A preview of the Round 8 matches in A Plus Labour Solutions Division 2.
For the first time since Round 3, Diamond Creek does not sit atop the A Plus Labour Solutions Division 2 ladder.
The Demons were victorious in Round 7, but North Heidelberg’s superior percentage pushed it into top spot for the first time this year. The Bulldogs’ 175-point victory over Lalor saw their percentage rise by 41.12 percent.
North Heidelberg will look to carry its good form into its Round 8 clash against the Fitzroy Stars at Sir Douglas Nicholls Oval.
The Bulldogs scored a third consecutive triple-figure victory by downing Lalor before the Queen’s Birthday weekend break.
Leigh Gilbert kicked seven goals, while the form of Brent Harvey was again a major talking point. The AFL games record holder kicked five majors, making it 21 goals in the past three weeks, to maintain his lead at the top of the goal kicking table.
The Bulldogs take on a Fitzroy Stars side looking to bounce back from a disappointing display against Diamond Creek.
Missing key duo Clinton Edwards and Peter Hood, the Stars struggled for consistency throughout the loss. They had a good patch in the second term but wayward kicking in front of goal proved costly at Coventry Oval.
Malcolm Dow was the Stars’ best player with Josh Calyun and Richard Bamblett, while Vaasili Tuifao continued his strong goal kicking form, with his three majors making it 12 goals in his past three games.
These sides last met in Round 2 and on that day the Stars caused a massive upset by beating the Bulldogs by 41 points – the result the ladder-leaders’ only defeat this season.
Two teams at opposite ends of the ladder meet at Lalor Reserve when Lalor hosts Diamond Creek.
Lalor is coming off its third 100-point defeat of the season and sits second-last on the ladder, with a 1-6 record.
The Bloods have had issues scoring this season, only managing to kick more than 10 goals in a game on one occasion.
Against North Heidelberg, the Bloods only kicked three goals for the day. That was despite the best efforts of Jackson Freebairn, Josh Ranieri and Harley Nancarrow (two goals), who all tried their best in a tough day at Shelley Reserve.
It’s not every week a team drops a position on the ladder after a win, but Diamond Creek can lay claim to it this week.
In Round 7 the Demons again showed why they are one of this season’s hottest teams, with an impressive 38-point victory over the Fitzroy Stars.
Tyler Chapman was best afield as his side extended its lead at every change to move a game clear inside the top-two. Hugh Kavanagh and Bryce Adams also enjoyed strong games, while Jess Cosaitis kicked four goals
Diamond Creek has won three of the past four matches against Lalor and in their Round 2 encounter held the Bloods goalless in a 115-point ANZAC Day win.
Lower Plenty returned to the winners’ list in Round 7 and now meets a Panton Hill side searching for its first win of the season.
A 10-goal second term aided the Bears to an impressive 117-point win over Watsonia before the break, to remain in the top-four ahead of Thomastown on percentage.
Darcy Barden and Mark Favrin both booted five goals, while Nick Mackay, Kallum Hinchcliffe and Patty Flynn were in the Bears best players.
It has been tough start to the season for the Redbacks, but the form and leadership of Mitch Anderson and Scott Conte continues to hold strong.
Daniel Noorman put in a season-best effort in the Round 7 loss to Thomastown, finishing with three of his side’s seven goals.
For the second time this year, Thomastown meets Watsonia at Main Street Reserve. In the pair’s Round 2 meeting, Nick Horman and Daniel Chadwick combined for five goals in the Bears’ come-from-behind 32-point victory.
Thomastown stayed in touch with the top-four, following its fourth win of the year against Panton Hill. The Bears have now defeated all of the teams below them on the ladder.
Daniel Chadwick has been a star all season and had been named in the Bears’ best players on five occasions. Along with Chadwick, James Rizzolio has been impressive and booted six goals against the Redbacks, following a three-goal haul a week earlier.
Watsonia did play better than the score suggested against Lower Plenty and was competitive in midfield and defence.
The Saints have struggled in recent weeks, losing by an average of 96 points over their past three games. But those matches were against sides in the top-four.