The bye for Hampton Rovers coincided with the clash between their two main opponents for the top spot. One of the two combatants set their marker down in emphatic fashion. Here’s what took place…
Old Ivanhoe’s season is ticking along just nicely, and although the Preston Bullants kicked the last two goals of the first term to lead at quarter time, the boys from Chelsworth Park were rarely troubled thereafter. The key to the win was a solid defensive display which kept Preston to five goals after quarter time. Ivanhoe took the lead soon after the first break on the back of a three-goal second term from Daniel Stanford and steadily increased their lead to five goals at the last change, whereupon they took complete control in the last twenty minutes to record a ten-goal victory. Luke Scuderi led the scorers’ charts with four, with Ethan Lowe responding with three for the Bullants. Sam Wilcox continued his fine season for Ivanhoe, with the two Howard boys the best for the Bullants.
UHS-VU succeeded in turning the first quarter into an arm wrestle against an Ormond side battling to find their best form in front of the faithful at EE Gunn Reserve. Two goals to one in the opening term represented a success for the University boys, but that sadly was as good as it got. Ormond registered six of the eight second quarter majors as the machine cranked into gear, and another five against only one reply in the third term had appeared to end the match as a contest. UHS-VU had other ideas, kicking four in quick succession in the final stanza, but Ormond finished with two late majors to complete a solid 36-point victory. Blake Picone and Sam Mason kicked three each for the Monders, with Harrison Burt their best. James McGee was best for the Uni with four goals, with the consistent Todd Cracknell also serviceable on the day.
With the winner of this match set to take second place on the ladder, the stakes were high at Frearson Oval, and it was Monash that came out switched on, stunning Mazenod with a five-goal first quarter burst. The early break turned out to be decisive as defences held sway in the middle quarters, with neither side’s attack able to kick more than three further goals to three-quarter time. The Nodders needed to strike hard and early in the final quarter if they were to make any impression on the 28-point deficit that they faced, but again it was Monash that stood up, kicking three goals to two in the final term to frank their credentials as one of the premiership favourites coming into the half-way mark. Nick Darling and Alex Bennett kicked three each for Monash, with the hard-working Jake Meade their best. Nick Pascuzzi with two was the only multiple goal kicker for Mazenod, with Matt Fewings best afield in their colours.
Parkdale made it two wins on the bounce with a comfortable victory against the visiting Marcellin. An even first term gave way to a dominant display in the middle quarters as the Vultures stood up to every Marcellin challenge to lead by five goals at the final change. Marcellin did well to hold Parkdale in the last quarter as the dam threatened to break, but were only able to manage two goals of their own as the Vultures cruised to a 34-point triumph. Josh Manning made the most of his opportunities up forward, as did Dylan Williamson as they finished with three goals each for Parkdale. Charlie Yee was best on the ground in an even, solid display. Pat Howe with two was Marcellin’s only multiple goal kicker, with Marcel Haj a winner for them.
Old Geelong travelled to Keysborough with demolition on their mind, and they delivered in spades as the local fans of the Old Mentonians endured a dirty day that could have been even worse had the Geelong boys kicked straighter. The Panthers went to half time with a meagre four behinds on the board as Old Geelong kicked the only six goals of the first half, and whilst they were finally able to get the scoreboard ticking after the main break, they were unable to stop Old Geelong from doing the same. The OGS, whilst particularly inaccurate in their finishing after half time, kicked five goals in the third term and three in the last to win every quarter on the way to a 65-point win. Liam Higgins and Joe Griffiths kicked three goals apiece for OGS, with Nick Freeman industrious all day. Tom McCarthy played a lone hand in kicking three for the Panthers, with the evergreen Lewis Oliver also handy.
Hampton Rovers bye