Heidelberg Golf Club Division 3 Preview – Round 12

Published on Thursday, June 30, 2022

Author : Doug Long

Games which are crucial to the make-up of the top four highlight this weekend’s Heidelberg Golf Club Division 3 matches as a battle of fourth versus fifth awaits, while teams in second and third place are separated by percentage only.

Old Eltham Collegians returned to winning ways with a 180-point triumph over Reservoir at Crispe Park. Although the big win was expected, it was a relief for Turtles fans to snap a two-game losing streak either side of the bye and a chance to tune up for bigger challenges to come.

Corey Ray returned to the line-up for Old Eltham Collegians and booted three goals in a polished display. Matthew Keys booted five majors in the victory.

The Mustangs narrowed the losing margin from their previous encounter with the Turtles by 44 points as two players high up in the club’s best and fairest hopefuls in Jack Smith and Rob Holland were among the best.

“A really brave effort,” said Reservoir coach Justin George. “We were decimated with illness but stuck at the task for four quarters.”

Kilmore received a much-needed percentage boost with a 133-point win over Lalor at Lalor Reserve. With the likes of Leigh Irons and Chris Ryall missing, Chris Barton dominated in the midfield and was aided by Michael McCulloch winning the ruck duels.

Jake Beattie and Cole Isbister debuted, with both players looking at home in the seniors.

“Happy to get some senior games into a couple of boys to help our depth,” said Kilmore coach Nathan Phillips.

“We executed our game plan pretty well, showed some promising signs that we hope to back up next week.”

The Bloods lost by 227 points to Kilmore in Round 6 so, by the numbers, it’s a 94-point improvement. Jarryd Baldasso has had a pretty good year for the club and booted two goals to be his team’s best, while Dylan Cawsey and Hayden Muscat also impressed coach Angelo Lamanna.

Although Lalor looks certain to finish last, the weekend’s results saw the Bloods surpass the Mustangs in terms of percentage. It does give Lalor something to aim for, although their run home is harder than that of Reservoir.

South Morang made it four wins in a row with a 35-point win over Mernda at Mill Park Lakes Reserve.

The Demons failed to make use of their time with the breeze in the second term and as a consequence, they were too far back at the final change to come home strong.

“We set the game up in the first half,” said South Morang coach Gary Hall.

Hall was impressed with the intercept marking of Ben Power as well as his run and carry from defence.

Riley Vincent was resolute in defence for Mernda, with Nathan Baccega and Chris Roussos contributing well.

“They had a good lead at quarter time and we didn’t use the wind to our advantage in the second quarter,” said Mernda coach Robert Fletcher.

“We matched them in the second half, but we need to play four quarters to beat the top sides.”

Heidelberg West led league leaders Laurimar at Heidelberg Park by over four goals in the second half but could not hold on against a determined Power team.

Kaiden Arthur booted multiple goals late in the game to help put his team in front in a win which exemplified the character of the team.

“We played a poor first half against a quality opponent, but we stood up when the game needed to be won when our effort and execution got better,” said Laurimar coach Jimmy Atkins.

Noah Mooney and Ethan Bateman got a big tick from Atkins for the way they handled the ruck duties in the absence of Josh Leather.

It was frustrating for the home fans to see another close loss to a top team, but to be able to lead the red-hot Power team by a sizeable margin was a positive.

“Our best is good enough, we’re still growing as a group and our next level of progression is learning how to close out games a bit better,” said Heidelberg West coach Michael Missen.

Jordan Vellios excelled for the home side with a career high five goals.

After the loss, the Heidelberg West are now two games behind fourth placed Kilmore, setting up a crucial battle against these two sides at Heidelberg Park this Saturday.

It’s a must-win game for the Hawks in order to keep their finals chances alive. A victory would draw them within a game of the Blues with both teams having similar levels of difficulty in terms of teams they play in the run home.

Conversely, Kilmore would all but sew up a finals berth with a road win against an improving opponent. With victories against both South Morang and Old Eltham Collegians already this season, the Blues would approach this game with some confidence.

Lalor has back-to-back home games when hosting South Morang at Lalor Reserve. The Lions will be going for five wins in a row and a percentage boost as they aim to consolidate second spot on the table.

The Round 3 encounter between these teams saw South Morang prevail by 263 points. The Bloods would be looking to better that score line as they build for 2023.

At Crispe Park, Reservoir will lock horns with a Mernda side who will need to have an incredible amount of luck to play finals.

Nonetheless, their fans will be keen to see an impressive performance so that they can take confidence into the following week’s match-up with Heidelberg West in a fifth versus sixth clash.

The Mustangs lost to Mernda back in Round 5 at Waterview Recreation Reserve by 134 points and local fans will be looking for an improved effort this week.

Old Eltham Collegians take on Laurimar in a heavyweight clash at Laurimar Reserve. The Power would all but sew up the double chance with a win that would see them go three games clear of the Turtles.

Laurimar’s only defeat this year came at the hands of Old Eltham Collegians at Eltham College earlier this year the home fans would be keen for revenge.

The Turtles got over the line by three points that day and if they can repeat the dose on Saturday, it will put Matthew Sleeman’s side in good stead heading into the finals.

If they could cause another upset this week and then defeat South Morang at Eltham College the following week, Old Eltham Collegians would go a game clear in second place.

But first things first, the Turtles will need to be at their best to defeat the runaway league leaders.

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