Calder Cannons 10.18 (78) defeated Western Jets 3.4 (22)
In typical RAMS Arena conditions, Calder acclimatised best to run out winners with a dominant second half display. With only four goals between the teams and a six-point advantage for the Cannons to half time, the home side poured it on with 8.10 to just 1.3 to run out the game. It was a contested armwrestle in the early stages, with the likes of Mitch Podhajski and Stefan Radovanovic crashing in for their respective sides.
With the game opening up, Dylan Mott found plenty of the ball to drive his side forward in an important role, with Jake Riccardi providing strong presence up forward but only managing four behinds for the match despite his dominance. Meanwhile, it was Tye Browning and Lachlan Sholl who provided the class with the former contributing two classy goals, and the latter intercepting everything off half back. For the Jets, Radovanovic led from the front despite a quiet second half, and Connor Thar accumulated at his usual rate to run out a consistent game.
The result had little effect on either side’s standing, with Western still hanging on to their top four spot and Calder over a game safe in the top eight.
Oakleigh Chargers 13.14 (92) defeated Eastern Ranges 5.3 (33)
Oakleigh Chargers kept within striking distance of the top four with a domiant win over Eastern Ranges. With the conditions seeming to favour one end of the ground, the home side charged out to a 40-point lead at the first change, keeping their opponents scoreless.
The Ranges fought back to win the second term, but normal proceedings resumed in the third as Oakleigh again kept the Ranges scoreless while adding another five goals to their tally. Not to be discouraged, Eastern went on to win the last quarter, too, with three goals to one bringing the final margin to 59 points.
For Oakleigh, Dylan Williams and Jake Gasper bagged three goals each, while Charlie Whitehead and Matthew Warren slotted two apiece to be named in the best. Trent Bianco was also solid with 25 disposals, five marks and six tackles. Meanwhile for Ranges, Xavier Fry found it 27 times and Cooper Leon used his 26 disposals well.
Dandenong Stingrays 17.13 (115) defeated Geelong Falcons 5.7 (37)
By: Brandon Hutchinson
Conditions were set to be much worse at Shepley Oval on Saturday, so the boys should count themselves lucky they were not swimming through mud. The day brought a chill and a bit of wind, but nothing that’d keep Dandenong from dominating the game as they’re so used to doing this season. By the main break, the Falcons were only down by 15 points, but after the final siren, that margin lifted to 78.
The Dandenong boys were playing at their usual best with a good spread of them having an impact. Toby Bedforddominated atop the hard ball and showed great, composed footy alongside Will Hamill and Finlay Bayne coming up the guts of the ground. Sam De Koning threw himself on a lot of the loose ball out of the back half, with Riley Bowman (four goals) dominating on the goal front on the opposing end.
The Falcons had their work cut out for them against an aggressive Stingrays side. Connor Idun remained composed and dominant despite the game getting away from them. Nicholas Conway worked hard in the ruck all day, winning many of the taps, and Blake Schlensog lifted well in the final quarter. Though it was Dane Hollenkamp who rose above at full-back, locking down his opponent and delivering another solid performance.
Sandringham Dragons 8.18 (66) defeated Northern Knights 5.9 (39)
Sandringham kept a fighting Northern Knights outfit at bay with a 27-point win at Trevor Barker Oval. The visitors started well to hold a slender lead at the first break, but were kept scoreless in the second quarter. Despite being wasteful in front of goal, Sandringham’s 2.7 was enough to have them hold a two-goal lead at the main break.
The Dragons were most productive in the third term with a further three goals to the Knights’ one, and ended up coming home strongly to comfortably win by over four goals. Both sides had two players kick two goals each, with Hugo Ralphsmith and Josh D’Intinosante named in the best for their respective sides out of them.
Harry Houlahan was arguably best afield through the middle with 25 disposals, five marks, seven tackles and a goal, and was accompanied by Vic Metro representative Alastair Richards, who amassed 22 disposals, 18 handball receives and four tackles. Liam Stocker rounded out the midfield magic with 24 disposals, four marks and five tackles as he continues his bolt towards the first round.
For the Knights, Adam Carafa was again instrumental in the middle with 24 disposals and six tackles, while Sunny Brazier continued his goal scoring form with two from 17 disposals and six marks. Others to contribute were Justin McInerney (14 disposals, five marks, four tackles) and Oscar White (nine disposals, three marks, seven tackles).
Gippsland Power 9.16 (70) defeated Murray Bushrangers 3.7 (25)
By: Craig Byrnes
In wet, windy, cold and mostly miserable conditions at Morwell, a dominant Gippsland Power overcame fellow top four hopeful the Murray Bushrangers to climb to second position on the ladder.
Kicking with the aid of a breeze favouring the right hand pocket at the northern end, Power jumped to a 28-point lead at quarter time and never looked threatened throughout the encounter. As Gippsland dominated forward territory with a plus29 inside 50 differential for the day, Murray couldn’t register a goal until the three minute mark of the third term as the home side ran away to a 45 point victory.
With a rare opportunity to represent Gippsland before returning to Geelong Grammar, Caleb Serong made the most of it collecting 23 disposals, five clearances and two brilliant goals. He was well supported in an even team performance by Austin Hodge and Riley Baldi who won 20 disposals each, while Irving Mosquito created an early spark with two first quarter goals and Harold Hood caught the eye on debut with 16 touches.
The Bushrangers didn’t have too many four quarter performers, but a 26 disposal outing from bottom age prospect Lachlan Ash was the clear standout in defence. Ely Smith continued his purple patch of form with 30 disposals and eight clearances, Kyle Clarke fought all day to win the ball 21 times, while Jimmy Boyer showed glimpses throughout to gather 26 disposals on a difficult day.
Bendigo Pioneers 9.4 (58) defeated by Greater Western Victoria Rebels 12.11 (83)
Charlie Wilson starred with six goals to help Greater Western Victoria (GWV) Rebels to a 25-point victory over Bendigo. The Pioneers shot out of the blocks, taking advantage of the scoring end with four straight goals to GWV’s 2.2 to hold a 10-point lead at quarter time. The Rebels soon clicked into gear though, with Wilson slamming home four of their five second term goals to see them in to the main break with a 16-point buffer – a four goal turnaround. With another four goals conceded, the Pios were all but shut out in the third term and their slight advantage in the final quarter was too little, too late.
With Wilson taking best-on honours, Elliot Lamb was the next best with his 30 disposals, four marks and three tackles. Vic Country gun Thomas Berry had it 25 times, while laying five tackles, and Matty Lloyd provided a good foil with 25 touches and seven marks across half back.
The hosts were led well by Jacob Atley, who had 19 disposals, nine marks and three tackles alongside Hunter Lawrence’s 22 disposal, five mark and three goal effort.