With just two rounds to go before a mid-season break in the Heidelberg Golf Club Division 3 competition, a large group of teams are still vying to get into a good enough position to secure a top four spot by season’s end.
This followed a round which saw Reservoir claim its first win for the season in a thriller against Lalor at Lalor Reserve.
In a tight contest all day, the Mustangs were two points up just before the siren, but the Bloods received a free kick close in on a tight angle. The shot missed and when the siren blew a few seconds later, Reservoir fans were both overjoyed and relieved.
Although it was heart-breaking for Lalor fans, they can look forward to the Round 15 clash at Crispe Park later in the year with the firm belief that their team will be in with a genuine chance.
Laurimar finds itself atop the table for the first time in 2023, after winning with authority over Heidelberg West at Laurimar Reserve, claiming a 41-point triumph.
A nine goal to five second half sealed the deal with Joel Lawson booting four goals, as well as applying plenty of forward pressure. Bailey Macleod and Josh Leather continued their good seasons for the Power.
“Proud of the way we stuck it out,” Laurimar coach Jimmy Atkins said.
“We eventually got the game on our terms and ran away with it in the finish.”
The Hawks had three players pull out on the morning of the game, which didn’t help their cause against a team many expect to be there at the pointy end.
“I felt our effort was okay, but we have some areas to work on,” Heidelberg West coach Michael Missen said.
“We will take some learning opportunities from the game and continue to grow together.”
The Hawks were well served by debutant Michael Adams in the ruck, while Missen was also pleased with the work of trio Zac Tranter, Ben Kennan and Ryan Offer.
The match between Old Eltham Collegians and Kinglake at Eltham College was considered a flip of the coin game by many tipsters, but the Turtles took control in the second term and always had the game in control thereafter on the way to a 40-point victory.
Nicholas Milne finished with three goals and Matthew Williamson two. Williamson heads the goal-kicking ladder on 24 with Milne in second place on 17.
Mernda jumped up into third spot with a big win 77-point over Kilmore at Waterview Recreation Reserve in what was expected to be a tighter affair.
“It was a good four quarter effort,” Mernda coach Robert Fletcher said.
“Bryce Kimuliatis had a good game with six goals, and he is finally getting reward for his hard work.”
Matthew Bawden and Matthew Golledge also stood out for the Demons, while Billy Morrison continues to improve.
“Full credit to Mernda, they controlled the game 90% of the day,” Kilmore coach Paul Derrick said.
Losing ruckman James Atkinson early in the second term caused a reshuffle and the Blues weren’t able to match it with the tall Demon forwards.
The best for Kilmore were Bailey Derrick across half back and Christopher Barton who again got plenty of it. First gamer Joe Barry also impressed the coach.
Round 7 action sees Heidelberg West host Mernda at Heidelberg Park with third spot up for grabs.
The hosts are a game and a small bit of percentage behind the Demons and will draw level with Mernda on four wins if they can prevail. A winning margin of about 15-points of more would propel them into third spot.
If the loss against Kinglake is excluded, Mernda’s form this season is worthy of a premiership hopeful and the Demons would go two games clear with a victory and may even grab second spot, depending on other results.
The Hawks will be desperate to snap a two-game losing streak after beginning the season with three wins on the trot. With an away trip to Kinglake the week after, Heidelberg West could either be on the brink of the top two or outside the four at the mid-season break.
Kilmore will be hot favourites when hosting Lalor at J.J. Clancy Reserve and would be keen to get straight back to winning ways after a sizable loss in Round 6.
The Bloods have to recover from a different sort of feeling after losing by the narrowest of margins in a game that went right down to the wire against Reservoir.
The last encounter between these teams at this venue saw the Blues win by 227-points. The Bloods would be looking to significantly better that score line, while the Blues would be looking to bank the win before tackling the Fitzroy Stars. If Kilmore can win both games, they can make a push for finals after the bye.
Reservoir will take some confidence into their match-up with the Fitzroy Stars at Crispe Park.
Lionel Proctor’s men are the next team above the Mustangs on the ladder, so it will be a good challenge for Reservoir to see how they go after narrowly defeating the Bloods.
If the Stars can win this and then notch up a home win over Kilmore, they would be likely to move up to sixth spot on the ladder at the break.
Kinglake clashes with Laurimar at Kinglake Memorial Oval and they will be jostling for first spot on the ladder.
The coaches will be very familiar with each other with Andrew Fairchild and Jimmy Atkins having played together at Whittlesea, before Fairchild became an assistant coach under Atkins at the Eagles.
The period leading up to the bye is a great challenge for the Lakers. After tackling Old Eltham Collegians last week and falling short, they play Heidelberg West next up after the Power.
A win in both the next two games will see them firmly in the running for the double chance. A loss or two could see them drop to third or fourth at the mid-season bye.
Momentum suggests that Laurimar will be very hard to beat as they have extended their winning run to four games. Another victory would help the team strengthen its grip on the double chance, but they have to cope with playing on Kinglake’s home turf for the first time.
The Lakers would be equally keen to ensure that they return to the winners list immediately, following their first loss in the competition last round. A big crowd and a thrilling contest is expected for this intriguing match-up.