Another week of upsets, close calls and hard-fought victories saw Division 2 sides battle it out in the mud and cloud. The Hoers have caused a great upset over finals favourites Yarra Old Grammarians, while MHSOB have fallen victim to another Friars victory. Glen Eira have held off a fighting Power House also.
Let’s see how Round 8 went down…
Bulleen Templestowe vs Hawthorn
Bulleen have notched up their fourth win of the season and primed themselves in a comfortable position going into the bye. The Bullants who beat Hawthorn by 64 points at home, had an impressive game that started with an early domination in front of goal. While simultaneously holding the Hawks to one goal, the Bullants piled one five majors in the first term. Hawthorn managed only one more goal in the second term, while Bulleen applied more scoreboard pressure and dominated the clearances to kick five more before half time.
Coming out after their halftime break, the refreshed Bullants put on a goal-scoring show, booting six majors and locking down their defence to leak only three majors for the Hawks.
Both sides evened out in the final term, booting 2 goals each, but the late Hawthorn efforts weren’t enough to combat an impressive performance from Bullen in front of goal and around the ground.
With 11 goal-kickers, the Bullants should be pleased with their efforts to conform to a team-based game, which is harder for their opposition to control.
For the Hawks, Tim Barry had two goals to his name, while Justin Raiti was strong as usual.
For the winners, Billy Wilson, who dominated with four goals, was rightfully awarded Best on Ground, with able support from Harry Vogler (1 goal).
Ivanhoe vs Yarra Old Grammarians
Ivanhoe have pulled off a stellar victory against Yarra Old Grammarians, by 13 points at their home ground, threatening the Bushrangers position in the top four.
The Bushrangers took the lead early, booting two goals to one in the first. But, the hoers were able to play a different style that allowed them to pile on three goals, while shutting down Yarra and holding them to one goal.
Taking a mere four-point lead into the second half, the Hoers stepped up another notch and booted four goals and slowed the Bushrangers free-flow down to extend their lead into the final term. The last quarter saw both sides tighten their defence, leaking only two goals respectively. However, the strong third quarter form the hoers held off a late-Bushrangers surge. The Bushrangers will be kicking themselves that they missed a total of 12 goals, which may have willed them over the line.
Ivanhoe had an impressive spread of seven goal kickers, which proves that they are building a strong team that could be pushing for a top-four spot.
For the Hoers, Vivian Blackmore-Moore had three majors to his name, while BOG votes were handed to Wesley Mayne (2 goals).
For the Bushrangers, who will be ready and rejuvenated after the bye next week, Nick Chamberlain added two more goals to his season tally, with Will Elsworth a strong addition to the team.
Power House vs Glen Eira
In a slow and muddy battle, the Glen Eira Gryphons prevailed by 25 points over a gallant Power House at the Ross Gregory. The game was a really strong contest with both sides putting their bodies on the line until the final quarter and playing bursts of promising footy.
Power House held their own for the first quarter, booting two majors while stopping the leak of Gryphons goals, holding them to three at the first break.
A late goal on half time gave the House half a sniff, but the Gryphons poise through the muddy middle to shut the House down in the third quarter.
It was a slower third quarter, with a rejuvenated Power House pushing, but unable to stop the Gryphons use of the wings to create wider plays and boot three majors.
The intense pressure applied by the Gryphons that rippled through the midfield, saw the House kick 13 points for the game, when they had the chance to kick truly.
The last quarter saw the House pile on the pressure early, booting four in a row and closing the gap on the Gryphons. However, the poise in the middle saw Glen Eira compose themselves and kick four late goals to seal victory.
Stuart Carey for the Gryphons patrolled the half back line and halted the House from pushing any further in front of goal.
Another strong performance from Kane Goodwin and the debutant Trav Scotland for the House lead their progressive steps.
Whitefriars vs MHSOB
Whitefriars continue their perfect record at their home fortress with a 78-point win over MHSOB at Whitefriars College
Coming off their much-deserved bye, the Friars doubled the scoring shots and applied immense scoreboard pressure from the get-go, barely missing a beat.
It was a slower start for the Unicorns, which the Friars capitalised on, kicking an early four majors to set themselves up comfortably for the rest of the game.
