By David Chalmers – @DAChalmers81
With Round 6 completed, we’re now one-third of the way through the Premier B season for 2016. Beaumaris remains undefeated after overcoming the Rovers, who also remain the only winless team so far this season. Fitzroy moved up a couple of notches after recording their second win of the season over Old Brighton, who slip to ninth. Once again the wind played havoc with scorelines and aspirations. Round 6 was the lowest scoring round of the season so far, with a total of 99 goals kicked. Beaumaris’s Stephen Milne (20 goals) still leads the competition, ahead of Nathan Smith (Hampton) and Tim Macmillan (Old Scotch) on 19.
The match where the impact of the wind was most noticeable was Ajax versus Parkdale, in which both sides could only manage three goals between them in the first three quarters. The goalkicking troubles continued in the final term. There were three misses early on and it was nine minutes before Josh Baron, in his first game for the year for Ajax, took advantage of a holding the ball decision and kicked one between the big sticks. A voice from behind the VAFA TV camera muttered “Sure needed that one,” in a masterful understatement. Josh Manning replied for the Vultures five minutes later and this ‘opened the floodgates’ for the visitors, with Parkdale adding three more goals through Nathan Peterson and Alex Derzekos. Ajax’s total of 2.13 was the lowest of the season so far. Baron was very good in his first game for the season, Josh Ludski returned and was among the best and Richie Simon was also excellent. After winning three in a row, the Jackas have now lost two on the trot. Parkdale made five changes to their side. Peterson returned, kicking a goal and being among the best, while Luke Morgan and Andrew Watterson continued their good form.
It was a top-versus-bottom clash as Beaumaris looked to extend their early-season streak against Hampton, who are yet to win a game in 2016. The Sharks started with the wind and built a handy lead with their best first quarter for the season so far. The Rovers didn’t really capitalize in the second term, kicking 3.5, but kept Beaumaris to one goal. The Sharks piled on 5.6 in the third while the home side was held scoreless, resulting in a comfortable lead to Beaumaris at three-quarter time. It was looking like a nice little percentage booster when Milne and Daniel Gribbin both kicked truly inside the first seven minutes. However, the Rovers hit back with three goals in three minutes through Sam Bradford, Sam Clements and Daniel Corp. Nick Dickinson took a strong mark on a lead to reply for Beaumaris but Corp and Nathan Smith both ensured the Rovers wouldn’t be disgraced against the ladder leaders, contributing to four goals in a row late in the quarter. Gribbin finished off for the Sharks, who left with a 28 point win.
After an ordinary start to the season, the Monash Blues had won two in a row and were starting to gain some confidence. In Round 6 they hosted the Tigers and started better, keeping the visitors goalless in the first term while kicking a couple themselves. They made an excellent start to the second term, with Daniel Easson getting the ball out of the middle straight to Nick Petering, who kicked truly inside the first minute. The next ten minutes was all St Bedes/Mentone, but they could only manage 1.4, with Luke Velluto defying the windy conditions to kick a nice goal from a tight angle. Monash then took over, kicking three goals in quick time thanks to Matthew Davidson, Charlie Rosetti and Petering. Chris Richards answered for the Tigers, capitalizing on a handball over the top from Michael Barnes. When Blue Ben Whitfort took a strong contested mark and converted the set shot at the 21-minute mark, nobody imagined it would be Monash’s last goal for the day. But that’s exactly how it turned out. They led by 14 points at halftime and by the final change scores were level. The Tigers ran over the top in the last quarter, kicking 4.6 to Monash’s 0.2 and staying one game ahead of the pack in third place.
Fitzroy is on the march after defeating Old Brighton to chalk up their second win of the season. The Tonners were wasteful in the opening, kicking 1.6 and the Roys turned it around in the second quarter with 4.0, holding a narrow lead at half time, despite having half the number of scoring shots. The Roys kicked season-high scores in the third and fourth quarters with five goals in each, while keeping the Tonners to four goals for the half, resulting in a comfortable victory. Fitzroy only made one change to the team and had eleven individual goalkickers. Matthew Kyroussis and Aidan Lambert were again standouts, while Will Pickering and Daniel Bisetto kicked a couple each. The Tonners, who slip to ninth on the ladder, made five changes and were well served by Josh Dickerson and Hamish Graham.
Old Scotch has consolidated second place on the ladder with a come-from-behind victory over Old Haileybury. Trailing by 14 points at three-quarter time, the Cardinals slammed on eight goals to one to take the win and keep their excellent start to the season intact. The Bloods started with the wind but failed to build a decent lead. Four goals to one in the second quarter turned things around for the Cardinals, but then the Bloods went one better, kicking five and keeping Old Scotch goalless, setting up their final-change lead. That’s when the Cardinals unleashed. Despite the blitz, their 8.2 final quarter wasn’t their highest for the season, after they kicked 9.7 the previous week in their demolition of Parkdale. For the Cardinals, prolific goal scorers Jono Daggian and Tim Macmillan were again amongst it, while Gene Van den Broek and Aidan Franetic were again very good. Old Haileybury made three changes and were without leading goalkicker Corey Connelly. Lachlan Treverton stepped up with three goals, Jarrod Plymin was again very good and Daniel Harrison was a standout. They remain in the top four, level with Ajax and Parkdale but with a superior percentage.
Round 7 tips:
Beaumaris vs. Fitzroy
Monash Blues vs. AJAX
Old Brighton vs. Old Scotch
Old Haileybury vs. Hampton Rovers
St Bedes/Mentone Tigers vs. Parkdale Vultures