By Tyler Lewis
AROUND THE GROUNDS
DIVISION 2 – ROUND 14
Devon Meadows star Joel Hillis recorded a dominant seven goals for the Panthers in their big win over Pearcedale that saw them climb above Tyabb on the ladder.
Devon kicked five goals to two in both the second and fourth terms to come away 15.9 (99) to 6.7 (43) victors.
Ex-Mornington and Cranbourne player Max Gearon appeared among the Dales’ best players for the ninth time from 13 games this season, continuing his terrific form.
Pearcedale has a difficult run home, playing each side currently sitting in the top four, in addition to the seventh-placed Somerville. Leading Crib Point by only 1.85 per cent, the Dales will have to compete with the best to avoid stooping below the Magpies in last place.
Warragul bounced back from back-to-back thrashings to upset the finals-bound Drouin on the road in their local derby, 9.10 (64) to 6.10 (46).
The Gulls led at every change with Jack Hughes’ first three majors of the season proving the difference between the sides. Daniel Giardina was among the best for Warragul while James Ferguson was named best on field for Drouin.
In the top of the table clash, Maffra climbed to first position on the ladder with its 6.4 (40) to 3.6 (24) win against Sale. Remarkably – with both sides competing for the premiership – neither were able to register a major in the premiership term.
SOUTHERN FOOTBALL LEAGUE
DIVISION 2 – ROUND 13
The second-placed Keysborough came away with the win against the fifth-placed Hampton in a low scoring affair at home, 5.7 (37) to 4.7 (31). Bailey Griffin and Tim Werner were the only multiple goal kickers for their respective sides.
Elsewhere, the ladder-leading Springvale Districts had a comfortable 15.8 (98) to 2.5 (17) victory over Skye. Matt Wetering rebounded from his goalless last game against the Bombers in Round 4 and extended his lead atop the league’s goal kicking tally with six majors.
The Doveton Eagles also shook off a wasteful start in the opening term to keep Chelsea Heights to the one major after quarter-time, winning 13.17 (95) to 4.6 (30). Nick Battle continued his run of form, appearing in the Eagles best for the fifth consecutive week.
DIVISION 3 – ROUND 13
An inaccurate Hampton Park defeated Black Rock 5.20 (50) to 3.5 (23) in treacherous conditions.
The sun appeared in patches throughout the game but it still wasn’t warm enough for some umpires, who adjudicated the match with hoodies underneath their uniforms.
In a day where goals were cherished, Reece Smart provided an impressive highlight with a miraculous right foot snap from deep in the pocket to defy the conditions.
DIVISION 4 – Round 13
The ladder-leading Lyndhurst flexed its muscles against Hallam in its 5.3 (33) to 2.5 (17) win. Kevin Twite was named in best for the Lightning as his side impressively improved its average points against to 37.
In other games, South Yarra demolished Lyndale 7.15 (57) to 1.2 (8), with the Tigers held goalless until the final term where Hayden Favero broke the shackles for his side’s only major for the afternoon. Dandenong went into the final break trailing by only two points in its clash before Moorabbin stormed home with six final quarter goals to run out 12.11 (83) to 7.9 (51) winners. Redlegs forward Phillip Muscat led from the front for Dandenong, kicking a trio of goals for the fifth week running.
EASTERN FOOTBALL LEAGUE
PREMIER – ROUND 13
Rowville went down in an important top-five clash to Balwyn, 10.12 (72) to 7.8 (50).
Balwyn’s fast start paid dividends in the context of the match, with the Tigers kicking four of the first six majors to hold the lead at every change for the game.
Noble Park entered finals calculations with a 9.13 (67) to 6.7 (43) win over North Ringwood. The Bulls burst out of the blocks in the opening term with five goals to one but worried the Noble Park supporters with a goalless final term along the way to victory.
Recently retired Fremantle Docker Michael Apeness was named in the best for the Saints with his two majors, while Joshua Tour was among the best for Noble Park.
Lily Mithen starred for Casey in its 3.2 (20) to 4.6 (30) loss to the Western Bulldogs, gathering 23 disposals and 16 tackles for the Demons as the Dogs held them goalless for the middle quarters of the game.
In true wintry conditions, Casey kicked the last two majors of the match but the damage was already done with only the one goal for three quarters of football.
Casey has lost its last six matches but remarkably is only two wins outside of the six with six rounds remaining.