Heidelberg Golf Club Division 3 Preview – Round 13

Published on Thursday, July 4, 2024

Author : Doug Long

Only eight points separate teams from second to seventh, and following some fascinating results last week, we could be set for another season-defining slate of Heidelberg Golf Club Division 3 matches this Saturday.

Round 12 provided some big upsets and surprising winning margins as well.

Kinglake claimed a big scalp in overcoming Old Eltham Collegians at Eltham College.  The Lakers led virtually all day and scored the first goal of the final term courtesy of Michael Bongailas to lead by 24-points, which seemed like a match-winning advantage at the time.

But the home team reeled off the next four goals and a wonderful snap by Tom Burns put them in front by a solitary point at the 18-minute mark. Lakers fans erupted when Shane Harvey slotted a goal at the 26-minute mark to put his side ahead by five points, which was the final margin.

“It has been a pretty big block of games where the group has just fronted up and cracked in without reward and I wanted to make sure they were still up for the challenge,” Kinglake coach Dave Florance said.

Florance praised the work of Liam Styles in the ruck, Rohan King in defence, Damian Pywell with his forward pressure and Tom McErlain in his tagging role on Brent Macaffer.

Their fifth loss in a row sent the Turtles out of the top five for the first time all season. In four of the last five games, their scores have been in the 50’s, while all five defeats have come by 10 points or less.

Epping stunned Mernda at Epping Recreational Reserve with an impressive 45-point triumph.  The win kept the Blues in the top five, while The Demons dropped from first to third with the defeat but are still just four points behind the top two.

Old Paradians faced a possible danger game, which was sandwiched in between their clashes with Mernda and the Fitzroy Stars, when facing Heidelberg West at Heidelberg Park.  But the Raiders rebounded from the loss to the Demons last week with a strong 70-point victory over the Hawks.

“The boys handled the conditions really well and showed a fair amount of determination to bounce back after last week’s game,” Old Paradians coach Ben Turner said.

“We’re looking forward to the challenge next week.”

The Raiders had a total of nine players hit the scoreboard, while Masaki Miki returned to the Hawks side after missing in Round 11 and again impressed.

Ivanhoe were hot favourites when hosting Reservoir at Ivanhoe Park.  But the Mustangs took it right up to the Hoers, who had to pull out all stops to graft out a seven-point win.

“I was rapt with the effort from the boys. I was shattered for them that they didn’t get that feeling of enjoying a win together, but am very proud of them,” Reservoir coach Rohan Davies said after his team almost pulled off a huge upset.

Thomas Dunn played his best game for the season for the Mustangs, while Ivanhoe captain Daniel Jones continued his stellar 2024 campaign.

“This week our focus was on doing the fundamentals well and there is no better way to action it than in a wet and muddy contested game,” Ivanhoe coach Wayne Schultz said, who noted that Reservoir also played the conditions well and that banking the four points was crucial.

Kilmore hosted Lalor at J.J. Clancy Reserve and with some other results going their way that coincided with the Blues boosting their percentage in a 96-point win, they remain in the hunt for a finals berth.

“Our best footy is pretty good and we aim to get better and better,” Kilmore coach Paul Derrick said.

Derrick liked the work of Christopher Barton and Bailey Derrick in the middle, while Mitch Portoglou continued his great defensive form in holding Sam Rexhepi goalless. The Blues go to the bye in good form but do play the top three teams in their final five matches.

All top five spots are up for grabs again, ahead of some highly anticipated Round 13 action.

Down the other end of the ladder, it’s a huge game for the Reservoir as they lock horns with Lalor at Crispe Park.

A few weeks ago, the Bloods would be favoured to comfortably win this contest. But the Mustangs went very close against a finals contender in Ivanhoe last week and will approach the match with some belief that they can achieve their maiden victory for the season.

Lance Whitnall’s men will be just as keen to make it a 2-0 record against Reservoir, so a great contest is anticipated.

Kinglake faces Epping at Kinglake Memorial Oval, in what is a must-win game for the Blues as they aim to make it four triumphs in a row either side of the bye.

It would be tough to tip against Brad Hollow’s men after their impressive win over the Demons last week.

Lakers fans, however, will fancy their chances on their home deck after a big upset win over the Turtles at Eltham College.

Ivanhoe will be aiming for back-to-back home ground wins when hosting Heidelberg West at Ivanhoe Park.

Most of the key statistics would suggest a win for the Hoers and it is a game they cannot afford to drop as they aim for a maiden finals berth.

If Ivanhoe can tick this game off, then they can go to the bye in a good position ahead of a big last four games of the season.

However, the Hawks would love to knock off another finals contender after achieving this feat against Old Eltham Collegians prior to the bye.

In a crucial contest, Mernda hosts Old Eltham Collegians at Waterview Recreation Reserve.

Before the season began, these two sides were considered front runners to be there on Grand Final day.  It doesn’t look a likely scenario as it standard, with the Demons hoping to keep the double chance, while the Turtles currently find themselves outside the top five.

Both teams are missing some key personnel at present, so it will help if they can boost their ranks for this game.

While the recent losing margins for Matt Sleeman’s men have been small, they just need to find a way to get over the line in this match, potentially in similar fashion to how they came down from 41 points down in the third term to defeat their Saturday opponents in the opening round.

With Mernda having the home ground advantage, having not lost at the venue in 2024, and the better form line going into the clash, they will be very tough to beat.

Top spot is on the line when the Fitzroy Stars play Old Paradians at Sir Douglas Nicholls Oval.

The Raiders bounced back after losing to Mernda a fortnight ago with an emphatic win over the Hawks to set up this mouth-watering clash.

Lionel Proctor’s men meanwhile are coming off the bye and had the benefit of missing the heavy conditions last week.

Looking at the form lines makes it almost a toss of the coin contest. Both combatants come into the game winning six of their last seven games, and in each case, their sole recent loss was to the Demons.

The only other meeting between the teams yielded a 22-point win to Old Paradians back in Round 3 at Garvey Oval.  Given that the Raiders won that day without star ruck Sam Gilmore, they would give themselves every chance to repeat the dose.

No doubt the Stars will be highly focussed with top spot there for the taking if they can prevail, along with the extra incentive of wanting to secure the NAIDOC Cup for 2024.

The midfield battle will be critical and the Stars boast the likes of Kain Proctor, Jai Burns and Neville Jetta. If they win that battle, it will go a long way to a home team victory.

But perhaps Sam Gilmore can give his midfielders first use of the ball and negate the Stars midfielders. With so much on the line, a great contest looks likely.

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