By Gav Southern – @gavsouthern
We are now unbelievably two-thirds of the way through the season and for a period, we saw the return of the sun. 4/4 tipping and the match of round didn’t disappoint again. As predicted, Masala jumped to 7th without taking the field, Box Hill North and Chaddy received another lesson. North Brunswick deserve a pat on the back and the Rams held off a hungry Cobras team. To last week’s games:
North Brunswick Def By Westbourne
Muddy conditions slowed the game down immensely at Allard Park as the North Brunswick Bulls hosted ladder leaders, Westbourne last Saturday. After claiming an early 2 point lead after the first quarter, the Warriors had to go back to basics and stick to their game plan. Kicking 3 goals for each of the first three quarters, they were more intent on picking up their defensive game and their strengths along their half-back line. Only Paul Notaro (6 goals) of the Bulls was able to break free from their tight defense as both teams struggled getting handles on the ball. But, the difference was the consistency of the Warrior forward line that decided the game, led by BOG Chris Hudson (4) and Dale Collins (3).
Manningham Def Mt. Lilydale
Another match that struggled early in the conditions was our match of the round at Koonung Reserve between visiting Mt. Lilydale and Manningham. A win for Manningham would have had them still knocking on top 4’s door but, it wasn’t to be. Both sides couldn’t get it going early as the majority of the scores in the first were rushed behinds. Come the second, the game opened up a bit as Manningham began edging out the Rams in the hopes of an upset. From the start of the premiership quarter, Mt. Lilydale went on a tear, piling on 8 goals-one, to post an insurmountable lead of 30. Manningham weren’t dead though and should hold their heads up as they simply ran out of time, going down by just 8 points. Nick Edwards (4 goals) was the only multiple goal scorer for the Cobras, whilst the Rams’ Stephen Donald returned to the side with 5 and Adam Thorne booted 4. Tim Legg was BOG.
Point Cook Def Box Hill North
An early goal from Bocky’s Adam Green in the first quarter was the only thing the Demons could be happy about after completing their second straight Westgate journey at Saltwater Reserve, as Point Cook won by 153 in commanding fashion. With 10 goal-kickers led by, 8 goals from BOG Jordan Lampi (tying the club season high), 6 from William Dawson and Alex Grigg (2), their win increased the percentage by 22 and has created an all important buffer from Mt. Lilydale. For Box Hill North, their victory over Point Cook in the finals last year, is a far too distant memory and appear to have lost the endeavour they had in 2015. All is not lost for the Demons though, as they are still a game and percentage out from turning it around.
Eley Park Def Chadstone
Although Chadstone were able to record their second highest score for the year (42 points), this was another commanding performance from the victorious, Eley Park Sharks at Whitehorse Reserve. The Sharks celebrated their 25th season in style with 11 goal-kickers, led by Dave Viola (9 goals), Trent Sigalas (7), Dan Edwards (5) and BOG Owen Dickson (1). The small ground made it easy for the Sharks to move the ball and switch play as the Synners again found players doubling-up for the 3rd week running. One of those was Danno Keating who backed up a dominating performance in the Magoos, to be Chaddy’s best and booting 3. Andrew Sparks and the newly engaged, Nick Smith, also competed well for the Synners. A big CONGRATULATIONS go to the new Eley Park life members, John Alexandridis, Club President Travis Houlden, Dave Viola and Corey Cresswell.
As we head into the representative break and the home straight of season ’16, it’s still mathematically capable for eight teams. It’s a little too early to provide the “run home” but, you would think the top 4 are done and the next 4 need to fit into 2 spots. To this week’s games:
Just missing out on my match of the round, Masala (7th) making the trek to Allard Park and North Brunswick (6th). Separated only by percentage and a weaker defence, Masala need to control the “Barometer”, Paul Notaro. Can they? I’ll have to say, a little but, not enough. North Brunswick.
For Mt. Lilydale (3rd), every week will be a must-win week if they are to hold off Eley Park and play 6th in week one of the finals. This week, they head out to Elgar Park and Box Hill North (8th). I said it earlier but, Bocky are running out of games if they want finals. Saturday will be one less. Mt. Lilydale
What DOES get my match of the round, is the battle between Eley Park (4th) at Koonung Reserve against Manningham (5th). Manningham would be disappointed with one the got away last week whilst Eley Park are hungry to climb the ladder. Eley Park
Chadstone (9th) have the unenviable task of heading over the Westgate, to go up against Westbourne (1st). Let’s hope and pray they have numbers. A chance for Westbourne to rest those not 100% right. Westbourne.
Point Cook (2nd) get two weeks off and ample time to prepare for their biggest road-trip for the year to Mt. Lilydale
North Brunswick Vs. Masala
Box Hill North Vs. Mt. Lilydale
Manningham Vs. Eley Park
Westbourne Vs. Chadstone