Melbourne Greyhounds Division 1 Preview – Round 17

Published on Thursday, August 11, 2022

Author : Josh Ward

We’re into the last fortnight of action in Melbourne Greyhounds Division 1 with plenty still to play for this weekend.

North Heidelberg will have a massive task on their hands if they are to keep their finals aspirations alive when they face Montmorency at Shelley Street Reserve.

The Bulldogs sit half a game behind Greensborough in fifth place, but with the Magpies and then Bundoora to finish the season, they’ll need to bring their best to the table if they want to feature in September.

Following a tough fortnight which saw their finals chances take a big hit in losses against Greensborough and West Preston-Lakeside, they’ve managed to bounce back and prevail their last two matches against strugglers Hurstbridge and Whittlesea.

Since joining the side three weeks ago, Majak Daw has had a major impact in ruck and up forward with six goals in his three matches. Brent Harvey has also been a key contributor however, they’ll be without his services this last fortnight due to North Melbourne’s matches.

But Jason Heatley’s men will sense another opportunity this weekend against a Montmorency side who fell to Bundoora last week.

In an entertaining contest, the Bulls ran away in the second half to sit in equal second with the Magpies, giving Garry Ramsay’s side their fourth loss of the year.

Despite the loss, the likes of Danko Bzenic, Sam Binion and Liam Wale-Buxton continue to play pivotal roles for the Magpies as they look to build again towards a premiership charge.

Montmorency came from behind at three quarter time to claim a 10-point victory over North Heidelberg in the last match between these two sides. If the Bulldogs can repeat their competitive efforts this time around, it could be enough to grab the four points and keep their season alive.

Macleod are also still in the hunt to feature in the top five by season’s end, but those hopes could vanish as they face ladder leaders Heidelberg at Warringal Park.

The Roos also sit half a game behind Greensborough in seventh place, but also like the Bulldogs, they’ll be dealt with two top five sides to finish the season.

But Craig Hayes’ side is brimming with confidence following an exhilarating one-point win over West Preston-Lakeside.

Anthony Doherty was the key man up forward with four goals whilst Kurt Manuel continued to excel in midfield and Jack Bianchin was crucial down back.

But while the win could spark an incredible run of form, they’ll still come into this week’s game as massive underdogs.

The Tigers secured a minor premiership following a gritty three goal win over Greensborough at War Memorial Park.

Zane Barzen and Keenan Posar have put together some brilliant performances for Danny Nolan’s side in the last few weeks, with the pair standing out in last Saturday’s triumph while Kai Kearns made it 16 goals for the season after kicking a season high three majors against the Boro.

A massive seven goal to two opening quarter saw the Tigers get the four points last time around against a determined Macleod outfit and the Roos will need to be just as determined if they’re to pull off an incredible upset win.

Greensborough will look to lock up a finals spot against an improved Whittlesea outfit at War Memorial Park.

It’s been a slightly shaky fortnight for the Boro with losses to Bundoora and Heidelberg by 14 and 18 points respectively leaving them vulnerable in fifth spot.

Tom Bell has led his side to within three goals in both those games with his midfield and forward work. Joel Trudgeon has also been critical since returning to the side against the Bulls and the Boro will hope to have him available come September.

Whilst they’ll come into this game as favourites, they’ll be up against a Whittlesea side that has made great strides in the last few weeks.

Having won their previous match against Northcote Park to all but lock in a spot in the topflight next year, they came within four points of upsetting North Heidelberg at home last week.

The signs are positive for the Eagles to be even more competitive in 2023, with the likes of Jaron Murphy, Clancy Bland and Mitchell Andrews all playing excellent football.

Greensborough prevailed by 25 points when they last faced the Eagles. That game was in the opening round of the 2022 campaign, and they’ve had their ups and downs since, expect a hard-fought battle from both sides come Saturday.

Bundoora hosts a Northcote Park side desperate to get a win in hopes that they can survive their relegation battle

The Cougars now sit a game behind both Hurstbridge and Whittlesea after another heavy defeat, this time at the hands of the Bridges.

It’s been a brutal season for the Cougars with injury and unavailability seeing them only prevail in three games this season.

They are still a chance to mathematically escape relegation, but with the Bulls and then Heidelberg to finish the season, it would be nothing short of a miracle for Northcote Park to stay in Division 1.

If they are to produce it, big performances will need to come from the likes of Matthew D’Angelo, Ricky Fandrich and Matthew Perry who have all been shining lights all season round.

Their opponents this week in Bundoora are in terrific form, with crucial wins against Greensborough and Montmorency in the last fortnight coming at a handy time on the eve of a big finals campaign.

John Jorgensen responded from a tough couple of weeks, where he only scored one major in two majors, with a six-goal performance against the Magpies last week whilst Sam Lloyd has had a fantastic three weeks.

Saturday will be a special milestone for Bundoora veteran David Mitchell who will celebrate his 300th senior game.

Last time around, a six goal to three final term was enough for Michael Ryan’s side to get the win. But despite being battered and bruised, the Cougars will be determined to do one better than last time with a spot in Division 1 still on the line.

West Preston-Lakeside will be looking to bounce back when they face Hurstbridge at J.E. Moore Park.

Following a strong month of performances which saw them lock up a finals spot, it’s been a tough fortnight of action for the Roosters with defeats to Macleod and Heidelberg.

Rob Maiorana’s side finish the season by hosting the Bridges and then with a trip to Montmorency to face the Magpies, so they’ll be using this clash as an opportunity to grab some type of momentum heading into finals.

But of all weeks to be facing Hurstbridge, this week may have been less than ideal to do so after the Bridges all but locked up a spot in the competition next year with a convincing 53-point win over Northcote Park last week.

Joel Naylor will be the one to stop up forward following his bag of 10 against the Cougars while skipper Lachlan East was pivotal down back to add to his stellar 2022 campaign.

The Bridges came incredibly close to knocking off the Roosters last time they faced each other, falling short by six points after leading by 10 at three quarter time.

Ahmed Saad kicked eight majors that afternoon but with his injury keeping him out of West Preston-Lakeside team, Hurstbridge may be able to produce a similar performance only this time, be on the right side of the result.

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