The biggest goal haul of the 2018 Division 2 Season has been recorded, with Whitefriars’ Lewis Neate notching up nine goals in his teams convincing win against St Johns in Round 4. Meanwhile, Power House had their first win of the season, the Bullants tested MHSOB and the Raiders held off a determined comeback from the Uni High boys. With only two teams remaining winless going into round 5, the competition is still full of unpredictable moments just waiting to happen. Here’s how round 4 went down.
UHS-VU vs Old Paradians
The Vultures played host to a productive and consistent Old Paradians side, who kicked 14 goals to UHS-VU’s 11, coming out 22 point winners. The Raiders kicked 7 goals to the Vultures 1 in the first quarter, but a quick comeback for the Vultures, who held the Raiders goalless in the second quarter saw the Vultures down by 13 points going into the main break. Both sides kicked three goals in the third, which left the last quarter to see whose stamina would hold out. Kynan Barnes and Clayton Lund kicked two each for the Vultures, but their first quarter ultimately let them down in the end, not able to catch up to the fast-starting Raiders who took home the four points. For the winners, trusted goal kickers Michael Boundy and Matt Cox were on fire, sharing seven goals between them. The BOG votes went to Michael Deligiorgis for the Raiders. The Vultures were supported by Jaycob Doyle and the consistent Gerard Hawkins (1).
Yarra Old Grammarians vs Emmaus St Leos
The Bushrangers kicked 17 goals and came out victors against a tough St Leos side, who, despite losing, have made major improvements this season. A six goal start for the Rangers set them up for the game. St Leos were consistent in front of goal, but struggled to make up the early gap. The game’s fate was sealed in the third quarter, when the Bushrangers kicked seven goals straight, led by Rory Harbeck (6), to the Animals two. Although the Rangers only kicked one goal in the final term, the Animals simply ran out of steam to take their chance to run over the favourites in the end. Bailey Johnson held his own as he was named best for the Rangers.
MHSOB vs Bulleen Templestowe
A suprisingly tight battled ensued between the fourth-placed Unicorns and the ninth-placed Bullants, who came to test MHSOB. However, as predicted, the Melbourne High boys pulled off a win albeit by only six points. After a slower start, Bulleen had second quarter surge, with their goals coming from Anthony Lucisano (2) and Patrick Moi (3) and closing in on the Unicorns 38-34 at half time. The third quarter was in the Unicorns favour, as they booted seven to the Bullants four to settle themselves back in. However, the Bullants had a last quarter comeback when they kicked five goals to MHSOB’s three, but the class of the Unicorns held off an energetic attempt. Leith Wallis’ consistency for the Bullants shone through as he collected the BOG accolade, ably supported by David Dakin (2) in front of goal. The winners had a spread of seven goal kickers and Zach Smooker starred around the ground.
Power House vs Eltham Collegians
Ryal Yak’s last quarter inspired Power House to get over the line for their first win of the 2018 season, by 47 points at the Ross Gregory against a hard-fighting Turtles side. The House held a comfortable margin throughout the day, but Eltham tested the strength of Power House’s defence, thanks to goal kickers Fraser Cloney (3) and James Hyndman (2).
The House’s gutsy last quarter saw them notch-up seven goals to the Turtles four.
Matt Devine was a standout for the House in the ruck, with support across the ground from Dom Mitchell and Benny Circosta (4). Angus Robertson was BOG for the Turtles and other young guns Jack Fitzpatrick, Lachie and Jay Smith and Eden Simpson are all on the right track for the Turtles this season. Just before the first bounce, Old Eltham Collegians discovered that veteran and star Troy Jinnette was playing his 300th game.
St Johns vs Whitefriars
A nine-goal haul from dependable Friars forward Lewis Neate sealed his teams 101-point thrashing of hosts St Johns, who came off a draw last week. The Jocs scored only one point in the first quarter and leaked seven goals to the Friars, who then went on to kick 16 more majors, with a spread of nine goals kickers, five of who kicked 2 goals or more. The game was over from the get-go, with Whitefriars lead stretching to 95 points at three-quarter time. It was too late for a Jocs return in the end, but support came from Aaron Thornton who kicked three of his teams seven goals and Laurence Kazinoti, who polled the best votes. As expected, Michael Nitas kicked four goals and reinforced why the Friars are a serious force to be reckoned with in 2018.
ROUND 5 PREVIEW:
Eltham Collegians vs Bulleen Templestowe
Bulleen showed that they can contest against some finals contenders, but will be looking to go one step further and take the victory when it is within reach. On the other hand, the Turtles are desperate for a win to kick-start their sluggish start to 2018 and have a big chance to beat Bulleen on ground level if they contest harder at the ball. Turtle veteran Troy Jinnette will properly celebrate his 301stgame in style in front of a home crowd this week too, so his team will be hungry for him. Cloney (Eltham) and Lucisano (Bulleen) should be an interesting battle in front of goal also.
Old Paradians vs Emmaus St Leos
While Old Paradians love to kick big scores and grind their opposition with running football, they’ll need to figure out how to play hard footy against a lower-scoring Animals side, who like to beat their opposition in and around the contest. If the Animals can stop the fast pace and the run on, which the Raiders use to hurt teams on the scoreboard, they can use their physical strength to decide the outcome of the match. However, the Raiders seem to know how to play consistent four-quarter footy and should be too collected and classy in the end.
MHSOB vs UHS-VU
Both equally placed on the ladder means that a tight battle is ahead this week. In the Battle of the High Schools, the Vultures are ready and able to comeback after their loss to the Raiders last week, while MHSOB would be eager to improve from their extremely close win against the Bullants. The Vultures will look to run the ball and spread across the wings, so the Unicorns must aim to shut down their run and carry. The contest between the consistent Hawkins (UHS-Vu) and a newer face in Smooker (MHSOB) will be telling on the result, however UHS-VU are predicted winners.
Power House vs St Johns
Both the House and the Jocs have been beaten convincingly by Whitefriars back-to-back and will equally be eager to show who is worthier of the competition’s respect. If they want to make it two on the trot, Power House must first attempt to stop opposition from scoring in high numbers. The Jocs, while proving that they can contend against the best, must get back to the basics in order to find their form once more. Look to the middle men and veterans Adam Collett (Power House) and Glenn Costas (St Johns) to determine the result of this one.
Whitefriars vs Yarra Old Grammarians
With the Friars sitting pretty above the rest, the game against the Raiders is set to be a high scoring encounter that could give us a preview of finals footy. It is not only the forwards who must be prepared to do the hard work, but also the defenders of each side who must figure out their opponents and halt the flow of goals. Forwards Nitas and Neate (13 between them last week) are in consistent form for Whitefriars, so must be stopped in front of goal. For Yarra, it is Harbeck who leads a dominant and widespread number of goal kickers that need to turn up this week if they are any chance of causing an upset.