They say a week is a long time in football but two weeks has brought great change for all Division 2 sides. Teams like Bulleen and Yarra Old Grammarians have come out to fight after the bye round and have proved that they could be more potential finals contenders, while Power House have shown more guts when it came to stringing together a four-quarter performance. The bye has proved that it was useful for some clubs, while it may have halted some momentum for others. Here’s how Round 10 went down.
Emmaus St Leos vs Power House
In an emotional battle for both sides in honour of Emmaus St Leo’s Paul and Nathan Baranello’s brother Damien, who passed away earlier this week, a decision after the final siren has caused controversy. After a gutsy comeback to trail by only a few points at three quarter time, Power House’s Ben Circosta (his team behind by only four points) marked 35 metres out on a harsh angle on the final siren. His kick, which was signalled a goal by the goal umpire was controversially overruled by the field umpire in a decision that will be the centre of VAFA HQ’s dealings in the coming week.
Old Paradians vs Bulleen Templestowe
Close but no cigar for a valiant Bulleen Templestowe who couldn’t knock over Old Paradians and went down by 16 points. A close battle ensued from minute one with both sides neck and neck. The Bullants holding a ten-point lead at quarter time. The Raiders, trailing by only one goal at the main break, missed seven chances in front of goal in the first half, but made up for their poor kicking in the second half. The Raiders’ Marcus and Adam Nolan (3 goals each) were up against Bulleen’s Mr Consistent Anthony Lucisano (2) and Billy Wilson (2), as both sides battled it out in front of goal in the third term, with the Raiders kicking five majors to the Bullants three. Going into the final quarter, Old Paradians were holding on by a mere point, but they kicked four to break away from a hard fighting Bullants side, who fairly tested the best Division 2 side in 2018. Pat Moio was strong for Bulleen with Anthony De Propertis earning his first votes this season. The Raiders looked to Ryan Jeffrey and Aaron Serafin who were named best for their undefeated side.
UHS-VU vs St Johns
Keeping St Johns to only one goal at quarter time, set up UHS-VU for their sixth straight win of 2018, by 90 points. Led by a seven-goal haul from star Brandon Jackson, after a 10-goal first half, the Vultures went on to hold the Jocs goalless in the third and boot another nine majors. The games fate was all but sealed as the Jocs failed to make use of their opportunities in front of goal, managing only five majors and 10 misses. For St Johns, who slip further down the ladder, must regroup to avoid the dreaded relegation zone. Aaron Thornton booted three while Daniel Cattolico earned his first votes as best. On the other end of the scale, this win is a fantastic percentage boost for Uni High who hold their top-two-spot comfortably, Nick Devereux kicked four and Ben Dimattina was named BOG.
Yarra Old Grammarians vs Whitefriars
Yarra Old Grammarians have solidified their top four-spot with a gusty eight-point victory over Whitefriars, who now sit equal third with the Rangers. In a high scoring affair, the Friars kicked five to get away early, but were matched by the Rangers, who booted six of their own majors to trail by only 11 points at half time. Goals came from Michael Scott (3) for the Rangers and Lewis Neate (3) for the Friars. Both sides second halves were intense and high scoring as they both almost doubled their first half scores. Both sides defences were handed a beating all day as it was goal-for-goal, but the Friars defence allowed an inspiring comeback in the final term for the Rangers, who were losing all day. The Friars disappointed with the drop off in the last quarter, named Max Warrick as their best, with more goals coming from trusted Michael Nitas who snagged three. David Wildsmith earned his first BOG accolade for Yarra, ably supported by a spread of ten goal kickers, including Kelvin Moore (2).
MHSOB vs Eltham Collegians
Eltham have slumped to their 10thstraight loss of 2018, with MHSOB bouncing back after the bye to come out 114 point victors at home. A seven-goal-to-one first term demonstrated that the Unicorns were refreshed after the bye weekend. The Turtles would only manage another goal up to halftime as they struggled to stop another five-goal onslaught in the second quarter. One positive to take away for Eltham was their third quarter defence which tightened to allow the Unicorns only two majors, while kicking two of their own. However, MHSOB made sure to come backing fighting in the final term, booting seven to one to mirror the first quarter performance. The Unicorns are now battling for a top four spot and will take the huge percentage boost to creep closer to their opposition above them. The Unicorns had a massive spread of 14 goal kickers, led by Kane Smith’s six goal haul. Their BOG was Bradley Jordan (1), followed by Jarryd Pagonis, while the shining lights for the Turtles were their goals from Paul Vidinopoulos (2), Brayden Meade (2) and Fraser Cloney (1). Lachie Smith was named best for the Turtles across the ground.
Round 11 Preview:
Eltham Collegians vs Emmaus St Leos
Both looking to make a statement, with Emmaus St Leos particularly looking to save themselves from the relegation zone, it will be an interesting battle between two sides who like to play man-on-man and contested football. Eltham are still searching for their first win of 2018 and this game may be one of their best shots to snatch four points. Emmaus have a strong half backline and play possession football, which could be beneficial to the Turtles who can play with brute strength. St Leos on the other hand will need to win by a big margin if they want to stray further from the bottom two.
Power House vs Yarra Old Grammarians
Power House must win this game and will rely on other results to ensure they can jump out of the relegation zone. However, the House will need more than just luck to pull through and will need to string together four consistent quarters in order to take down a stable Yarra Old Grammarians side. The Rangers, who have pushed themselves into the top four, will be eager to stop Power House from playing a man-on-man contest and allow for more flow in front of goal. Harbeck is looking to add to his goal tally and will be the big challenge for the House’s defence along with The Rangers vast spread of goal kickers.
Bulleen Templestowe vs MHSOB
With both sides on the edge of breaking through to the top four, a win for either will decide if they are fit for the finals. Bulleen’s sudden but impressive weekly improvements have shown that they can match with the best and now need to be considered a serious finals threat. The unstoppable fast pace and intensity from minute one has put them in good stead and it will be interesting to see how they match up with the Unicorns who also have a team full of pace. Last time they met MHSOB pulled through by only six points so it’s expected to be another close fight.
St Johns vs Old Paradians
The Jocs miserable result last week has them balancing on the edge of the bottom two, desperate to earn the four points to possibly jump up to seventh position. Old Paradians close call against Bulleen will have them looking to put away their mid-season jitters and come out strong to defend their undefeated title. The Raiders should be too strong as they can withstand the hard contests that St Johns are known for, but the Jocs will be eager to put last week’s poor performance in the bin and will come out all guns blazing. While the ladder says that the Raiders are more likely to take the four points, St Johns at home are hard to beat, so watch to see how this one plays out.
Whitefriars vs UHS-VU
With UHS-VU recently replacing Whitefriars in second place, this will be the game of the round, showcasing skill and defence. Last time they met, UHS-VU caused a big upset and defeated the Friars boys and can very easily take them down again. The Vultures are one of the only sides this season who have been able to figure out how to stop the high pressure scoring from multiple Whitefriars outlets, so it will be interesting to see if the Friars will change their game style to stop Uni High from doing it again. Will be another insight into what may be a gusty finals match to come.