COVID has taken two rounds from us, and we have now officially made the turn in the season. With some scintillating rematches, Premier C Round 10 looks to be one to watch.
Hampton v Mazenod @ Boss James Reserve
Last meeting – Round 7: Mazenod (14.10.94) def Hampton (9.14.68).
Well, this is weird. These teams last faced each other in round 7, and having not played any games since then, will have an immediate rematch. Hampton was a clear favourite heading into the first matchup, but the Nodders jumped them early and held a six-goal lead at half time that proved to be insurmountable. It was the in-form defence of Mazenod that won them the game, holding Nathan Smith (20 goals) and Max Coughlin (17 goals) goalless. Tom Warby and Simon Hall were outstanding down back, but it was Samuel Michael that dominated in the middle that made the difference. If I were a betting man (and I am), I would say that Christian Carnovale and Chris Perkins will not let Michael have such an influence this week. The stats say that you can’t stop Hampton from scoring two weeks in a row, and for that reason, I expect coach Anthony Quon to make the necessary adjustments to allow his high scoring and high-pressure game style to take the chocolates in Round 10.
UHS-VU v Preston @ Brens Oval
Last meeting – Round 7: Preston (7.13.55) def by UHS-VU (8.14.62)
Just like the game above, UHS-VU and Preston played in a tight one in round 7 and pending a lockdown, the Bullants will get an instant crack at some revenge this round. UHS-VU have been in great form in recent weeks, culminating in their first win in the Premier sections in 44 years over the Bullants, who have never won a game in the Premier sections. The Bullants will lean on their star midfielders to stop the influence of the Vulture’s ruckman Fraser Allen and ball winner Esubalew Ramsay. I expect a very similar game this week. The game will be won in the contest. If the Calcedo boys can get on top, Preston will be in for a massive chance. While UHS-VU’s lack of scoring options is a worry, their record at Brens Oval in recent years is too hard to go past.
Old Geelong v Ormond @ Como Park
Last meeting – Round 6: Ormond (21.12.138) def Old Geelong (6.9.45)
The last time these two met, Ormond annihilated the Oggers to the tune of 93 points at home. It was a defensive masterclass by the Monders, who behind the great play of Jeremy Simon, Mason Martinez and Dae Szydlik, held Old Geelong to a season low 45 points. With the tables turned at Como Park, I expect Old Geelong to put up a better fight. Their class in the middle with Dixon, Simson and Sloss does not often get beaten twice in a row. The return of Christian Hatzis forward for the Oggers should also ensure more goals are put on the board. Having said that, the Monders are coming off a marginal loss to the undefeated Monash away, a game which they will feel they should have won. While Ormond has the injury bug, I expect Suckling, Kennedy and the Buckleys to be too much again for Old Geelong. Ormond to win in a tight one.
Old Mentonians v Monash @ Keysborough Playing Fields
Last meeting – Round 2: Monash (20.8.128) def Old Mentonians (6.4.40)
Old Mentone have been in great form of late. Emerging young stars have ensured the Panthers are in with a crack in almost every game recently, however, this will be a tough one. Monash took over early in round two and never gave Old Mentone a chance. MacGregor Cameron dominated, and the Blues had 10 individual goal kickers. Old Mentone will need to take every opportunity they get this week, and unfortunately for the Panthers, the Blues defence does not allow many opportunities. I expect the Panthers to put up a good fight, but the Blues should comfortably win this one and stay undefeated.
Marcellin v Old Ivanhoe @ Marcellin College
Last meeting – Round 4: Old Ivanhoe (14.10.94) def Marcellin (13.11.89)
I expect this matchup to be the game of the round. Two midfields in great form. Two forward lines with plenty of potential. Two teams hungry for a win. Their round four matchup was tight all day, and it took a monster last quarter from Mal Mitris to get Old Ivanhoe over the line. Marcellin is the best eighth placed team in any VAFA competition. The matchup of Jordan Perry and Jake Bradley will be a great one to watch in the middle. This game will be decided by Old Ivanhoe’s forwards. Skok and Velluto have been down in form in recent weeks, and if they can get on the board early, I think the Hoers will walk away victors. However, without big Mirkov (recently drafted to Carlton in the mid-season draft), the Eagles’ mids may find a way to get on top.