By Nick Creely
Woori Yallock and Cranbourne are beginning to form one of the genuine rivalries of the AFL Outer East with yet another drama-filled clash on Saturday.
The Eagles and Tigers played out yet another draw – their second since the inception of the competition – in an absorbing battle at Livingston Reserve, 6.3 (39) to 5.9 (39).
Nobody can forget the brilliant 2019 contest between the two clubs that also saw points shared – it was a game for the ages in many ways – and now another chapter has been written.
Free space was at a premium in the highly contested slog, with almost nothing separating the two sides who threw everything into the contest.
It would have delighted footy purists.
The lead was swapped at every change, with the Tigers taking in an 11-point lead at the final change, before the home side managed the two majors to force the draw.
As has been the custom all season, Kane Thompson was absolutely brilliant for the visitors, Liam O’Dea was all class, while for the Eagles, and emerging tall Corey Ellison once again showcased his elite traits with two goals and a towering presence around the ground.
With the sides not fixture to play again this home-and-away season, could the two rivals meet once again in a final, similar to 2019?
Down at The Superdome, Upwey Tecoma banked a morale boosting win against Olinda Ferny Creek, 4.15 (39) to 4.11 (35).
Finding the middle of the big sticks was hard for both sides, with eight goals from a total of 34 scoring shots, however Stuart Hill’s side lifted for its home fans to knock off the in-form Bloods.
Bailey Oates was once again the standout for the Tigers as he puts together a brilliant 2021 campaign, while the likes of Glenn Costas, Haydn Stanley and Sam Waters were huge in the win.
For the Bloods – who will quickly pick themselves back up – ex-Pie Matthew Scharenberg once again found stacks of the footy in another flashy display.
Scharenberg – who played 41 games at AFL level – is proving to be one of the standout recruits of the season as his side pushes to secure a spot in the final
Wandin also picked up its first win of the season, and as a result have sent Doveton to the bottom of the table, 9.15 (69) to 5.14 (44).
The Doggies have been valiant this season without much reward, but found their bark to register a 25-point win over the Doves at home.
The clash was tight for the first half before Nick Adam’s group slammed on five goals to one in the third and fourth quarters to win comfortably.
John Ladner was the standout for the Dogs, Pat Hodgett snared three majors, and while for the Doves Jake Basa was simply brilliant in a losing cause.
Another potentially season-shaping round awaits on Saturday, with Doveton facing a mighty challenge of toppling Narre Warren at home, Beaconsfield and Cranbourne is expected to be the round’s most intriguing battle in what looms as a blockbuster, Upwey Tecoma will be hoping to carry the momentum forward when it hosts Pakenham, while Woori Yallock start favourites at home against Wandin. Olinda Ferny Creek has the bye.