A preview of the Round 12 games in A Plus Labour Solutions Division 2.
Have we ever seen a performance like it in A Plus Solutions Division 2?
Shane Harvey’s 17-goal haul against Watsonia last Saturday equalled North Heidelberg’s club record, with the performance taking his season tally to 53.
Incredibly, Harvey has only played eight matches this season, meaning he is averaging seven goals a game.
This week the team faced with the unenviable task of trying shut down Shane and his North Heidelberg team is Panton Hill.
Severely undermanned and relying on a number of former stars to come out of retirement to offer a helping hand, the Redbacks suffered a 188-point defeat to Diamond Creek in Round 11.
The Redbacks managed to kick just two behinds in the match. Ironically, Shane Harvey’s 17-goal haul is more goals than Panton Hill have kicked in a game this season.
Try as they might, the Redbacks were no match for Diamond Creek last week, with the home side amassing 50 scoring shots, despite the best efforts of Tait Forster, Daniel Freeman and Ben Hibberd.
Panton Hill this week hosts a North Heidelberg outfit fresh off a big triumph over Watsonia. Shane Harvey’s efforts aside, the Bulldogs were also well served by Brent Harvey (four goals), Jesse Tardio and Liam Nunan in the win over the Saints.
A top-four clash takes place at Sir Douglas Nicholls Oval for the second-consecutive week when the Fitzroy Stars take on Lower Plenty.
These sides last met in Round 6, where the Stars came away with a 15-point win. The Bears won their Round 1 outing by 18 points.
The Stars came away with a nail biting victory over Thomastown in Round 11. Leading by 21 points at three quarter time, the Stars conceded four goals in the final term but held on for a four-point victory.
In one game the Stars showcased their best and worst football. In the second term, they were unstoppable, kicking goals from all positions and playing on at all cost. But in the final term the Stars looked slow and sloppy turnovers from defence piled on the pressure.
Like his side, Vaasili Tuifao was impressive in the first half, kicking three goals. Allan Norris, Clinton Benjamin and Kain Proctor were the Stars’ best players.
Lower Plenty returned to the top-four following a 42-point victory over Lalor. Trailing by 13 points at half time, the Bears kicked 10-second half goals to avoid an upset loss to the Bloods.
Clint Monger, Jarrod Shaw and Ben Paterson all played well to ensure their side broke a two-game losing streak, while skipper Darcy Barden led the scoring yet again, kicking four goals.
Thomastown and Lalor square off for the third time this season at Main Street Reserve. The Bears have been victorious on both occasions, winning by 39 and 18 points.
Matthew Dirkx has played his best football against the Bloods, being named in the Bears’ best players in the two outings this season.
Three of the Bears next four games are against sides below them on the ladder, with the other match against their closest ladder rival, Lower Plenty.
A run of wins will see the Bears return to the top-four, but they need to beat the Bloods before looking too far ahead.
While Thomastown will be favoured to win this week’s encounter and potentially push back inside the top half of the ladder, Lalor has shown improved form in recent weeks.
In Round 9 the Bloods defeated Panton Hill to record their second win of the season and last week the led by 13 points at half time against Lower Plenty.
Shane Jacobs and Terence Upoko were among their side’s best, while a number of youngsters showed good signs.
The final game of the week sees Watsonia host Diamond Creek. Diamond Creek won the last match between these sides in Round 6 by 85 points.
After victories against the Fitzroy Stars and Lalor, Watsonia would have hoped to finish closer to North Heidelberg. However, the Saints conceded 106 points in the opening half, with Shane Harvey netting 11 goals in the first two quarters.
Despite the damage being done early, the Saints commendably fought the game out and managed to add seven goals in the second half.
Jarryd Allan was best on ground for the Saints and hit the scoreboard with a running goal. Jack Larkin also did well to kick four goals for the second game running.
Diamond Creek kept pace with top of the table North Heidelberg following its huge win over Panton Hill. The Demons sit two points behind the Bulldogs on the ladder, but have a better percentage.
It is hard to name a single player as best on ground in a 188-point victory, however Bryce Adams and Oliver Parks put their hands up by sharing nine goals, while Josh Marchbank was dominant.