A week of surprising upsets and sensational comebacks in Division 2

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

Jainarayan Tiwari

The curtain falls on Round 5 of football in Division 2 Men’s with surprising upsets and thrilling close calls as the competition heats up. The top sides continue to dominate while others stage upsets and prevail in surprising victories.

Bulleen Templestowe defeated Aquinas by a narrow 8-point margin at the Ted Ajani Reserve. This match saw multiple lead changes, but it was Aquinas with their nose in front heading into the final term. The Bullants scored the only two majors for the quarter and it was a goal off the boot of Corey Shiels in the 18th minute of play of the fourth quarter that sealed the deal for the home side.

The Bullants were looking to get back on the winners list after going down to Hawthorn last round, and they did just that, in a Friday night footy victory over a formidable Aquinas side. Shiels finished the night with 2 crucial goals for Bulleen, whilst Garrison Asciak lead the scoring for Aquinas with 3 goals, but it still felt short in the end, in a relatively low scoring affair.

Bulleen Templestowe coach, Andrew Verga, said of the win, “The boys are playing with some tough character. We aren’t doing anything special. As a young side, we look forward to improving game by game.”

The match up that took place at Whitefriars College Oval proved to be another close encounter, where Whitefriars defeated South Melbourne Districts by 10 points. Both sides were hot out of the gates hitting the scoreboard aplenty in the opening term, with the Districts managing to hold a 4-point leader at the first break.

Both teams looked promising and created many chances. The Friars won the premiership quarter booting 4 goals to South Melbourne’s 2, giving them an 18-point lead as they headed down the home straight.

South Melbourne ventured at a comeback in the fourth quarter, but it was too late. Whitefriars’ Sam Kiseker kicked 7 goals, which skyrocketed the team’s confidence, and was ably supported by teammate Christian Feher in front of goals who kicked 3 goals of his own. South Melbourne’s Max Collier lead the goal kicking for his side, slotting 3 majors for the day.

Brunswick, the current leaders of Division 2, have consistently delivered exceptional performances this season, establishing themselves as the team to beat. Their latest triumph came against St Mary’s Salesian, whom they defeated by a commanding 24-point margin.

Initially leading by 2 points, St Mary’s seemed competitive, but Brunswick soon asserted their dominance, showcasing their superior abilities as a collective unit. Once they gained the lead, Brunswick ran away with it extending their lead at every chance, coming home victorious 96-72.

Once again, Hayden Parker, Brunswick’s standout player, dazzled spectators with his offensive prowess, slotting an impressive 6 goals. Despite Trent Ryan of St Mary’s putting up a valiant effort with 5 goals of his own, his side couldn’t tame the 5-goal onslaught from the Nobs in the final quarter. The young side of St Mary’s Salesian are still searching for their first victory in the competition.

At the Bennettswood Reserve, Wattle Park defeated Hawthorn in a thriller to disrupt their winning momentum. In a fairly evenly matched clash, both sides were able to get their hands on plenty of the footy and hit the scoreboard, making it quite an even tussle throughout.

Austin Bongart and Nathan Bird shone for their respective sides in front of the big sticks with 3 goals apiece. Whilst both forwards earned a spot in the best, Bailey Hunt was the best afield for the winning side, whilst Jeb Loxton led the way for the Hawks. The final scoreboard reflected a 7-point margin, Wattle Park taking home the chocolates, 84-77, propelling their side into third spot on the ladder.

Wattle Park coach, Glenn Hopkins, said after the game, “We wanted to shut down Hawthorn’s corridor and long kicking game. This was always going to be a tight, contested match.” Hopkins expressed that the Animals will look forward to maintaining their form in the upcoming game against MHSOB.

For the second consecutive week in Division 2 we are privy to a draw at none other than the home of the VAFA itself, Elsternwick Park. The hosts, Elsternwick went in as favourites but were evenly matched by a competitive MHSOB, who were looking to bounce back after a tough loss. Right up until the main break scores were close, with the Unicorns marginally ahead, only due to the inaccuracy of the Wickers on the scoreboard.

MHSOB motored in the third to propel themselves ahead by 20 points, largely thanks to an overall team effort with 9 individual goal scorers for their side. Alas, it wasn’t enough of a buffer to stop the 6-goal onslaught that was to come from the Wickers in the final term to get their side back into contention. At the final siren there were 36 deflated players scratching their heads, replaying those pivotal moments that potentially could’ve edged them ahead.

Elsternwick and MHSOB come away from Round 5 with 2 points each, which could prove handy as the season ticks on, in a competitive competition where the ladder is tight.Once again, Elsternwick’s vice-captain and star player, Spencer Hankin booted 7 goals, including 3 crucial goals in the fourth quarter.

As the league heads towards the sixth round, Whitefriars will want to ensure they stay within reach of the top four as they host the Hawks. The battle between St Mary’s Salesian and South Melbourne Districts will be exciting, as both sides are desperate for a win.

Meanwhile, Brunswick will be looking to continue their domination as they face Aquinas away. Elsternwick will host Bulleen Templestowe who also looks in splendid form, and Wattle Park will be eyeing a big win against the MHSOB at the Bennettswood Reserve.