A look ahead at Round 17 in Heidelberg Golf Club Division 3.
Round 16 of Heidelberg Golf Club Division 3 locked away this year’s finals spots.
Most thought it was sealed the week before, but wins by the top-four sides made a sure thing of it.
There is now a gap of three wins and percentage between fourth-placed Epping and Heidelberg West in fifth with two home and away rounds remaining.
Needing a win to maintain its mathematical chance to play finals, Heidelberg West was never in the hunt against St Mary’s at Whatmough Park after kicking 0.5 with the first use of the breeze.
The Burra set up the win in the second term – booting six goals to one with the wind. They then powered away to record a 107-point win.
In-form forward Kyl Ewart was held goalless by Leigh Sullivan. Ewart was yellow-carded mid game and spent some time further up the ground later on. Harley Mozdzierz did well on his return to the Hawks team.
The Burra were well served by Daniel Castagnini, Jackson Wolczko, James Boarotto and Jake Dambrauskas. Dillan Ronalds finished the game strongly, while Brandon Jones did well and booted a goal after putting his injury troubles behind him.
“Our best four quarter performance,” St Mary’s coach Con Borg said. “It all came together this week. We have locked in a finals spot and have three weeks to prepare for our first final.”
Kilmore fought bravely to stay in touch with South Morang at J.J. Clancy Reserve, before the Lions broke clear late in the game – booting the final eight goals to record a 64-point win.
A major positive for the Lions was that Nick Johnston returned from injury to exhibit his hard-running and one-grab marking skills.
Reservoir and Epping both scored eight goals with their uses of the wind at Epping Recreation Reserve. But the Blues scored eight goals to nil against the breeze on the way to a 73-point win.
“We were surprised by Reservoir and their contested footy,” Epping coach Greg Whitcroft said. “They have improved.”
Dallyce Taylor played one his best games for the Blues in ruck and defence, while Aaron Willitts booted four and took numerous marks around half forward.
It was difficult to score against the wind at Waterview Recreation Reserve – with Mernda and Banyule scoring 19 of the 23 goals with the breeze.
Banyule trailed by 20 points at the first break, but a 10-goal to one second term by the Bears broke the game open and they finally won by 68 points.
Round 17 of Heidelberg Golf Club Division 3 will see the top teams tune up for the finals. It is already known that South Morang will play Banyule in the second semi final, while St Mary’s and Epping will face off in the first semi final.
Epping has the Round 18 bye so its match against Kilmore at Epping Recreation Reserve will be its final home and away game. A win would see last year’s runner-up go into the finals on a run of five-straight wins.
Epping will be favoured to continue its winning run, but Kilmore has a recent win over St Mary’s as a reminder it is capable of an upset.
Heidelberg West’s season has tailed off on the back of player unavailability and the Hawks face a tough test against South Morang at Heidelberg Park.
The Lions will be highly favoured to continue their long winning sequence, which has now extended to 10 games since Gary Hall took the coaching reins.
Laurimar hosts Banyule at Laurimar Reserve and the bye should have benefited the Power. After beating Reservoir in the first week after the Queen’s Birthday weekend, they have lost six-straight.
Despite the Power having the chance to freshen up, it is hard to see the Bears dropping this game as they prepare for another crack at South Morang in the finals.
The match of the day – in terms of interest – sees Reservoir host Mernda at Crispe Park.
The Demons would surely see this game as their chance to snap a 12-game losing streak. They last met in Round 2 at Waterview Recreation Reserve when Mernda won by a whopping 87 points.
But the Mustangs have improved since then, while the Demons have struggled. Depending on other results, a Reservoir win may see a three-way tie at two wins at the bottom of the ladder with one round to go.
St Mary’s has the bye. The Burra look to be coming good at the right time and will face South Morang at Mill Park Lakes Reserve in the last round.