Heidelberg West made it three wins on the trot to finish the Heidelberg Golf Club Division 3 season after defeating Old Eltham Collegians by 15 points at Eltham College.
In a tight contest which was played in good spirits, Heidelberg West grabbed the lead early in the third term as the rain began to fall steadily and was never headed thereafter in the 14.6 (90) to 11.9 (75) win.
Although they won’t feature in the finals, the win meant the Hawks would produce their best Division 3 season ever as after being 1-4 early in the campaign, they won nine of the last thirteen to miss the top four by one game.
It also gave the Hawks two wins over the Turtles at Eltham College this year after losing by a solitary point at Heidelberg Park to them earlier in the season.
“Really proud that the boys played out the full 18 games, they never dropped their bundle and the effort was very good,” said Heidelberg West coach Michel Missen.
Old Eltham Collegians shot out to a 14-point lead midway through the second quarter, but a scintillating few minutes of football by Alex Hywood swung the game. He booted four of his five goals for the match in a fifteen-minute period with his final goal of the term putting the Hawks in front at the main break.
A clear best for the victors was Tom Kimpton in the ruck. Kimpton would not have been the first ruck option in the eyes of many Hawk fans, but he rose to the challenge when given the opportunity, he won tap-outs, grabbed the ball from throw-ins and got kicks forward. His ruck dominance was the difference between the two sides.
Heidelberg West was well served up forward by Lachie Evans and Hayden Chapman who each slotted three majors while Jordan Allen played one of his best games for the season on the wing and was often able to find a team mate in a better position with his handballing.
Nicholas Paton and Daniel Walters also worked hard through the midfield, while captain Ben Kennan was solid in defence.
Apart from not getting the four points, it was a tune-up match for the Turtles as they head for the first semi-final next weekend.
“We’re excited for the club in our first ever senior finals game in the NFNL,” said Old Eltham Collegians coach Matt Sleeman.
Tim Ellis was a stand-out for the home team in defence and took numerous intercept marks with Nicholas Milne being the best forward for the Turtles with three goals. Corey Ray, Nick Snowdon and Jesse Howell worked well through the midfield, while Tim Woods chipped in with two majors.
Despite the wet conditions later in the contest, Tom Cleary kicked a brilliant third term goal when he showed composure, dummying around an opponent before his shot from about 40 metres out on an angle split the middle.
While the Heidelberg West players can relax next week, Old Eltham Collegians fans will be looking forward to a maiden finals campaign and in a bonus for the Turtles, they appeared to have escaped unscathed from the match with no significant injuries.