Fifth spot on the ladder still remains open
The Home & Away season is set for a thrilling final round with that all important fifth spot still up for grabs after Round 17 dished up some interesting results.
The second placed South Colac continued on their impressive run of form ahead of another finals campaign, after a ten goal second quarter helped set-up their sixty-two victory over Apollo Bay at Elliminyt Recreation Reserve.
The wet conditions didn’t falter the Roos with the way they played in that explosive second term with the aid of a strong wind helped secure the 18.14 (122) to 9.6 (60) win as they continued the home sides impressive recent record against the Hawks.
The even team performance of South Colac, which was largely led by Harry Sinclair (six goals) and assistant coach Luke Burnett (28 possessions and three majors) were simply superb throughout the match.
Todd Baudinette was outstanding in defence to keep Hawks’ star forward Casey McDonald quiet and his fellow defenders Deon Oborne, Mick Embrey and Mitch Perkins were brilliant.
McDonald still managed to boot three majors for the losers, while Tyler Johns kicked two goals – captain Jarrod Wight led from the front all game and Matt Hose and Michael Condon continued their consistent form.
Despite another heavy loss, Apollo Bay are still in the hunt for a finals berth and will need to defeat hot premiership favourites Birregurra and need other results to go their way for that to happen.
The massive result of the round came at Murray Goulburn Trading Oval, after the seventh-placed Irrewarra/Beeac kept their slim finals hopes alive with a strong 12.6 (78) to 7.17 (59) win over Simpson.
It was the Bombers best win for the year thanks to a much-needed fast start helped set the tone for the afternoon with the opening seven majors of the match that left the Tigers shell shocked on their home turf.
It was the first time that Irrewarra/Beeac have defeated Simpson since 2010 in their premiership year.
Forward Joel Menzies proved to be the difference for the winners with four majors and former Mahoney Medallist Khan Beckett’s two goals were super critical that helped Simpson’s momentum – David Dunne and veteran Travis Sell were named among the best players.
Another loss continues the Tigers’ frustrating run with Jono Jennings and co-coach Tom Leishman booted two majors, while Grady Rooke played a terrific game.
Lorne and Alvie have played out one of the more highly entertaining clashes of the 2017 season at Stribling Reserve on Saturday afternoon, after the Dolphins shrugged off a gallant Swans outfit by twenty-seven points.
In an even match up till half time which saw a tied ball game, the home side managed to get on top in the final quarter with six goals to three helped set up a 17.11 (113) to 12.14 (86) win to continue their good form ahead of their Qualifying Final clash with South Colac in a fortnight.
Tom King (five goals) and Jack Scarlett (three) were the two clear standouts for the Dolphins with Richard White and former GFL product Sean Holroyd both put in solid displays in their fourteenth victory of the year.
Mitch Williamson led the way for Alvie with three goals in a good outing for the speedster - Andre DeLorenzo and Josh Goonan were also solid contributors as well.
Otway Districts have continued their remarkable form in the second half of the season, after recording another nail-biting win – this time against the wasteful Colac Imperials at the Western Oval by five points, 9.8 (62) to 7.15 (57).
It was the Demons’ fifth consecutive win, but were forced to survive a few anxious moments yet again after getting out to a 18-point lead at half time with the Imperials slamming on five goals to take a one-point three quarter time advantage.
The boys from Gellibrand dug deep when they needed to in the final term to kick the final two goals of the match to snatch another win.
Coach Tom Mullane-Grant stepped up when Otway Districts needed him to with six goals and was the only multiple goal scorer for the game. Dale Trotter celebrated his 18th birthday in style with a best on ground performance while Stewart Sutherland and Alex Burnett both played key roles.
Jye Tillack and Sam Lucas battled hard for the Cats to fall short of their third victory of the year.
Eleven goals between spearhead Christian Kelly and coach Ben Boseley has inspired the red-hot Birregurra to another percentage boosting win over the Western Eagles to the tune of 125 points at Forrest.
The Eagles put in a spirited outing in the first half – before the premiership favourites flexed their muscles after the main break to boot fourteen unanswered majors to score an easy 23.17 (155) to 4.6 (30) win.
Andrew Kelly was the star for the Saints by winning a stack of possessions in the midfield while Jack Parker and ruckman Matt McCormack were terrific for the winners.
For the Eagles, Trent McLure booted two goals with skipper Matt Kenny and Riley Raven named among their best players.