The Unicorns were rendered goalless in the second quarter, while the Friars put on a 5-goal display, led by another strong performance from Michael Nitas (2) in front of goal.
After halftime, the fairy-tale continued for the Friars, who were comfortable around the ground. MHSOB managed two majors in the third, but the result was beyond doubt. The final term saw more goals from the Friars, led by Daniel Wood’s 2 majors. The Unicorns couldn’t stop the ruthless run-on of the Whitefriars all day.
A spread of 10 goal-kickers for the Friars yet again proves that to win footy, you must play an unstoppable team game. Daniel Massarotti was awarded BOG votes for the Friars in a star-studded line-up.
Ashan Wijayakumara was the only Unicorns major goal-kicker, with four of his own and Mitchel Wilson was given best for his side.
It’s never an easy journey out to Whitefriars, but this game was vital for the MHSOB boys to learn from and improve if they want to play finals in 2019.
We’ve reached the half-way point of 2019, with Bulleen taking their bye this week. Let’s see what’s programmed to go down in Round 9…
Brunswick vs Yarra Old Grammarians
Another game that may very well mirror finals, is this one against Brunswick and Yarra Old Grammarians.
The boys from Yarra had a tough and close loss last week, seemingly managing a rough patch of their season. At the other end, the Brunswick boys have had a double bye and will be extremely refreshed and primed to take on a tired Bushrangers outfit.
The major loss for the Bushrangers is star forward Luke Barker, who had been piling on the goals before his injury a few weeks back. This means that the Bushrangers will need to find some key forwards or try a different game style in order to apply the much-needed scoreboard pressure they are struggling to grasp.
The Nobbers are still sitting pretty in second position and will look to the return of their young boys to help them in front of goal. The pace of the likes of Francis Evans and co
This game will be closer than we think, however as both sides love to play a run and spread style which allows for a free-flowing, high scoring affair. Don’t be surprised if you see a spread of goal kickers from both sides as well as high-pressure, high scores at both ends.
Glen Eira vs Hawthorn
The Division 3 foes meet again and this time, the Hawks will be searching for redemption. After their losses in Division 3 last season, Hawthorn will be eager to right their wrongs and put a win on the board for 2019.
Glen Eira on the other hand are on a steady roll, slowly building a team that is willing their way into the Division 2 fixture for another season.
The Gryphons will need to return of a few key players to get their machine rolling smoothly, but have been on a positive streak lately, as their results show. The Hawks have shown promising signs, playing decent and dominative quarters of footy, but are struggling to play out a comprehensive four quarters. They’ll look to work on their clearances and variety of goal options in order to play a harder to stop team game.
The bye has been beneficial for both sides with a fair few injuries, but it looks as if the poise, composure and game structure form the Gryphons will prevail in this game.
Ivanhoe vs Whitefriars
It is extremely difficult to fault the game of the Whitefriars boys, but Ivanhoe have shown strong signs recently that put them up for contention this week.
The Hoers love to play a contested game of footy, which they can use to catch the free-flowing, fast-running Friars style off guard and hold them back from booting big scores.
The Hoers had a great win against Yarra old Grammarians, a real finals contender, so could play the same style on their home ground to command the Friars attention, while slowing down the game and reducing wing movements.
But, it’s still hard to fault Whitefriars, who are sitting pretty on top and don’t look like slowing down any time soon. Look out for Michael Nitas for the Friars in front of goal, as he looks to push for top spot on the goal Kicking leaderboard.
MHSOB vs Power House
MHSOB will take on Power House on their small ground, which both sides are very much suited to. Both sides are coming off hard losses but will match up well together.
The Unicorns however have the pace that power House are struggling to find, so MHSOB will need to get on top early in order to shut the House down. James Tran has been convincingly strong around the ground for the Unicorns, so the House will need to find a ready-made match-up to stop Tran’s impact that spawns from the middle.
River Carroll has been strong in front of goal for Power House, but will need to avoid the strong defence that the Unicorns has shown in recent weeks.
If the House can play a more contested game where they slow down the MHSOB run on their home ground, the game could be closer than expected. However, it’s hard to see the Unicorns losing at home, as they play a spreading, wing-dominant game that is hard to master.