THE DRUM: DIVISION SEMI-FINALS

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Division 1
One step away from Premier C.
Scribe Rees Quilford gives us a rundown.
Werribee vs Monash Blues
Sat 28 Aug 2:15pm at St Bernard’s College
An interesting twist of fate sees Werribee face off against Monash for a second week in a row. All comers start from scratch come finals and you wouldn’t want to read too much into last week’s result. However, the Blues will have to find a bucket load of improvement if they hope to match it with a Werribee outfit that has smashed all challengers this year. 
To be any chance, the Blues will look to lock down and prevent the Bees from playing their run and carry game. No mean feat, considering the Bees extremely well drilled and coached spread of talent. Aaron Taylor poses a massive threat up forward, not only for his capacity to hit the scoreboard but also his ability to bring his fellow forwards into the game through his willingness to provide a contest. The Bees will also look for good performances from Dean, Pelar, Palmington and Cellea.
With a good spread of quality talls, the Blues do have the height to hurt the Bees, the big question is whether Smyth, Young, Fuzzard and company can go with Werribee’s midfield.
Prediction: We should get a much closer contest than last week, but Werribee’s depth and class will see them comfortably over the line and into the GF and Premier C.
Peninsula vs NOB/SP Sun 29 August 2:00pm at Central Reserve
The Peninsula versus NOBSP match shapes as a much harder contest to pick. Just a fortnight ago, only a kick separated the two sides. While the Pirates would have got a big confidence boost from their massive win over the Friars last week, it came at a cost and they go into the match with a couple of injury concerns.
With his ability to pitch hit through the middle or go forward, Pirate skipper Shaun Payze shapes as the game breaker. They will also look for big efforts from Tom Rees, Sam Murray and Vaughan Clarke. Another key will be finding a suitable match up for NOB forward Todd Patterson. NOBs, on the other hand, need Keown, Tomkin and Horsley to continue to fire.
Prediction: They’re line ball. The Pirates were unlucky losers after leading for most of the day when the two sides meet a fortnight ago but that win will give NOBs a heap of confidence. The Pirates by a kick.
Division 2
Scribe James Coyne tells it as he sees it.
Banyule and Glen Eira clash as the best of Division Two go head to head to book a place in the 2010 Division Two Grand Final. Banyule’s form has been tremendous dropping two games all year. While for the Saints, they have dropped six while piling on 11 wins. Banyule will be relying on the likes of Jake Truefeldt, Bart Walsh and Michael Christian but with David Drapic and the ever consistent Tom Shepherd, the Bears will be starting firm favourites. Ash Brown will be the biggest key to victory however, and stopping him is one of many hills the boys from Packer Park will have to get over. For Glen Eira, they will be looking for days out from Andrew Spink, Michael Kohout, and Alex Tsirogiannis if they are any chance of upsetting Banyule. Goals will be of course the key element to victory and the Saints have 30-goal Mark Dimashki as well as Tom Paterson and Steve Vamvaskas to kick them competitive scores. For mine, I’ll be tipping a 40-point Banyule win. Apart from Brown, Banyule have the game plan and too many players willing to get their names on the goal sheet. A third quarter blowout will seal the win.
In the first semi, the pensioners meet again, with Old Paradians taking on Old Westbourne. With two sides playing each other a mere seven days ago, they will know each other reasonable well by now. Old Westbourne defeated the Raiders both times the two teams met, and with Chris Hudson peaking at the right time of the year. With Fransisco Pavez and Justin Johns firing they will need a lift from Daniel Riosa, Brett Connors and Damien Lockwood if they are to face the loser of Banyule/GE. The Raiders obviously need to address why the Warriors have had the wood over them the last three times they have clashed. The third placed Raiders have relied on David Boundy, and Brett Mcallister heavily and despite these two being in hot form, they need the mid tier players to step up. Steve Rehlicki, Daniel Spitty, Phil Pratt and Peter Brabrender are poised for big games. Old Paradians will end the Warriors’ season prematurely to the tune of 14 points. Boundy will turn it on, to end Westbourne’s recent dominance. Parade.
Division 3
St John’s meet La Trobe University in the second semi-final at Scammell on Sunday and one of them will be promoted. The JOCs have had a fine year after some shaky momnets in recent times and thoroughly earned the minor premiership. The Trobers’ season has been full of merit too. Premiers in Div 4 last year, they’ve stepped up in class and will go into this one full of confidence.
During the season, both games were hotly contested and they pulled the points once each. does this guarantee another close one? No, but on paper, they are fairly even. La Trobe beat Power House comfortably last week and will be tippy-top. JOCs had the week to mull things over and I’m sticking with them on that basis, though a La Trobe win would not surprise in the least.
Power House plays Albert Park in the knockout semi and one of them goes home. winning form is good form and Albert Park have that, having sent the ‘Wickers packing last weekend. The Pikemen seem to have returned to good form too, though their loss to La Trobe last week might have dented their confidence a bit. No time to look back, however, it’s on with the show. I have a sneaking feeling that the Bankers, who sneaked into the finals, might just have hit a purple patch (which happens when the red and blue colours on their jumper run) and will move forward.
If I’m right, that would set up a promotion fight between last year’s Div 4 grand finallists, a juicy prospect indeed. 
Division 4
Jumping Jim Sutton shines a light on them.
Senior Second Semi Final – Monash Gryphons v Mt Lilydale
Big rewards for the winner here with a grand final berth and promotion to Division 3 at stake. With the early forecast for the weekend looking reasonable this could be a goal fest like their last encounter. The Rams difficulties finding a training venue of late may have actually freshened them up a bit and they have done a good job rotating players, but the Gryphons have only played once in the last three weeks and should be cherry ripe. Monash in a ripper.
Senior First Semi Final – Manningham Cobras v South Mornington
Season on the line for the Cobras and Tigers, expect this to be much closer than their last meeting with South buoyant after last weeks win and Manningham perhaps a little deflated. The fleet of foot Tigers will run all day and should play with plenty of freedom being the underdogs, whether they can match up with some of the Cobras bigger players is the $64,000 question. Manningham by a couple.