While the results from round one are often good for dispelling the incredible number of rumours generated during the preseason, more often not, we find ourselves with more questions than answers. Is Parkside a genuine contender or are Canterbury failing to live up to the hype? Was Point Cook’s come from behind win against Manningham a fluke? Will there be a better hot dog than that at Box Hill North? With another week under the belt, we’re all better for the run and can make a start at answering the mountain of questions from round one.
Box Hill North, kicked off the season in great fashion. Not only did they kick off their 2015 campaign with victory over Mount Lilydale, they received accolades for the tastiest hotdog in the competition. Unfortunately for Box Hill, round two spelt disaster on both fronts. Their hotdog has been overtaken by the magnificent beast at Canterbury Sports Ground, they got a fair touch up from North Brunswick. North Brunswick lead from pillar to post, as Box Hill North amid the piccolo lattes and fixies, seemingly struggled with culture shock. Peter Butler was sensational for North Brunswick slotting four majors and was well supported with efforts from Ben Gallagher and Jarrod Ford. For the ailing North Box Hill it was Sean Donovan and Colin Osborn who impressed.
A mere two years ago, Point Cook were the easy beats of the competition. Opposing coaches and officials alike would pencil in a giant W next to the fixture when making their predictions. If a player needed to reconnect with the family and have a week off, more often than not, it was the game against Point Cook. Last Saturday, Point Cook announced themselves to the VAFA in outstanding fashion, quashing any inferences that last week’s victory was a fluke. With 10 separate goal kickers, and a midfield who barely lost a centre clearance, it was a clinical effort. Mason Kipp played the game of his career and the intimidating Cory Lucas booted four. For Parkside, on the back of a reality check, it was Shane Mclaren who was best on again.
Masala carried their form from last week into their clash with Canterbury, keeping the premiership favourites on the ropes until the juggernaut flexed their figurative bicep and squashed their opponents with an ounce of ease. Kicking the first goal of the game, Masala stunned the bullish Cobras and perhaps had them adjusting their premiership aspirations albeit temporarily. Whatever the frightening Mick Harper screamed to his troops at the main breaks worked, Canterbury running out easy victors. James Wilson was sensational on debut, kicking five and Micky Peel seemed to have his own footy out there. Masala was buoyed by performances from Sam Freeman and the fiery Matty Decarne.
After a first-up loss last week, coach Jock McDonald has reportedly been under the pump down at Manningham this week, and when Chadstone were leading Manningham early in the first quarter, things weren’t looking good for the well-travelled veteran. Fortunately for Jock, his talented playing group filled with players from all corners of the country rallied behind him, and belted the hapless Chadstone. Tom Bell was back to his usual best, and the little known Chris Jolly chipped in with six of his own. The petite Luke Farrugia and David Bennett stood out for Chadstone.
Mount Lilydale’s return to division four football didn’t get any easier, going down to a rampant Old Westbourne Grammarians. It seems the journey from one side of the city to the other didn’t faze the lads from the west, piling on the first six goals of the game. Unfortunately for the home side, it didn’t get any better, Old Westbourne eventually running out victors to the tune of 63-points. Aaron Flemming, Justin Johns and Shane Wallace were terrific for Westbourne. Equally impressive for Mount Lilydale were Nicholas Hooke, Samuel Hickey and Josh Ramsden.
To this week, it’s the Cobra Cup at Canterbury Sports Ground, and I’m picking the home team to get the job done here. While neither side has set the world alight thus far, Canterbury should have the stock to come out with the chocolates. Mount Lilydale will need to charter a flight to head to South Mornington where they should open their account for 2015. Box Hill will continue to pile on the misery to Parkside and Point Cook should get the job done in the battle of the west against Westbourne. North Brunswick will mount their fixies or jump in their hybrids and should return from Chadstone with the points.
Canterbury v Manningham
South Mornington v Mt Lilydale
Box Hill North v Parkside
Point Cook v Westbourne Gr.
Chadstone v North Brunswick