights on Friday night, and it did not disappoint. The ball was shared around evenly with both sides heading into their first huddle with 5 scoring shots. But it was Aquinas who held a handy 5-point lead scoring 3.2 to the Bullants 2.3.

Things ramped up in the second with strong output from both sides. Aquinas the more accurate of the two; nonetheless, scores were level at the main break. Jaycob Baxter (3) lead the way for Aquinas in front of goal with Josh Glennie, best on. As for the Bullants, they were kept in it by the ever-reliable Corey Sheils who kicked 3 majors for the day. Harry Vogler was their unsuspecting star, who for the first time this season earned himself best on ground recognition.

The Bullants hit the front for the first time in the match, with a narrow 10-point margin, as they headed toward the final siren. Aquinas are to be commended for their valiant effort with a 2.2 final term to claw their way back, but it wasn’t quite enough as the Bullants claimed a 4-point victory.

As for the South Melbourne Districts, they hadn’t come up against St Mary’s Salesian since Round 1 and were no doubt looking to continue their winning form against the struggling side. The Bloods got on top early and were able to extend their lead at every break to win by 64 points.

Star forward, Jamie Brooker, put on an absolute masterclass in front of the big sticks, slotting an equal personal-best 9 goals for the afternoon, propelling himself up the ranks on the Division 2 leading goal kicker tally. Sam Bradford and Zaron Smith were also key contributors to the winning margin with 2 apiece.

Henry Wong shone for the Saints despite chasing all day, with Jack Elliston their leading goal scorer. The Saints will be looking to get back on the winners list this coming weekend as they come up against the Bullants.

Continuing through Division 2, Brunswick went in as home-ground favourites when they hosted Old Paradians on Saturday afternoon. Parade took advantage of being the underdogs and came out all guns blazing with nothing to lose. They maintained a lead throughout the first half, heading into the break with a 2-point buffer.

With a top-two finals spot on the line for the Nobs, they turned things around in third and fourth, with a 10-goal second half. Parade’s heads were spinning as the tempo picked up, booting an imprecise 3.6 to round out the day.

Michael Boundy finished on 3 goals for Parade, while the Nobs had 10 different contributors in front of goals, steered by Angus Coverdale with 3 majors to his name.

Koonung Park hosted a matchup between the Old Yarra Cobras and MHSOB. The last time these two sides met, things were all tied up ending in a draw. With both sides looking for 4 points, this was sure to be an interesting clash.

The Cobras are well and truly in finals contention and proved exactly how they got there with another cohesive team effort, led by 4 multiple goal kickers. Lewis Mitchell was best on for the Cobras in a classy 4-quarter effort. William Kruyt earned himself a best on ground accolade for the day, in just his second senior game for the year for MHSOB.

The final score line read 79-32 in favour of the Cobras, a win that secures them third position with two rounds remaining.

As Parkside have all but secured a minor premiership, at this late stage of the season, they are looking fairly daunting to come up against. Whitefriars had other plans and weren’t looking to just roll over, but rather delivered an upset for the ages, that keeps themselves in the finals race. The Friars, currently sitting in fifth, are only behind South Melbourne Districts by a narrow percentage.

Perhaps Parkside are tiring as we enter the pointy end of the season, as they couldn’t halt the Friar’s early onslaught to take a 20-point lead at half time. From then on it was an uphill battle to get back into the game, a feat for which they fell short. The Friars put on one of their standout performances spearheaded once again by Samuel Kieseker (5) and Daniel Wood (3). Kieseker earning himself best on for the Friars, while Benedict Douglas starred for Parkside.

While that wraps up the week that was, we are forging right ahead to Round 17; the penultimate round of the home and away season, with a top 4 yet to be locked in. The Whitefriars will need to carry their momentum from a win against the top of the table as they face another challenge in Brunswick at home.

Keeping with big clashed, third and fourth will do battle as Old Yarra Cobras travel to face South Melbourne Districts. Other matches include St Mary’s Salesian taking on Bulleen Templestowe, and MHSOB will host Old Paradians. Rounding out the weekend will be first placed Parkside, hosting tenth placed Aquinas at Pitcher Park.