Meadows Greyhounds Division 1 Preview – Round 16

Published on Thursday, July 29, 2021

It’s going to be a sprint to the finish line in Meadows Greyhounds Division 1, with just four rounds remaining following the second (and hopefully last) COVID-enforced hiatus.

From a competition standpoint, the only positive from the most recent 10-day lockdown was its timing – with only one round missed in the top-flight due to the split round being scheduled in Round 14.

The return to the field this Saturday coincides with the start of the final month of the home and away season – with the last four rounds looking very enticing given the competition’s best sides are regularly scheduled to play against each other in the run home.

With a two-game advantage atop the ladder West Preston-Lakeside remains firmly in the box seat to secure its first minor premiership in Division 1, with the Roosters likely needing to win just two of their final four games to clinch top spot.

It’s not the easiest run home for the two-time reigning premiers who, after hosting Hurstbridge at J.E. Moore Park this weekend, face Bundoora, Heidelberg and Montmorency in the final three rounds – all of whom will be looking to clinch top-three or top-five spots.

The tough run home may very well prove to be the perfect preparation for another tilt at glory in September, particularly after what has been a disrupted second half of the season with three rounds missed between over the past two months.

While the Roosters look a very good thing to secure first place, the remaining two spots in the top-three are very much up for grabs in the final four rounds.

Bundoora and Greensborough both take 8-3 records into Round 15, with the two clubs separated by just 2.06 percent. One win behind are Heidelberg and North Heidelberg, who sit in fourth and fifth place respectively.

The second-placed Bulls have far and away been the competition’s most improved side in 2021 after finishing just one place off the bottom when football was last played in 2019.

They were in red-hot touch between the two lockdowns, claiming four-consecutive wins by an average margin of 39 points and will need to maintain that form in what shapes as a very tough final month of the season – which includes three games against top-five opponents.

Greensborough also takes on three top-five sides in the final month, beginning with a trip to Shelley Reserve to take on North Heidelberg on Saturday. Although the Boro do have one advantage over Bundoora, in that they face winless Northcote Park in the run home.

Heidelberg and North Heidelberg face the same challenge as each other over the final month, with both pushing a case to finish in the top-three, while still needing to do plenty of work to secure a finals berth.

The Bulldogs have a vastly inferior percentage to any side in the top-five, meaning they will likely have to win each of their final four games to secure a double chance in the finals for a third-successive campaign.

Sixth-placed Montmorency sits a win and percentage outside the top-five but on paper has the best run home of any side in finals contention, with the Magpies scheduled to play only one top-five side in the final month.

The next fortnight will be telling for Garry Ramsay’s side, who host Whittlesea before travelling to Hurstbridge. They cannot afford a slip-up in either game, so can’t take either lightly. Conversely, they will also be wary that percentage may be the difference between playing or missing finals this year.

Macleod appears the side most negatively impacted by the cancelled Round 14. The Roos did have a tough game scheduled against Heidelberg, although a win would have closed the gap between them and those above.

As it now stands, the Roos may very well have to win all four remaining games and still hope for other results to go their way to sneak into the top-five. It certainly is not beyond them, but they now cannot afford even one slip-up after a slow start to the year.

With relegation no longer taking place at season’s end, the sides at the bottom end of the ladder don’t have the threat of a drop to Division 2 looming large over the final four rounds.

But with plenty of pride on the line, each of Hurstbridge, Whittlesea and Northcote Park will be looking to cause a boilover or two in the run home, which would have a big impact on the ladder positions near the top of the table.

Continue below for a review of each club’s performance across the opening 14 rounds, and a look forward to what is to come across the final month of the home and away season.


Ladder position: 1st
Win-loss record: 10 wins, 1 loss
Percentage: 172.59%
Most times in best: Jackson Clarke (9), Max Dreher (7), Ethan Penrith (6)
Leading goal kickers: Ahmed Saad (43), Jaylon Thorpe (18), Matthew Vincitorio (11)
Players used: 37
Played every game: (9) Alex Federico, Chris McCabe, Ethan Penrith, Jackson Clarke, Liam McVeigh, Matthew Harman, Matthew Vincitorio, Michael Ercolano, Mitch Tobin
Remining fixture: Hurstbridge (H), Bundoora (A), Heidelberg (H), Montmorency (A)


Ladder position: 2nd
Win-loss record: 8 wins, 3 losses
Percentage: 143.33%
Most times in best: Bailey Thompson (7), Jackson Davies, Kain Proctor, Kyle Green, Luke Collins, Nathan Thomas (5)
Leading goal kickers: Sam Lloyd (36), John Jorgensen (22), Jesse King (17)
Players used: 35
Played every game: (10) Bailey Thompson, Ben Young, Isaac McMillan, Jesse King, John Jorgensen, Kain Proctor, Kyle Green, Nathan Thomas, Sam Lloyd, Tristan Brown
Remaining fixture: Macleod (H), West Preston-Lakeside (H), Greensborough (A), North Heidelberg (H)


