ANZAC Day was commemorated fittingly across all of Division 2 in Round 3, with numerous Remembrance Ceremonies uniting all clubs and bringing a bigger picture into the football world. However, it was a different battle on the footy field, with some hard-fought wins, some teams highlighting that they are finals materials and the first draw in Division 2 for 2018, proving that the competition may be closer than we think. Here’s how round 3 went down.

 Emmaus St Leos vs UHS-VU

Consistency from Brandon Jackson (5 goals) and UHS-VU side made it three in a row defeating St Leos by 56 points. The Vultures used the big ground to their advantage and kicked a massive 21 goals to the Animals 11 and only missed six times throughout the day. A tight first quarter ensued, with both sides scoring three goals, but UHS knew how to kick away and made it hard for the Animals to attempt a comeback after halftime. While the Animals kicked fairly all day, their defence failed to hold off a variety of Vultures goal kickers, including BOG Joseph Turner with 5 goals and Vulture veteran Mitch Sweeney with 4 goals. The Animals had Tom Birkett who had two to his name. Paul Baranello was busy with the assistance of Daniel Hill and Max Catchpool (4) in front of goal.

Eltham Collegians vs MHSOB

As predicted, MHSOB bounced back from their round 2 woes and took the four points against Eltham away from home, by 70 points. Eltham kept close in the first half, trailing by only 2 goals at quarter time. The Unicorns, however, showed their class and by halftime were out to a six-goal lead, thanks to the handy work from Hugh Radcliffe-Smith (3). Eltham only managed to score two goals after half-time and were deflated on field, struggling to stop the onslaught of ten more goals from Melbourne High, led by Kane Smith (6). MHSOB looked to Jye Sandiford and Mitch Wilson who were also prominent. For the opposition, Eltham, Brandon Henness and Fraser Cloney were busy, with Troy Jinnette kicking one.

Old Paradians vs Yarra Old Grammarians

A shoot out was on for the Raiders and the Bushrangers, where 34 goals were shared at Garvey Oval. Yarra were close all day, but the Raiders managed to keep them at bay, coming out 15 point winners. Both teams matched up well in this high scoring encounter, as the game opened up in the second half, with 21 goals kicked. Michael Boundy again was a stand-out for Old Paradians kicking 5 goals, along with Darcy Cotter and both Ryan and Warren Jeffery. For the Bushrangers, Cody and Bailey Johnson were named BOG and Rory Harbeck kicked 6 of the team’s 16 goals. Yarra’s spirited fightback was gallant but the Raiders highlighted why they’re a steady force to be reckoned with in 2018.

Bulleen Templestowe vs St Johns

The first draw of 2018 proves that the competition is as even as can be, with St John’s and Bulleen Templestowe the ones in the spotlight. Bulleen settled in for the first quarter, leading 28 to 7. The Bullants kicked 2 goals in the second, leading by 17 points at half time. The second half saw a turn of events with St Johns out to play, led by Aaron Thornton who kicked 4, only trailing by one point at three quarter time. The game was wide open going into the last quarter. Both sides kicked four goals in the final term and ending the scores at 93-a-piece, after a hard-fought contest, without a winner.Anthony Lucisano was BOG for the Bullants with three goals to his name, with able support across the ground from Rob Edsall and Leith Wallis, who continues his consistent 2018 form. For the Jocs, who now sit in 5thposition, Glenn Costas was a stand out again supported by Jesse Henderson.

Whitefriars vs Power House

Star Lewis Neate kicked six and led Whitefriars to their third straight win over a deflated Power House side, by 98 points at the College Oval. Friars got away early in the first, kicking four quick goals, but Power House fought back and went into the second down by only a goal. It was a tighter start to the second quarter but the Friars boys kept their noses in front, extending their lead to four goals at halftime. A massive second half (15 team goals) from a variety of Friars players, including trusted goal kicker Michael Nitas (2) and Bryan Dihn in the backline ensured the Friars made their mark. The House had a surge early in the third kicking a handful of goals, but the class and cleanliness of Whitefriars prevailed as they steadied their ship and took the four points. The House looked to their small players across the ground, with River Carroll kicking 3, Benny Circosta (2) and Brent Ritchie (2) grinding hard in the midfield. Power House ran out of legs in the end, not strong enough for a fully fit Friars side.


Round 4 Preview:

UHS-VU vs Old Paradians

The Vultures are on a roll, however this battle against Old Paradians should be an intense and close one considering both can kick big scores. The fast pace of the Vultures is something the Raiders can match across the whole ground, so expect a quick moving footy at both ends. It will come down to the pure skill around the contest and who can use their space better. The Raiders will need to keep an eye on Jackson in particular. Uni High will need to watch Cotter and Plunkett. It’s a tough pick, but UHS-VU have shown why they deserve their spot this season so far, so should take the chocolates.

Yarra Old Grammarians vs Emmaus St Leos

After both teams were defeated unfortunately last week, they’ll be rightfully eager to make amends and snatch the much-needed points. The Bushrangers know how to blast their opponents defence open with a variety of small and tall forwards, like Harbeck and Hall that’ll do the most damage. The Animals must stop their run on, but are better in and around the contest, thanks to the handy help from the Baranello boys around the ground. Yarra can win this one, but it will be a tight battle to follow closely.

MHSOB vs Bulleen Templestowe

Bulleen would be bitter after splitting the four points with the Jocs last week. MHSOB on the other hand will be eager to keep their name on the winners list as they attempt to cement an early final four spot. Both capable of kicking big scores, it will be up to each sides defence to determine the game. Watch out for the lesser-discussed Jordan and Hayes, who will be a danger to the Bullants, while Glenn Costas should lead his Bullants team again when they need it.

Power House vs Eltham Collegians

Both winless and both hungry to claim the four points up for grabs, Power House and Eltham will be working hard to prove their worth in Division 2. It could be a low scoring contest, as both teams are gritty around the ball and will rely heavily on the hard-ball plays to win the footy. This game will be won in the forward half and around the contests. Stubbs and Carroll will be key for Power House, while forward Robertson and Jinnette for Eltham can be the difference on the day.

St Johns vs Whitefriars

The Jocs have a major test ahead when they take on the top-of-the-table Whitefriars, who are averaging 141 points a game. Coming off a draw, the only change the Jocs need to make is fixing their slow starts, which sets up for the rest of the game. Whitefriars, on the other hand, should take the four points comfortably after showing for three consistent weeks that they are definite finals contenders. The Jocs need to keep tabs on James Campbell (4 last week) and Geilings (3 last week) as well as the consistent Michael Nitas. Overall, it should be a rough contest but the Friars are too experienced not to come out on top.