Laurimar rebounded emphatically from its only defeat of the season with a dominant 58-point win over Mernda in Round 17 of Heidelberg Golf Club Division 3.
The Power was never headed in the 12.9 (81) to 2.11 (23) win at Waterview Recreation Reserve. Coincidentally, it was the exact score they managed last week in their loss to Panton Hill.
It was Laurimar’s first win at the venue in its brief time in the NFNL senior men’s football competition.
The game appeared even at quarter time in terms of scoring opportunities – with the Power leading 4.1 to 1.5, but Laurimar broke the game open with a 3.4 to 0.2 second term and Mernda never showed enough to be able to get back into the contest.
“We bounced back really well,” Laurimar coach Justin Sherman said. “With all the forced changes, our depth was tested and everyone played their role.”
Dallas King, Bradley Deed, Bryce Kotas and Adam Dennis were among the outs. Jesse McKinnon stepped up in the absence of both King and Josh Williamson and booted two goals in the first half when the game was in the balance.
Mitch Golby played his best game for the club with five majors in a game that didn’t suit forwards. His bag included a booming kick from outside 50m which sailed straight through.
The resolute Power defence was led by Jake Richards and Kieran Sheehan. Richards’ day looked done in the second term with a leg injury but managed to return to the field in the second half.
Co-captains Mitch Thompson and Luke Wilson led from the front. Josh Leather did well in the ruck, but his highlight was a snap out of congestion from the forward pocket which sailed straight through.
William Jacovou also contributed well in a well-rounded team performance.
If Laurimar wins next week it will finish on top of the ladder in only its third season in senior football – which would be a great achievement for the club.
While Mernda’s effort was never in question, its structure and skill level were below that of its opponent.
The Demons were well served though the midfield by Ryan Kannegiesser, Tyson Sparkes and Anthony Bradford. With both number 17s excelling on the day, Brad Dimech was best for the Demons – getting plenty of the ball and using it well.
Christian Cawsey was the pick of the Mernda defenders. Matthew Dean showed great effort and got the ball moving forward for his team.
Paul Derrick urged his players at the last change – during a brief hailstorm – to fight the game out and take momentum into the next week. His players gave their all but were unable to get that elusive goal or two – scoring 0.2 to Laurimar’s 2.0 in the final stanza.
“Our aim is to win the last game against Old Eltham Collegians,” Mernda coach Paul Derrick said. “Unfortunately, we have to rely on others to win to get us in.”
Ironically, Mernda has a chance to jump into the top-four for the first time all year in the last round if it wins and results go its way. It would be sweet for the club after being in the top-four all year in both the 2016 and 2018 seasons – only to drop out in the final round.
Mernda will play finals if the following occurs next week: Laurimar defeats South Morang at Laurimar Reserve and the Demons get the win over Old Eltham Collegians at Eltham College.
While Laurimar look to be the clear pick to beat the Lions, Mernda will have its hands full in attempting to beat the Turtles – who are finishing the year full of running.
Final score: Mernda 2.11 (23) def by Laurimar 12.9 (81)