A fresh face inside the top-two, a season put to rest, giants fall and a surge of black and white. Round 16 did not disappoint in Division 1 as we edge closer to September.
Round 16 in Division 1 began with a bang as Peninsula made it four on the trot in a come-from-behind eight-point victory over Kew (1st). Stefan Barbour continued his purple patch of form with four goals to back up his eight-goal haul last round, while Josh Goudge and Mikey McLellan received the votes in the win that keeps them in fourth spot. Despite four majors from second gamer Jackson Lesko, the Bears see their three-game win streak snapped and solitary hold on the minor-premiership come to an end, with the Bullants now hot on their tail. Kew will look to bounce back this weekend as they welcome the Saints to Victoria Park, while the Pirates will face off against the aforementioned Preston in a mouth-watering clash.
Spearheaded by the always reliable Aaron Cloke up-forward with five key majors, Oakleigh have made it three in a row as they survived a final quarter flurry from UHS-VU to escape Brens Oval with a three-point win. Conceding 6.4 to 1.7 in any quarter usually spells doom, especially against a premier side in their hostile surroundings, but not for the Krushers who managed to knock the Vultures out of the top-two and keep their own finals hopes well and truly alive. Oakleigh will now look to leap back into the top-four as they host the flailing Prahran while UHS-VU will be after a confidence boosting win to end their three-game slide, and re-enter the top-two in the process, as they welcome the Paradians.
Enjoying a remarkable weekend of football was Preston Bullants, as they chalked up their ninth win in a row and entered the top-two for the first time all season in a 42-point win over St Mary’s Salesian, officially ending the Saints year. Lewis Fotheringham was named best afield while Tom Hill, Sean Calcedo and Nick De Andrade all kicked three in the win, which ties Preston with the Bears for top spot on the table. The Bullants will now return home to defend W.R.Ruthven Reserve from the Pirates in a must-watch clash featuring two of the in-form sides of the competition, while the Saints will be looking to knock the ladder leaders Kew off their perch when they travel to Victoria Park.
Taking care of business and keeping their season alive was Therry Penola in Round 16, as they dismantled Old Paradians by 80 points. Despite the score line of 15.20 (110) keeping the result closer than what it could have been, Lions’ Kane O’Halloran (3), Blake McKinnon (2), Sean Rees (2), Brock Egglestone (2) and Darcy Ryan (2) all got in on the action to help their side to their second largest win of the year. Now sitting just one game out of the four, Therry will travel to Ransford Oval to face the Westies with a win potentially moving them into a tie for fourth, while Parade, who fell to the bottom of table on the weekend, will face the Vultures.
Our final clash for Round 16 saw West Brunswick finally break their 13-game losing streak, surprising a lacklustre Prahran Assumption by five points at Toorak Park. The Westies used an incredible third quarter fight back to turn a 36-point half-time deficit into a seven-point lead entering the final change, a 7.4 to 0.3 term. Cam Perkins had himself a day out with six goals while Luke Buckler and David Ferrier received the votes in an inspirational away win that lifts them off the bottom of the table. Callum Wilson kicked five for the Two Blues but it was to no avail, as they simply switched off after half-time and had no answers for the black and white wave in the third quarter. The Westies will look to make it back-to-back wins when they host the Lions while Prahran will look to throw a spanner in the works when they face Oakleigh.