By Nick Creely
AFL OUTER EAST PREMIER DIVISION
REVIEW – ROUND 2
May it be the first of many.
Narre Warren’s picturesque Kalora Park ground was lit up on Saturday night as the club hosted its first ever night match in a blockbuster against its fellow 2019 premiers, Doveton.
The two rivals hadn’t played a match since 30 June 2018 in the now-defunct SEFNL, with a tinge of anticipation reverberating around the ground as a healthy crowd gathered to get a glimpse of the action.
In the end it was the Magpies – despite some inaccuracy – that flexed its muscles in a dominant performance, 14.30 (114) to 2.6 (18).
An incredible 44 scoring shots, including 16 in the third term, gave the Doves plenty to think about defensively as the Magpies ran in waves.
It was a slow start from both sides, with the Magpies taking in a nine-point quarter time lead with Trent Cody the only goal scorer of the term, but the home side found some of its trademark flair with a four-goal to one second term.
If not for inaccuracy, the margin could have blown out to extraordinary levels with the Magpies kicking 5.11 in the third term, before a 4.9 last term saw the margin almost blow out to 100 points.
Trent Cody was the firestarter, and went on to put together a scintillating match of football, snagging six majors from the midfield to completely dominate the contest.
He’s an out-and-out star of the competition.
Big man Lachie Benson was also a commanding presence for the Magpies, while Rhys Dempster and Matt Soroczynski were classy. For the Doves, Kobi George was a class above in another hugely promising performance.
“It was good for the footy club, it was an important night,” Magpies coach Shane Dwyer said.
“We got a good crowd, and the lights are really good – the boys thought it was great, and it was a good game of footy to watch.
“It was a big day for the club, and it was well worth it.”
Dwyer said that he was pleased with a lot of elements of the game, but conceded that there was work to be done to correct errant goal kicking.
“The mids and the backs got a lot of it – the first quarter was also really quick, good footy, and they surprised us a bit with how they moved the footy,” he said.
“We did kick a lot of points, and we did last week which ultimately hurt us a bit.
“We’re doing a lot of work on it – we had a lot of shots on goals, we just need to keep plugging away with that at training, but that’s footy.”
Pakenham, meanwhile, started the season strongly with a 42-point win against Upwey Tecoma, 7.22 (64) to 2.10 (22).
Ash Green’s Lions set the game up with a dominant opening term, slamming on 4.7 to just two solitary behinds, but the margin could have been greater if not for some shaky kicking in front of goal.
Nine behinds in the second term from the Lions didn’t help its quest to bank a huge win, but the Lions were never threatened, scoring three goals to two after half-time.
Jake Thompson was instrumental for the Lions with a classy display, while Matt De Bruin’s first game back was superb.
Jackson Bramich, Jeconiah Peni and James Harrison were also strong for the home side, while Sam Waters was the standout for Stuart Hill’s group.
In the remaining game, Woori Yallock banked its first victory of the season with an impressive 38-point win against Wandin, 18.21 (129) to 13.13 (129).