By Gav Southern – @gavsouthern
An unexpected round of blowouts this week as teams were intent on making statements, heading into the letter stages for the season. Mt. Lilydale continue their impressive home run to heel the Doggies. The Warriors humbled a depleted Eley Park. Box Hill North got one back against Masala and Chaddy could only manage a 3rd quarter against the Bulls. To last week’s games:
Box Hill North def Masala
With potential finals hopes alive, Box Hill North were a different side at home than when they last took on Masala going down 89-155. The Demons were determined to get the jump on the Tigers and Masala didn’t respond well to the Box Hill pressure and desire for the ball. It took until the second quarter to see the Tigers start to show something and hit the scoreboard. Both teams were 5-6 players different from their last outing but, this time it was for Masala’s turn, who were unable to chase back the deficit. Goal of the day belonged to Tom “UN” Canny, who somehow managed to get off the ground with ball in hand, run through 2 Tiger players and then kick the m,ajor on a very tight angle. Masala were well serviced by Dave Crkvenic (2 goals), Josh Kyle and “Wayno” McMahon (1) but, the day belonged to a complete team performance from the Demons led BOG, Rhys Mehlstaubler, 3 goals apiece from Damon Earp and Steve Lester, leading 10 other goal-kickers.
Chadstone def by North Brunswick
As predicted, we got two matches on Saturday as North Brunswick took on Chadstone at Jordan Reserve but, the main game turned out to be another one-sided affair in fairly muddy conditions. North Brunswick shot away to an early 6 goals to one lead at quarter time but, it was the second quarter with the wind that really punished the Synners. Although down by 98 over the long break, Coach Cotsis was wanting effort and he got that in the third, as the Synners promptly whacked on 2 early goals from the “Lamb Chop”, Leigh Perry. Synner players doubling up again, was a factor. For North Brunswick, the usual crew of PAT (not Paul) Notaro (6 goals) and Peter Butler (5) popped up but, NO-ONE anticipated 12 goals from BOG Tom “Cotts” Cotton, whose previous high was just 2. “Cotts” seemed to be on his own in all areas of the field and kicked truly when he got it. For the Synners, another hard day but, Jase Edwards, Ruckman Blake Stewart and Caleb Vardy gave it their all.
Mt. Lilydale def Point Cook
A true gut win was made by Mt. Lilydale last week as they hosted Point Cook. Mt. Lilydale are undefeated at home (6-0) and this should’ve been a factor when I incorrectly tipped the Dogs. The Rams started vary tight defensively, holding the Dogs to just the 3 points for the opening quarter but, couldn’t completely break free, kicking just the 3 goals. To the Dogs credit, they fought back in the second to be down 4 and then the solitary point at the end of the third. By the fourth, inaccurate kicking of 4-5, made it closer than it was but, the Rams were led well by BOG Daniel Dimitriou, Ryan Gromadovski (3 goals) and Tom Bailey (2). The Doggies best were Robbie Milne (2), Tom Kelly and Matt Herbertson (2).
Westbourne def Eley Park
For the second time running, Eley Park’s visit to Westbourne was touted as the match of the round but, with significant players missing, this became a non-event. This was not a Sharks team we are used to that can’t kick goals until the last quarter but, that’s exactly what happened. As the Warriors claim scalp no. 13, we are definitely seeing one of the strongest Division 4 sides we have seen in along time. Whilst the Sharks defense stood up for the best part, the supply was just too great. Dale Collins led all scorers with 4, Justin Johns 3 and BOG, Chris Hudson had 2. For the Sharks, Brent Christie and Owen Dickson were the lonely goal scorers and Al Renshaw was Eley Park’s best.
Round 15 already and we are now getting towards the business end of the season. Chadstone and Masala are now playing for pride and Westbourne have 3 games to go to be undefeated. This round appears to have obvious selections but, stranger things have happened. To this week’s games:
Masala (8th) have the unenviable task this week hosting the all-conquering Westbourne Warriors (1st). W.J. Turner’s small ground has suited the Tigers in previous weeks but, this week the Warriors will be kicking them from everywhere. Westbourne
My Match of the Round this week belongs to the 2 sides vying for the last finals spot available as Box Hill North (7th) look to salvage their 2016 season. Heading out to North Brunswick (6th), the Bulls had an easy win last week and the 6 players overseas are now back. “Bocky” to cause this week’s upset in a nail-biter.
Chadstone (9th) have their last home game for the year, hosting Mt. Lilydale (3rd). The Synners are playing for pride as previously stated but this will likely be another loss.
Another game that pricks the ears, is Manningham (5th), hosting Point Cook (2nd). Manningham haven’t beaten anyone above them yet and although they came within 8 points of Eley Park, the Sharks performance last week, sours that result. Point Cook
Eley Park (4th) weren’t happy about their bye being before the Queen’s Birthday earlier this year but, there’s no complaints this week with all their injuries and un-availabilities. Two weeks to rest up and prepare for Masala.
Masala Vs. Westbourne
North Brunswick Vs. Box Hill North
Chadstone Vs. Mt. Lilydale
Manningham Cobras Vs. Point Cook