Round 16 action of Heidelberg Golf Club Division 3 football features intriguing matchups between the top four teams with plenty still at stake as we draw towards the end of the regular season.
Last week pitted the top four against the bottom four with all results going according to ladder positions, but the margins had a bearing on percentages for the top sides.
Kilmore got the job done against Lalor at Lalor Reserve with a 157-point win. Michael Fenech booted seven, while Calder Cannons listed player Ryan Eyre slotted four goals in his senior debut for the club. Chris Ryall looked a class above in a best on ground performance which included three majors.
“We’re looking to continue our recent good form and would like to take another shot at Laurimar,” said Kilmore coach Nathan Phillips.
Jonathon McCumber-Kelly impressed in only his second senior game for the Bloods. Scott Sandy continued his recent good form, while Jarrod Langborne was productive.
When Old Eltham Collegians travelled to Crispe Park to play Reservoir in Round 11, the Mustangs failed to score a goal all day. But Mustang Rob Holland kicked thrilled the locals with the first goal of the game after gathering at half back and evading a couple of opponents before kicking truly.
The Turtles started inaccurately, but eventually found the big sticks and went on to win by 84 points. Lalor games aside, it was the first time this year that Reservoir lost a match by less than a triple digit margin.
“Our goal was to be more competitive, we’ve become much better at playing contested football,” said Reservoir coach Justin George.
Holland excelled for the Mustangs, while George was pleased with the work of William Parrello on Benjamin Gill as well as the intercept marking of Nathan King at half back.
Jay Smith shone as a leading forward option for the visitors, while his captain Eden Simpson led from the front.
Despite expecting a bigger winning margin, Turtle fans would be thrilled with the season as a whole.
“It’s a great effort by the team in only our second full year in the competition,” said Old Eltham Collegians coach Matt Sleeman.
The local derby between Mernda and Laurimar at Waterview Recreation Reserve saw Laurimar dominate early with a 52-point half time lead before going on to win by 53 points.
It was a great performance after the disappointment of losing to South Morang the previous week.
“I’m proud of the way the boys responded,” said Laurimar coach Jimmy Atkins.
“Their effort, intensity and pressure was first class.”
Kaiden Arthur continues to perform at a high level for the Power in his second season of senior football. Nathan Andrews was terrific, while Jacson Cecil booted four majors to take him to 77 for the season.
Demon Riley Vincent had a good battle with Cecil with his efforts pleasing the local fans, while Ryan Bongetti has been named in the team’s best in every game he has played for the season.
Heidelberg West needed a win and a lot of luck to play finals, but that all vanished when they went down to South Morang by 30 points at Heidelberg Park.
The Hawks got off to a flyer with a four goal to one first term, but the Lions gradually gained the ascendancy thereafter in an impressive display.
“Another solid win in wet and slippery conditions,” said South Morang coach Gary Hall. The win keeps the victors in second spot on the ladder.
Aaron Lazaric dominated in the ruck for the Lions, while James Hewson’s class and polish was on display. Coaches MVP leader Bailey Brown is again a chance to get votes in a week where others in the race for the award also shone.
“I’m proud of the way we fought it out, but it would’ve been nice to get closer on the scoreboard,” said Heidelberg West coach Michael Missen.
Recent games between the two have seen South Morang prevail by between three and five goals.
Missen praised the work of Zac Tranter on Ben Peterson while Nicholas Paton got a tick for his work at half back.
Heidelberg West is a chance to beat their best record in Division 3 if they can secure two more wins for the season. The Hawks will be hot favourites when travelling to Lalor Reserve this week to lock horns with Lalor.
The teams met on this ground in round 9 with the visitors prevailing by 133 points. The Bloods would like to narrow the gap from that previous encounter in preparation for the following week’s big game against Reservoir.
The Hawks will be aiming for a win and for momentum into the upcoming fifth versus sixth clash against the Demons.
Mernda hosts Reservoir at Waterview Recreation Reserve. Their last full match saw the Demons prevail by 134 points.
Like Lalor, the Mustangs will be looking to better that result as they prepare to face the Bloods the following week.
The Demons will be aiming to return to the winners list and finish the season on a high.
Laurimar hosts Kilmore at Laurimar Reserve and the Power need a win to ensure that they remain atop the ladder. The Blues have a less immediate incentive as they have already clinched a finals berth. They could claim a double chance if they win all remaining games but would still need other results to go their way.
With Jacob Lawson booting five goals, the Power produced a blistering final quarter last time the teams met when running away to win by 42 points at this venue in Round 8. But the previous two clashes between the teams went down to the wire, so the possibility of another close one is on the cards.
Old Eltham Collegians have a chance to draw level with South Morang on 12 wins when both sides meet at Eltham College. These teams clashed just three weeks earlier at the same ground on a day when the Lions won convincingly by 39 points.
Based on that result and on the back of an eight-game winning streak, Gary Hall’s men would go in as strong favourites to win. But the Turtles will have a better line-up compared to that Round 13 match and the personnel improvement may lead to a much closer tussle this time around.
The Lions and the Power are both one win ahead of Old Eltham Collegians and have a better percentage. The Turtles would need an unlikely result of a nine goal or more win this week to claim second spot on the ladder, but with Laurimar playing South Morang the following week, Matthew Sleeman’s men are likely to claim the double chance if they win their three remaining games.