A volatile top four with the only certainty being change

Posted on - Latest News, Featured, Premier C Men's

Raj Johnston

Round 5 presented many enticing matchups to the casual observer. And all these games indeed delivered on this expectation. Every match contained a different storyline with surprises, shocks, and implications aplenty throughout Premier C.

Glen Eira/Old McKinnon hosted Oakleigh at Packer Park in a rematch of last year’s Division 1 Grand Final. At this early stage of the season, both teams would’ve been acutely aware that the winner of this contest would set themselves up well in the difficult task of avoiding becoming stuck towards the lower end of the ladder.

The Gryphons dominated the first half with several key players contributing to the positive score line, which saw them four goals up at the main break. Oakleigh had a strong third quarter with four goals late in this term.

Despite Oakleigh’s improvement in the premiership quarter, the Gryphons had a better final term and ended up winning by 23 points. Special mention to Oakleigh’s Luke Ashen who kicked five of their seven goals for the day.

PEGS had an incredible day out against the Monash Blues, returning home with a comfortable 120-point victory. Both teams came into this clash with just the one-win, so a sizeable victory of this nature was a surprise. It was an even contest in the first quarter with the Blues trailing by 9 points.

However, in the second quarter, the lid was off, as PEGS’ forward line dominated, kicking five goals, and keeping Monash scoreless. This explosiveness continued for the rest of the day as PEGS piled on a further sixteen goals to Monash’s four. Jack Fenner had a remarkable afternoon, booting eight majors for PEGS, whilst Jack Thomas, Jordan Storer and Jack Hooper were amongst the best players for the home side.

The first of the two top four contests saw the Parkdale Vultures defeat AJAX by 48 points in what marked AJAX’s first loss of the season. These two teams have proven their attacking style of play is successful throughout the first four weeks, so this match was certainly going to be interesting to see which of these two well-matched opponents would hold up defensively and prevail.

Ultimately, it was the Vultures day as they were simply the better side throughout each term, extending their lead at every break. If not for some of AJAX’s goals at late stages of the quarters, the margin could’ve read much worse. Max Phillips impressed with four goals for Parkdale, and the ever-reliable Richie Simon kicked three for AJAX who will be looking to bounce back next week.

The other of the top four clashes resulted in Old Carey coming from behind to defeat the Hampton Rovers by 12 points at Trevor Barker Oval. The game fluctuated with the Rovers having a positive first quarter whilst Old Carey bounced back in the second quarter.

Corey Jones kicked the first of the third term for the Rovers, using the breeze nicely to guide the ball through the posts with a long kick. Despite the best efforts of the Old Carey midfielders to send the ball forward, the sherrin kept finding its way into the hands of Hampton’s defenders, with the Rovers taking a narrow 3-point lead to three-quarter time.

Old Carey certainly responded in the final term, kicking a battery of goals in the late stages to collect the four points and make their presence in this section felt. Hampton’s accuracy cost them late in the game kicking just 1-4 in the final term.

Mazenod recorded their third win of the season with a 25-point victory over Marcellin. This was an important game for both sides with Mazenod wanting to remain in touch with the top four whilst Marcellin were searching for their second win of 2024.

Both teams showed good intent and fight in the first quarter with only one point separating them in Mazenod’s favour. At half-time, the margin was five points Mazenod’s way with both sides keeping each other accountable. However, the final half belonged to Mazenod who continued to build their lead at each break and keep Marcellin at bay. Hayden Boyce and Lachie Stewart starred for the home side, whilst James May and George Megas had impressive games for Marcellin.

The ladder is incredibly tight with each top four side sitting on 16-points. Any team can drop out of their position at a moment’s notice. Round 6’s matchups could certainly see some movement on the Premier C ladder.

Monash Blues host Parkdale Vultures at Frearson Reserve. Sitting on top of the ladder the Vultures will no doubt be favourites; however, the Blues know that the time is now to respond and turn their season around.

AJAX host the Hampton Rovers for the first time in an exciting top four clash. Both teams will be looking to re-join the winners list.

Mazenod meet Glen Eira/Old McKinnon. The Gryphons are faring better than many expected and will be looking to challenge this firing Mazenod outfit.

Oakleigh host PEGS as they continue to search for their first win in Premier C for 2024, and Marcellin will meet the red-hot Old Carey in the Sunday timeslot.