As the weeks roll by, it’s becoming obvious that a games fate can switch in a matter of only one quarter. Whether it be a test of the best, an almost comeback or a complete result reversal, Round 7 had it all. Old Paradians remain undefeated on top, but the changes to the lower half of the ladder are becoming worrying for sides wanting to stay afloat in Division 2. Here’s how Round 7 went down.
Eltham Collegians vs Yarra Old Grammarians
A massive 10-goal-to-one first quarter set up Yarra Old Grammarians to take down Eltham by 111 points at Eltham College. The Bushrangers shut down any chance of an Eltham run-on in the first and from there knew how to tire the Turtles young legs. There was no comeback in sight for a deflated Eltham side, who managed only two more goals in the second quarter, going into halftime with three majors to their name. The Rangers, led by Kelvin Moore (5), Ben Trend (4) and Rory Harbeck (4), who shared 14 of the team’s 23 majors, had kicked six more at the main break, before coming out in the second half and adding another seven to their total. Yarra were supported around the ground by Jonathon Trend and David Wildsmith (1), while Fraser Cloney again was strong in front of goal with three of the Turtle’s six, followed by Jay Smith with one.
Power House vs Old Paradians
The game between Old Paradians and Power House looked like a foregone conclusion on paper with the undefeated Raiders expecting an easy afternoon and at half time it seemed like all was playing to script with the Raiders leading 9 goals to 1. However, somebody forgot to tell Power House, whose third quarter demonstrated why they can’t be taken lightly. They booted 6 goals and played some excellent contested football. Despite another tight final quarter, the Raiders did enough to win comfortably by 63 points. The House’s Fiachra O’Deasmhunaigh took the chocolates in his battle with Michael Boundy while Euan Edwards played well across half back for the home side. For the winners, Matthew Luciano kicked 3 while Luke McCann also booted 3 in a best on ground performance.
Bulleen Templestowe vs UHS-VU
A tight battle was on between the up-and-about Bulleen side and a settled UHS-VU side at Ted Ajani Reserve, with the Vultures coming out 14 point winners. Bulleen had a fast start and kicked away early, leading six goals to three at quarter time. The Bullants seemed to have control over the ball as they slowed down the pace of the Vultures, holding them to six goals at halftime. The Vultures struggled to kick straight in the third term but closed the margin to 17 points at the final break, thanks to the handy kicking from Gerard Hawkins (2). Bulleen had a big task ahead in the last quarter to hold off a hungry Vultures side, but they managed to give up the lead and allowed UHS-VU to run on and kick five goals to secure their sixth win of 2018. Bulleen were held goalless by impeccable Uni High defence in the fourth which proved costly for the Bullants, who ran out of steam when it mattered most. UHS-VU BOG Brandon Jackson kicked six, with Esubalew Ramsay another support outlet. For Bulleen, Chance Burridge was strong and goals came from Peter Voglis (4) and Ashwyn Mohandas (2).
St Johns vs MHSOB
MHSOB are keeping their finals chances alive as they defeated a hard fighting St John side by a convincing 34 points. Leading from the first bounce, it was a low scoring affair with seven goals (MHSOB) to four (St Johns) at halftime. However, a change of events occurred in the third term, with the Jocs holding the Unicorns to one major, while also kicking four, led by Aaron Thornton’s three goals, to trail by only six points going into the last term. But, nothing is permanent in football as shown by another turn of events, with the Unicorns booting seven and the Jocs only managing two more goals to end the game. Will Hellier booted four for the winners, leading a spread of eight other goal kickers. Mitchell Wilson was also named BOG for the Unicorns. The Jocs had Ben Ayache (2) and Daniel Cattolico (1) strong also.
Whitefriars vs Emmaus St Leos
Kristan Height (6) and Michael Nitas (4) led their Whitefriars boys to their sixth win of the 2018 season against Emmaus St Leos by 67 points at home and holding on to second spot on the ladder. The Animals seemed well in the contest in the first quarter, only behind by two goals, but in true Friars fashion, the second quarter told a different tale, with six goals to one scored to give the Friars a seven-goal lead at halftime. From there, Emmaus simply couldn’t find a way to stop the goal flow and struggled to collect clean possession or clearances. The only positive to take from their game is their final quarter, where they outscored the Friars four goals to two. Kieran Hayes was deemed best on ground for the winners, with Daniel Kaldor a close second. Paul Baranello has again proved himself for the Animals, alongside Max Catchpool and Newbegin Baxter who kicked two.
ROUND 8 PREVIEW:
Emmaus St Leos vs St Johns
The Animals and St Johns are sides who will match up well, especially around the ball as the stoppages work might just decide this game. This will be a test of strength and the tem willing to put their head over the ball will prevail. If the Jocs find their feet in front of goal and take every opportunity early, then they are a chance. St Leos could beat them by packing the contests and clogging up the corridor, but St Johns will need to find a way out. Baranello is Mr Consistency for St Leos and St Johns need to find a way to curb his influence.
UHS-VU vs Eltham Collegians
Eltham were beaten by a better side last week, but should look to this week to improve and open up their scoring outlets from the middle and tighten up their defence. UHS-VU are eager to earn a percentage boost and overtake Whitefriars on the ladder, so will look to their key forwards for big bags of goals and defenders to shut down any opposition goal opportunities. Eltham could flourish on a smaller ground but should be aware that the Vultures love the wings and can hurt opposition with wide runs and carries. That being said, UHS-VU should take the four points, but it could be an opportunity for Eltham to show a bit of fight.
Yarra Old Grammarians vs Bulleen Templestowe
It’ll be interesting to see if Yarra Old Grammarians play a sling shot game against Bulleen, who, over the past three weeks, have proven themselves to be a scoring threat who can flatten their opponents in long, one-on-one contests. Watch this space for a high scoring affair, but both sides must be aware that their goals must come from clean, quick contest breaks. Dakin (Bulleen) vs the Trend boys (Bushrangers) is the match up to watch.
Old Paradians vs Whitefriars
This one is scheduled to be the game of the round as the two premierships favourites battle it out at the Raiders home in a match that may mirror one of the finals in 2018. Both high scoring and clean possession sides, it’ll be up to who can outlast the other and uphold their skill for a consistent four quarters. Watch for Nitas and Neate for the Friars in front of goal, who have now kicked nearly 60 between them in a matter of weeks. Boundy is the name to watch from Old Paradians, as he’ll be hungry to add to his collection.
MHSOB vs Power House
With MHSOB just outside the top four by percentage, they’ll be looking for a big boost against a Power House side who tested the waters in patches against the Raiders last week. MHSOB have a small ground, so Power House have the chance to play a man-on-man game and beat the Unicorns at ground level. MHSOB can run and carry very well, but must watch for congestion in the corridor. Both sides are up and down, but if the House can string together four, consistent and high-pressure quarters like their third last week, then they should be able to run over the Unicorns, but not without a fight.