Ladder position: 3rd
Win-loss record: 8 wins, 3 losses
Percentage: 141.27%
Most times in best: Chris Clark (6), Ben Pannam, Billy Bedford, Jack Johnston, Nick Riddle, Tom Bell (5)
Leading goal kickers: Ben Fennell (13), Tom Bell (12), Zak McCubbin (11)
Players used: 36
Played every game: (7) Adrian Cataldo, Ben Pannam, Benjamin Fennell, Billy Bedford, Jack Johnston, Michael Croxford, Thomas Brindley
Remaining fixture: North Heidelberg (A), Northcote Park (H), Bundoora (H), Heidelberg (A)


Ladder position: 4th
Win-loss record: 7 wins, 4 losses
Percentage: 131.88%
Most times in best: Matthew Cecchin (6), Daniel O’Dwyer, Joshua Minogue, Sam Gilmore (5)
Leading goal kickers: Joshua Minogue (27), Tom Schnerring (17), Samuel Wright (13)
Players used: 38
Played every game: (10) Benjamin Nikolovski, Daniel O’Dwyer, Jesse Kane, Jordan Sutterby, Joshua Daniel, Joshua Minogue, Kieren Andrew, Matthew Cecchin, Sam Gilmore, Tom Schnerring
Remaining fixture: Northcote Park (A), North Heidelberg (A), West Preston-Lakeside (A), Greensborough (H)


Ladder position: 5th
Win-loss record: 7 wins, 4 losses
Percentage: 107.42%
Most times in best: Charles Le Fanu, Kyle McDonald (6), Anthony Daw, Jesse Tardio, Liam Nunan (5)
Leading goal kickers: Shane Harvey (25), Curtis Howden-Crhak (17), Billy Hogan (13)
Players used: 34
Played every game: (10) Anthony Daw, Braidyn Hirt, Brandon Bailey, Corey McKay, Curtis Howden-Crhak, Jared Crosbie, Kyle McDonald, Mitchell Dillon, Ryan McGhie, Shane Harvey
Remaining fixture: Greensborough (H), Heidelberg (H), Whittlesea (H), Bundoora (A)


Ladder position: 6th
Win-loss record: 6 wins, 5 losses
Percentage: 98.27%
Most times in best: Jesse Donaldson (9), Jai Robinson, Sam Binion (7)
Leading goal kickers: Patrick Fitzgerald (36), Bronson Hill (13), Jesse Donaldson (11)
Players used: 43
Played every game: (6) Billy Jenkin, Jai Robinson, Joshua Mills, Michael Fitz-Gerald, Patrick Fitzgerald, Vincent Loccisano
Remaining fixture: Whittlesea (H), Hurstbridge (A), Macleod (A), West Preston-Lakeside (H)


Ladder position: 7th
Win-loss record: 5 wins, 6 losses
Percentage: 93.59%
Most times in best: Ned McKeown (6), Patrick Flynn, Reid Brandt (5)
Leading goal kickers: Patrick Martin (20), Jordan Corelli (12), Jose Miliado, Hayden Gill (10)
Players used: 40
Played every game: (9) Anthony Da Silva, Jack Bianchin, Jose Miliado, Kobe Brandt, Ned McKeown, Patrick Flynn, Patrick Martin, Rhys Gleisner, Sahand Ghasimzadeh
Remaining fixture: Bundoora (A), Whittlesea (A), Montmorency (H), Northcote Park (H)


Ladder position: 8th
Win-loss record: 3 wins, 8 losses
Percentage: 71.15%
Most times in best: Ben Beaven, Mitchell Dale, William Cookson (5)
Leading goal kickers: Joel Naylor (34), Bailey Jordan (20), Nicholas Milne (13)
Players used: 34
Played every game: (12) Benjamin Beaven, Bryce East, Ethan Taylor, Jack Stewart, Joel Dale, Joel Naylor, Mitchell Hymus, Nicholas Milne, Riley Reading, Tom Grimes, Tyron Loader, William Cookson
Remaining fixture: West Preston-Lakeside (A), Montmorency (H), Northcote Park (A), Whittlesea (H)


Ladder position: 9th
Win-loss record: 1 win, 10 losses
Percentage: 59.23%
Most times in best: Zach Molloy (8), Blake Watson (7), Xavier Dimasi (6)
Leading goal kickers: Clancy Bland (13), Blake Watson, Paul Higgins (10)
Players used: 36
Played every game: (6) Blake Watson, Clancy Bland, Lachlan Beattie, Max Dyson, Xavier Dimasi, Zach Molloy
Remaining fixture: Montmorency (A), Macleod (H), North Heidelberg (A), Hurstbridge (A)


Ladder position: 10th
Win-loss record: 0 wins, 11 losses
Percentage: 53.57%
Most times in best: Ben McNiece, Reed Jepson (7), Daniel Tallariti, Nick Carter (6)
Leading goal kickers: Michael Amad (11), Matthew Grocott (10), Jack Sammartino (7)
Players used: 39
Played every game: (6) Alexander Phokos, Cameron Simpson, Liam McErlain, Michael Amad, Nick Carter, Reed Jepson
Remaining fixture: Heidelberg (H), Greensborough (A), Hurstbridge (H), Macleod (A)

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