A preview of Round 2 in Heidelberg Golf Club Division 3.
Round 1 action of Heidelberg Golf Club Division 3 football welcomed a new team into the senior competition.
Old Eltham Collegians transferred from the VAFA following the 2018 season and hosted Panton Hill at Eltham College in its inaugural match in the NFNL.
The Turtles were highly competitive early, but the Redbacks broke away in the middle of the contest and ran out winners by 70 points.
Old Eltham Collegians coach John Garrard previously coached Panton Hill in 2011. The Turtles were unable to win but were playing one of the leading flag contenders.
They will look to improve when they next play in three weeks’ time. The Turtles have a bye this weekend, followed by the Easter break. They host Kilmore at Eltham College in Round 3.
South Morang trailed at the first three breaks but stormed home to just blouse Kilmore at the post at J.J. Clancy Reserve. A four-goal to two last term saw the Lions run out six-point winners.
“A good result considering we only played a quarter,” South Morang coach Gary Hall said. “Kilmore played very well”.
Alex Colaidis booted four for the victors, while Shane Skidmore also scored four majors for the Blues, who were also well served by young recruit Chris Ryall.
The match was very similar to the opening round of 2018, when Kilmore led at every change and won a tight contest by three points.
Heidelberg West and Mernda both finished just outside the top-four in 2018 and both teams were keen to begin the new season with a win in the clash at Heidelberg Park.
The Hawks led at each change before Kyl Ewart booted three of his seven majors in the final term to help thwart a potential comeback by the Demons.
The margin blew out late and Heidelberg West ran out 34-point winners to claim the Les Butterworth Cup.
Jordan Allen excelled for the Hawks, while Mernda was best served by Brad Dimech – who booted two goals.
Cam van Florestein was an assistant coach at Kilsyth in 2018 but managed a win in his first outing as Heidelberg West senior coach.
“Reward for effort,” van Florestein said after the game in acknowledgment of the hard work his team put in during the pre-season.
Josh Williamson heads the goal-kicking ladder after slotting eight for Laurimar as his team won by 89 points against Reservoir at Laurimar Reserve.
The Mustangs were only seven points down at the first change, but the Power broke the game open in the second stanza by booting 8.5 to 3.2. They also kicked five unanswered goals in the final term.
“I thought our ball movement was pleasing from defence to attack,” Laurimar coach Justin Sherman said. “There is still some fine tuning to be done with a few things, but happy first up.”
Swingman Ben Mowlam booted four goals for Reservoir, while Taylann Luckman and Samuel McDowell played well.
An enticing Round 2 begins with Lalor opening its 2019 season when hosting Laurimar at Lalor Reserve. Gary Cutler has moved from coach of Heidelberg West to lead the Bloods in 2019.
Lalor will be looking to improve after it requested to drop back to third division in 2018 and seems to have recruited well. The Bloods will get a good guide to their progress first up against flag hopeful Laurimar.
The Power are looking to go to the Easter break with a clean sheet as they aim for back to back finals campaigns.
In a vital clash, finals hopefuls Mernda and Kilmore meet at Waterview Recreation Reserve. Both teams were winning chances in the final term last week, but neither was able to get over the line.
The winner will be breathing easier by avoiding at 0-2 start. The ledger was squared at one apiece last season, with the visitor winning both games.
After making his debut as Reservoir senior coach last week, David Nelson coaches his first senior game at Crispe Park when the Mustangs host Heidelberg West.
Nelson coached Reservoir’s reserves to a preliminary final last season, but the senior team has not recorded a win since 2017. A Mustang win would be a huge upset, while the Hawks can aim at a 2-0 start after last year beginning the season with three-straight losses.
Panton Hill plays the first twilight game of 2019 when it hosts South Morang at A.E. Cracknell Reserve. The first bounce is at 4:10pm.
It will be the first twilight game for the Lions. They were written off by most in 2018 but won their way through to a narrow preliminary final loss against the Redbacks.
South Morang has lost Brody Bell, Daniel Caruso, Sam Indian and James Mellerick from 2018, but regained Jake Potter. Those changes should be enough to make the tipsters go for the Redbacks.
But the Lions have a habit of surprising – as they showed last season – and must be given some chance to pull off an upset.
The Redbacks key forwards were in good touch last week, with Matthew Byron best afield with four goals, while Rhys Boyden added three. Nathan Hendry also excelled in his return.