MC Labour Division 2 Preview – Round 13

Published on Thursday, July 4, 2024

Author : Giacomo Bruno

Some sides are on shaky ground while others are looking to make a late finals push ahead of Round 13 action in MC Labour Division 2.

Panton Hill and Watsonia will be hoping to snap losing streaks ahead of a potential finals-deciding contest at A.E. Cracknell Reserve.

The Redbacks sit a game outside of the top-five and will be ruing missed opportunities to enter the top half of the table, losing their last three fixtures to Diamond Creek, Northcote Park and most recently St Mary’s, two of which they led at half time before being run over.

Giulian Fable’s terrific patch of form continued despite the defeat to the Burra, while Ethan Gorski has also impressed in his return season at the club and will be a key player for Panton Hill’s finals chances in the last third of the season.

With matches to come against Whittlesea and South Morang in the next two weeks, they will be banking on picking up the four points in this game in order to remain in contention.

Their Saturday opponents in Watsonia have had the wood over Panton Hill in recent times, winning four of their last five games against the Redbacks. It’s a trend George Lattouf will hope continues this weekend in order to avoid falling further behind the pack.

They sit six points adrift from fifth position after going down to Whittlesea by 34 points, although their effort was admirable in keeping the unbeaten Eagles to their second lowest score of the season.

It’s now much more than just a good patch of form that has seen Harrison Sinclair prove to be one of Watsonia’s most important players, alongside Daniel Annetta, who remains a force to be reckoned with in midfield.

With plenty on the line, this could be a match that makes or breaks the campaigns of these two teams.

Sitting in the top-five while sides below are knocking on the door, Thomastown will be out to further distance themselves from the rest of the pack by upsetting an in-form Whittlesea outfit at the Whittlesea Showgrounds.

The Bears have now lost three straight games after falling short by 17 points to South Morang in Round 12 but will be eager to take the learnings out of defeats to some current top three sides and implement it against a quality outfit in the Eagles.

They did showcase this against this very team back in Round 4, when despite finding themselves 36 points down midway through the first term, they came back to lead at multiple stages throughout the match before falling three points shy of an upset win. If they get back to that level of competitiveness again, there’s no reason why David Folino and Sashe Spiroski’s men can’t hand the Eagles their first loss of the season.

But Garry Ramsay’s side have not gone too close to losing a match since, and currently posses a record 12-game winning streak.

Whittlesea were never threatened in their 34-point triumph over Watsonia, despite being kept to nine goals, and remain as the second best attacking and second-best defensive side in the competition.

It’s also their work in the middle that has seen the Eagles dominate contests, led by Division 2 best and fairest fancy Taidgh Bland. Whilst Thomastown have the talent in this area of the ground to combat it, those players will need to be on their game throughout if they are to prevent Whittlesea from building momentum early in the game and running away with another victory.

Northcote Park will fancy their chances to maintain their incredible win streak when they face second placed Diamond Creek at Bill Lawry Oval.

The Cougars sudden rise in the last month has been breathtaking to witness, having gone from an 0-9 record to now having won their last three matches by 60 points or more, to be just two games outside the top five.

In Round’s 10, 11 and 12, the club were the highest scoring team each week, and are now fourth in the division for points for, only sitting behind the current top three sides of the competition.

Both Jordan and Matthew Perry continue to inspire their side in this purple patch, while Matthew as well as Ricky Fandrich both sit in the top 10 of the competition leading goalkicker charts, to be just one of two clubs to have two players in the top 10.

As impressive as they have been in the previous three matches, a triumph on Saturday against last year’s Grand Finalists would arguably be the club’s best win in quite some time.

That task won’t be made easy against a Creekers outfit who have started to produce some consistent performances in the same time period.

In difficult conditions they defeated Laurimar by 16 points away from home, keeping the Power to just 46 total points.

Jacob Booth produced one of his best games of the season in a three-goal effort, and if he can continue this trajectory, Diamond Creek will be a hard side to knock down.

The Creekers play just one top five side in the next month and will be eager to keeping building some strong form ahead of finals, however with Northcote Park in red-hot form of their own, the result of this game might not be as clear cut as first thought.

St Mary’s can make it four consecutive wins over Lower Plenty when the two sides meet in an important contest at Whatmough Park.

The Burra got back onto the winners list after edging past Panton Hill away from home last week, but they will hope for a more complete performance this time around, as they did against the Bears in Round 4, where they produced their biggest score of the season in a 45-point triumph.

It’s been Jack Bianchin and Huon MacGibbon who have stood tall in the absence of some key players in recent weeks, with each having a major contribution in their victory over the Redbacks in Round 12.

With another victory for Fabian Carelli’s men this Saturday could see them be as much as 14 points safe from the bottom five with five games remaining, all but certainly solidifying a second straight finals berth.

Lower Plenty are coming into this game off a 10-goal defeat to Northcote Park but are still in a great position to make a finals push despite this upcoming match being one of four straight games against current top five sides.

Jordan Sacco got back to his best despite the loss while Patrick Flynn earnt a seventh mention in his side’s best in 10 appearances.

Travis Stephens’ men can jump into the top five with a victory, but they’ll need to get some scoring power back if they are to do so, having scored more than 70 points just once in their last four games and once in their last three games against the Burra. If they can arrest both trends this weekend, Lower Plenty could be a finals threat.

In their second meeting since the 2022 Division 3 Grand Final, Laurimar and South Morang and will do battle at Mill Park Lakes Recreation Reserve.

The Lions managed to pick up their 10th win of the season last week with a 17-point triumph over Thomastown, to edge closer to a double chance position.

Tye Hall extended his Coaches MVP Award lead after a perfect 10 votes in the win over the Bears. The Lions skipper has now polled Coaches votes in all but two matches, been named in his side’s best in all but one match and has also booted 11 majors in 2024.

It is clear that if Laurimar are to have a chance of claiming a major upset, Hall’s influence will be one they need to limit.

The Power are aiming for their second win of the season, and with the Cougars on a winning streak of their own, victories are a must if they are to qualify for another season in Division 2.

They were gallant in defeat against Diamond Creek at home last week, and while they are yet to lose a match by six goals or more since Round 4, they will need everything to come together this Saturday to get reward for effort.

Nathan Andrews and Ethan Bateman were Laurimar’s best in the losing effort alongside co-captain Luke Wilson. If the impact of the trio is similar this Saturday, it will go a long way towards their chances of taking the four points.

History will however favour South Morang in this contest, as they have won four of the last five meetings between the two sides and as they look to lock in a top three spot in the coming weeks, Gary Hall’s men will be keen to continue the trend.

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