A look ahead to Round 6 in Heidelberg Golf Club Division 3 – a standalone round in the NFNL with the remainder of the senior competition taking a break for representative football.
Last week’s action in the Pat Cronin Foundation Round included some big wins and a vital win in a contest between two teams just outside the four.
South Morang led from go to whoa against Mernda at Waterview Recreation Reserve to record a 22-point victory. The win kept the Lions in touch with the top-four with winnable games in coming weeks.
Harry Whybrow and Alex Colaidis each booted three for the victors, while Tyler Peirce and the lively Tyson Sparkes each kicked two for the Demons.
The other games were one-sided, as the top teams demonstrated their dominance in Round 5.
Panton Hill rebounded strongly from its first loss to record a 126-point win over Lalor at Lalor Reserve.
The Redbacks had no fewer than five multiple goal kickers – headed by Rhys Boyden with six and Matthew Byron with five. Panton Hill put the game away early with a 9.1 to 1.3 first term.
“Happy with our execution,” Panton Hill coach Steve Layt said. He was pleased with the dominant midfield performance by Scott Conte, as well as ruckman Joel McLellan.
“We won our fair share of the ball in the second and third quarters, but gave them too big a start,” Lalor coach Gary Cutler said.
Cutler was happy with the work of Demetrios Constantinou and the ever-reliable Ben Curtiss. Sam Rexhepi kicked all three of the Bloods’ goals.
Kilmore, fresh from the bye, played Reservoir at J. J. Clancy Reserve and recorded a 98-point victory.
After a fairly even first term, the Blues clicked into gear in the second with 8.6 to 0.1 and the game was safe.
“It was good to get another win,” Kilmore coach Nathan Phillips said. “And more importantly, to play the way we wanted to play. We now focus on moving forward in the next month.”
The Blues play two of the top three teams in the next three weeks.
Ben Mowlam did well up forward for the Mustangs with three goals, while Donovan Stuart continues to impress.
It was a better effort by Reservoir, as it goes to the bye, to improve its scoring power from the previous round and to avoid a triple figure defeat.
Laurimar took on Old Eltham Collegians at Eltham College and came away with a 56-point win. A six-goal to nil first term was the perfect start for the Power after trailing by a big margin early the previous weekend.
“We really got out of the blocks well,” Laurimar coach Justin Sherman said. “We hadn’t done that so far this year.”
Dallas King booted six majors for the victors, while the league’s leading goal kicker Josh Williamson slotted two – along with Jacson Cecil.
Michael Brennan followed up his match-winning goal the previous week with another good performance.
Matthew Quinton was named in the best for the Turtles, while Cody Johnstone played his best game for the year.
“We lost most of our backline from last week and the guys who came in toiled hard, but the extra polish from the Laurimar forwards was the difference,” Old Eltham Collegians coach John Garrard said.
Garrard noted that most of team performed well in most of the other key statistics – and that the team is learning and improving together.
Laurimar moved to the top of the table with the win with five from five – a game clear of fellow undefeated side Heidelberg West, who had the bye. Panton Hill and Kilmore sit a further game behind on three wins.
Just outside the top-four is South Morang on two and a half wins. There is then a decent break to Mernda and Lalor who each have a win, then Old Eltham Collegians on half a win and the winless Reservoir.
Round 6 in Heidelberg Golf Club Division 3 sees Kilmore face its toughest test this year – travelling to Laurimar Reserve to face the unbeaten Laurimar.
The ledger stands at two apiece in the head-to-head count – with the Blues winning both 2017 clashes, then the Power winning each meeting last season.
The contest will be a good guide to the improvement of both teams, with Laurimar looking for its first top-two finish in the competition, while Kilmore aims for its first finals berth in the NFNL.
It’s a vital game for the Blues who, depending on other results, could climb as high as second or drop out of the top-four.
South Morang hosts Lalor at Mill Park Lakes Reserve and will remain in the top-four with a win. The Bloods have just come off a triple-figure defeat at the hands of Panton Hill, but the Lions befell the same fate in Round 2 this year as well.
South Morang would be favoured on its home deck on the back of an excellent win over Mernda the previous week.
Mernda travels to A.E. Cracknell Reserve to tackle Panton Hill. Given recent form, it looks to be a tough assignment for the Demons.
But the last meeting of these teams at this venue – in Round 1 last season – resulted in a massive 83-point for Mernda.
The teams didn’t meet again until the final home and away game in 2018 – when the Redbacks got revenge to the tune of 14 points in a low-scoring arm wrestle.
The Demons need an upset win to keep in touch with the four. The Redbacks also need to prevail to stay close to the top-two.
Heidelberg West comes off the bye to host Old Eltham Collegians at Heidelberg Park. The Turtles have recorded a draw but are still seeking their first NFNL outright win.
It would be a major upset if Old Eltham Collegians could pull it off, but they look to be on the improve so the Hawks will need to be alert off the bye to get the job done.
With warm conditions forecast, all is set for a great round of football.