This week showed that winning is not all about the big upsets and high number of goals, with three games decided by under 20 points. Old Paradians have come from behind to defeat other finals favourites Whitefriars, keeping their clean winning streak and sitting pretty on top of the ladder, while UHS-VU have shown that they want their name on the premiership cup. Power House are struggling and it’s hard to pick who will be the lucky survivors in Division 2. Here’s how Round 8 went down.
Emmaus St Leos vs St Johns
St Johns have pulled off a gutsy 16-point win over Emmaus St Leos, who were neck and neck all day. The Jocs dominated the first half but failed to apply scoreboard pressures, missing 12 scoring shots and heading into the second half with the Animals hot on their tail. A tight third term was ahead with both sides missing crucial shots, setting up an all-important final quarter that would be awarded t the team who could outrun their position. The Jocs poise pushed them over the line and they four majors in the last to sealed the deal. The Animals managed two goals in the final quarter which weren’t enough as they went down. The Jocs were led by Brannan and Mourant’s gusty three goals each and around the ground were supported by Wilsnach and Ayache. The Animals looked to their consistent men in Beluszar (3) and Baranello who worked until the end.
UHS-VU vs Eltham Collegians
UHS-VU dominated against an undermanned Eltham by 128 points and secured their top three spot for another week, showing even more promise for finals. The Turtles were close in the first quarter, but in the second, the Vultures kicked six goals to Eltham’s two to further extend the lead. After half time, it was a procession with the Vultures, led by Devereux’s seven majors, running away with an easy victory.
For the winners, Brambley and Healey were named BOG. As for Eltham who need to move on to next week, Bevilacqua, Ogilvie, Simpson fought hard all day.
Yarra Old Grammarians vs Bulleen Templestowe
Yarra Old Grammarians had a big last quarter to kick away from a hard fighting Bulleen Templestowe, coming out 43 point winners at home. Bulleen made it a tight battle in the first two quarters, only trailing by 2 goals at half time, led by goals from Dimopolous (3) and Miller (3). However, the Rangers came hard in the last quarter to overrun a tired Bullants side, booting nine goals on the back of a BOG performance from Barker and six majors from Harbeck. For the Bullants who have made major steps in the right direction, Palumbo and Brice were named as their two best.
Old Paradians vs Whitefriars
There was a taste of finals football when Whitefriars took on Old Paradians and played out a tight low scoring affair, with Old Paradians coming back from the dead to snatch victory by four points. The game was won on defensive pressure, with both sides back men holding each other to only nine goals apiece. Whitefriars led quite comfortably for the first three quarters, with goals coming from Nitas (3) and Campbell (2). But, an inspired fourth quarter return saw the Raiders defence tighten to only let one goal slip for the Friars as they cracked open the midfield and pounded on four majors, the biggest single quarter haul of the day. Huntley starred for the Old Paradians, followed by Boundy’s two goals to add to his push for the goal kicking lead. Whitefriars fought hard, with their leaders in Simbolon and Kaldor pushing until the end.
MHSOB vs Power House
MHSOB took the four points as they used the wings to demolish a tired Power House side by 102 points. The Unicorns relentless pressure and run and spread proved too hot for the House to handle. It was a tighter first quarter, with the House only trailing by four goals at half time and looking able to match the first running of the Unicorns. However, the Unicorns pushed out their lead in the third quarter, kicking seven to the House’s three and shutting down any movement for an injury-ridden Power House. Power House ran out of legs in the final term, letting MHSOB pile on another eight and extending the lead to boost their percentage in the race to stay afloat. The Unicorns had a spread of 10 goal kickers, led by Smith (6) and Tetaz (3). BOG for MHSOB went to a poised Colreavy. For the House, big man Steve Devine their shining light, supported in the forward line by Gleeson (2) and Conlon (2).
Round 9 Preview:
Eltham Collegians vs Old Paradians
Bottom takes on top and it should be Old Paradians who prevail when they travel to Eltham this week. Old Paradians are too classy and will hurt them in the middle. The Raiders are too big and too strong, with a number of contributors across the ground. Eltham will look to their young players for inspiration to run out the game as strongly as possible, but it will be a tough day to attempt to beat the fittest outfit in Division 2.
Power House vs UHS-VU
This game is the match of the round as the 2017 Division 3 premiers UHS-VU take on runners up Power House at the Ross Gregory in the Grand Final rematch.
UHS-VU has shown that they are the real deal in Division 2, while Power House are looking to push through to the mid-year bye after spending the first half of 2018 severely undermanned with injury. Both sides matched up well in 2017, but the Vultures have carried on their dominance in 2018. The Vultures should take the four points as they will hurt the House with their run. For Power House, it’s time to dig deep and find the spark that can keep their season afloat.
Bulleen Templestowe vs Emmaus St Leos
Both Bulleen and Emmaus St Leos are eager to move on from last weeks close losses and are also attempting to steer clear of the bottom two. Bulleen’s intensity and pressure across the ground has shown they can compete against the better sides, but the Animals play a hard pressure game and work well when the ball is low. Watch for the battle in the middle between a fast-moving Bulleen side and a tenacious St Leos side who can shut down the Bullants run and carry.
St Johns vs Yarra Old Grammarians
Yarra Old Grammarians hard win last week has put them in good stead to continue their push for the final four and they’ll match up well against an eager St Johns side, who held out until the end last week. Yarra are known for their big bags of goals, but is the Jocs can bring the ball to ground level and create physical contest where players are forced to put their head over the ball, the match should be a lot tighter than predicted.
Whitefriars vs MHSOB
MHSOB massive win over Power House will give them confidence to take on finals favourites Whitefriars this week. Roles were reversed last week with MHSOB kicking 24 goals and Whitefriars scraping in with nine against the Raiders, which means it will be an interesting to see how each side’s defence levels out and holds out a number of different goal kicking outlets. Whitefriars will be devastated from last week, so don’t be surprised if they come out and are relentless in front of goal.