Heidelberg Golf Club Division 3 Preview – Round 9

Published on Thursday, May 30, 2024

Author : Doug Long

With the halfway point of the 2024 Heidelberg Golf Club Division 3 season fast approaching, positions in the top five are getting tougher to solidify.

The ladder positions of every team aiming for finals action can change by the conclusion of Round 9, as teams vie for supremacy to be in good stead by the King’s Birthday break.

Round 8 was headlined by a team opening its account in this year’s campaign, another side causing a big upset, as well as some thrilling encounters.

Old Eltham Collegians hosted Heidelberg West at Eltham College. Based on ladder positions, the Turtles were heavily favoured to keep their unbeaten season going, but the Hawks led narrowly at each change and then hung on to win in a thriller.

Heidelberg West were 11 points ahead late in the contest, before Matt Sleeman’s men attacked determinedly. They booted a goal, before their last two scores only resulted in behinds, with the win incredibly making it five straight victories for the Hawks over Old Eltham Collegians.

“It was a really good team effort against quality opposition,” Heidelberg West coach Dale Mayne said.

Mayne noted that 16-year-old Max Brown led the defence and was brave in the aerial battles. He was pleased with the pressure applied all over the ground and that Jordan Bulman did well both the midfield and up forward where he kicked three goals.

The Hawks are just a game outside the top five now and go to the double break with a bye and then the mid-season weekend off.

Epping jumped Old Paradians at Garvey Oval and led by 29-points at the first change.  But the Raiders worked their way back into it, hitting the front in the third quarter and going on to win by 16 points.

“Epping made a great start, but credit to the boys for holding firm and wrestling back the momentum in the second half,” Old Paradians coach Ben Turner said.

Kinglake got its first win of the year with a big 111-point victory over Reservoir at Kinglake Memorial Oval.  Damian Pywell had a day out for the Lakers with eight goals, while Reservoir captain Zechariah Cuppens was outstanding with his work rate and skill.

The Fitzroy Stars and Ivanhoe played out a tight tussle at Sir Douglas Nicholls Oval. The Stars led by small margins at each break before pulling away late to win by 22 points; the final term surge being sufficient enough to take the Stars to the top of the ladder.

“We are enjoying the journey and we’ve created a good buzz around the footy club,” Fitzroy Stars coach Lionel Proctor said.

Ryan Lovegrove-Hudson was the most productive forward on the ground with six goals, while Neville Jetta added to a potent midfield comprising Jai Burns and Kain Proctor and Allan Norris continued his excellent season in the ruck.

“I was proud of how hard our boys competed. To the Fitzroy Stars’ credit, they used the ball better from turnovers and had greater efficiency with their ball movement,” Ivanhoe coach Wayne Schultz said.

Liam Ward got a big tick from the coach with the way he tackled the task of going head-to-head with Kain Proctor, while Matt Presutto impressed with strong defence at half back and his ability to gain metres on the rebound.

Mernda got off to a flyer against Kilmore at J.J. Clancy Reserve to lead by 28 points at quarter time. The Blues then won each of the last three terms but went down by two points despite multiple lead changes in the final term.

“They got the jump on us early and it could’ve been a blowout, however they stepped up and had a fantastic last three quarters,” Kilmore coach Paul Derrick said.

Bailey Taylor-Egan had his best haul for the season with four majors for the Blues, while in-form Demon Matthew Bawden matched that effort with four of his own.

With three teams in the Fitzroy Stars, Old Eltham Collegians and Old Paradians sharing the top of the ladder with six wins apiece, the last round prior to the break will be hotly contested with some wonderful match-ups to come.

Epping will be looking to snap a two-game losing streak when hosting Reservoir at Epping Recreational Reserve. With the Mustangs winless and the Blues just outside the five, it’s a must-win game for Brad Hollow’s men.

All the form lines support an Epping win, but Reservoir will be keen to go to the break with a more competitive performance than its previous loss against Kinglake.

Mernda and the Fitzroy Stars do battle at Waterview Recreation Reserve in a fascinating contest.

The Demons probably began the year as flag favourites, but the Stars are one of the in-form teams of the season and will have plenty of confidence despite playing away from home.

It will be a great spectacle to see Demons captain Matthew Golledge and his midfielders go up against the likes of Kain Proctor and Jai Burns in the middle. With both sides having plenty of potency up forward, the battle in the centre might decide the result in a game which shapes as a 50-50 affair.

Ivanhoe welcomes Kilmore to Ivanhoe Park for another intriguing match-up.  The Hoers sit just inside the top five and a game ahead of the Blues.

With little difference in percentages, almost any win by Kilmore would put them go ahead of Ivanhoe and send them tumbling out of the five.

The Blues ended the previous week well and would love to bring that momentum into this game, but the Hoers would fancy their chances given that the game is on their home deck.

They were able to overcome Mernda at Ivanhoe Park four weeks prior and that form would make them tough to beat this week.

The match is all the more important given that there may be room for only one of these teams in September.

Lalor comes off the bye to play Kinglake at Lalor Reserve.

It’s a tricky spot for the Bloods who had the bye, then play this Saturday before another week off, but they should be highly motivated for the clash as it is definitely winnable, playing a team below them on the ladder at home.

Having said that, the Lakers look to be hitting their straps in recent weeks and would’ve gained confidence after a big win over Reservoir last week.

It makes for another tough game for the tipsters and made more interesting when considering that Kinglake will displace Lalor on the ladder if they can prevail.

Match of the day status belongs to the clash between Old Paradians and Old Eltham Collegians at Garvey Oval. Little separates these sides who are both a 6-1, with the Turtles in second place ahead of the Raiders on percentage.

Matt Sleeman’s men came into the season as flag hopefuls and have lived up to that tag, despite an unexpected loss last week. Star recruit Brent Macaffer continues to perform at a high level with his ability to accumulate possessions and use the ball efficiently.

Old Eltham Collegians look like they are on track to grab one of the prized double chances and a victory in this contest would help cement them in the top three.

Many pundits were unsure of how well Old Paradians would be this season, but they have been excellent bar for a slip-up against Kilmore at J.J. Clancy Reserve.

Given that they are undefeated at home this year, Raiders fans will feeling confident that this game is well within their grasp.

With both teams having talented line-ups and so much at stake, a great contest is anticipated.

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