If anyone can beat Lockleys it might be Kenilworth. We’ll find out at 5pm on Saturday if the Kookaburras can challenge the Demons.
By Jakob Matheson
Smithfield vs. Rosewater
Rosewater played host to a red-hot Smithfield and after a promising start which saw Rosewater lead by four points at quarter time. It was all one-way traffic as the Panthers ran riot, kicking six goals to none in the second term to take a 37 point lead into the main break. Things didn’t get any better for Rosewater after half time, as the visitors piling on a further ten goals in the second half to run out comfortable 83 points winners, 19.15 129 to 6.10 46. Frederick Agius and Luke Buckby shone bright for Smithfield kicking five and four goals respectively. With Benjamin Geytenbeek and Swedenson Hanuman amongst the many contributors for the visitors. Adam Carroll, Daniel Harris and Brock Sinapuis all battled gamely for the Bulldogs despite the heavy defeat. The victory sees Smithfield cement themselves in the five and still in the race for a top three finish. As for Rosewater, the loss keeps them at the foot of the ladder and with only two more rounds left to be played this season, the Bulldogs chances of claiming the unwanted ‘wooden spoon’ is looking extremely likely.
Pooraka vs. West Croydon
The struggling West Croydon Hawks travelled to Lindblom Park to face Pooraka on Saturday afternoon. The Hawks, who were on a four-match losing streak, miraculously came from behind to pull off a surprising victory over the Bulls, winning 12.10 82 to 11.8 74 by 8 point. Bradley Batten, who kicked all three goals for the Bulls last week, kicked another three goals, whilst Frank Timpano and James Chakiris both looked good for the Bulls. The Hawks were led by Jaydn Gagliardi who was outstanding in his return after missing the last two games. The ever-improving Reece Johnston, adding another three goals whilst Jacob Sumner, Luke Woodcock and Steven Cooper all kicked two. For the Hawks, not only does this victory end their four-game losing streak, but it also moves them into sixth with an outside chance of still playing finals. For the home side the lost drops them to seventh and they would need a miracle to make the finals from here.
Salisbury vs. Fitzroy
In-form Salisbury played host to ninth placed Fitzroy, who were coming off their first victory of the 2020 season the previous week. The Magpies all but put the game to bed in the first quarter as they kicked six unanswered goals to lead by 36 points at the break. Things only go worst for Fitzroy in the second quarter as Salisbury kicked another nine and by half-time were 86 points in front. The home fans would have been delirious as Salisbury went on to record a massive 144 point victory winning 27.9 171 to 3.9 27. Debutant Mitchell Slater kicked six goals with Sean Hee chipping in with four of his own for the Pies. Reece Hocking and Ryan Paget starred in a total team effort. Not much went right for the Lions, but the coach would have been pleased with the contributions from Jordan Bohnsack, Tyrese Pickett-Miller and Matthew Wiese. The 24-goal defeat is Fitzroy’s heaviest of the season, whilst for Salisbury the victory keeps them in fourth just ahead of their next opponent Smithfield.
Kenilworth vs. Eastern Park
Kenilworth welcomed Eastern Park to Simonds Park on Saturday afternoon and it was the home side that recorded a 42 point victory, 17.16 118 to 11.10 76. The Kookaburras jumped out of the blocks to set up convincing 26 point lead at quarter time. Eastern Park started to work their way into the game in the second quarter and were still well and truly in the contest at half-time despite trailing by 29 points. However, Kenilworth dominated the third quarter to open up a comfortable 52 point lead heading into the final term. Whilst Eastern Park showed some fight in the last quarter their never really challenged Kenilworth. Myles Crump booted 5 goals for the home side and was joined by the likes of Nicholas Chesser (four goals), Joel Whittlesea (three goals) with Isiah Place among the Kookaburras best. For the Demons, Ben McMullen booted four goals with Peter Diedrichsen, Harrison Hunter and Jayden Alderson all playing well. The victory now sees Kenilworth move into second position on the ladder with a massive game next week against the league leading Lockleys.
Colonel Light Gardens vs. Lockleys
The final game of the round saw the undefeated first-placed Lockleys Demons go head-to-head with second-placed Colonel Light Gardens at StreetFleet Park on Saturday afternoon. In what could be a potential Grand Final Preview, it was the Demons who improve their record to seven and zero with a hard fought 34 point victory, winning 14.11 95 to 8.13 61. Lockleys started strongly and were 24 points up at the first break, however the Lions started to win procession in the second quarter and reduced the margin to 19 points at the main break. However, normal sever returned after halftime as the Demons showed why they are the team to beat this season with a five goal to two third quarter. Demons, led by Henry Johnson (6 goals) and Dylan Howie (3 goals) had contributors all across the ground, with Tom Mcdonough and Alexander Stidiford the standouts. For Colonel Light Gardens, Emmett Wood, Russell Mclean and Billy ‘Jean’ King worked tirelessly all day. The victory sees Lockleys lock in the minor premiership and secure a first-round bye in the finals, as they are now two games and percentage clear of both CLG and Kenilworth. With the loss Colonel Light Gardens fall to third and find themselves in a battle to secure a top three spot with both Salisbury and Smithfield eye off the double chance.
Eastern Park vs. West Croydon
West Croydon head to Dwight Reserve to take on Eastern Park on Saturday afternoon. The Hawks have started to show improvement over the last couple of weeks and with a top five spot still within reach should have the motivation to get the job done. Whereas, Eastern Park will be looking to salvage something for a very disappointing season. At time they have showed what they are capable of, but have struggled to put it together for the full four quarters. West Croydon by 12 points.
Rosewater vs. Pooraka
Seventh placed Pooraka travel to Eric Sutton Oval to take on tenth placed Rosewater on Saturday afternoon. Only two weeks ago this game looked like a chance for Pooraka to gain some percentage and sure up a top five spot, now they will be just hoping for a victory and try to get something out of a from a very disappointing year. For Rosewater this is probably their best chance of a victory and a chance to avoid the ‘Wooden Spoon’. Pooraka by 27 points.
Fitzroy vs. Colonel Light Gardens
Colonel Light Gardens head to Fitzroy Sports Club to face off against Fitzroy to see who will be the King of the Jungle in this battle of the Lions. Colonel Light Gardens, after losing by 34 points to ladder leaders Lockleys, will be hoping to bounce back to strengthen their chances of a top three finish. Fitzroy, on the other hand, hit their lowest point of the season last week and are coming off of a massive 144-point defeat at the hands of Salisbury. Fitzroy will be hoping to cause an upset and tarnish Colonel Light Gardens chances of securing a spot in the top three. However, expect Colonel Light Gardens to come out firing and put this game away as early as possible. Colonel Light Gardens by 45 points.
Lockleys vs. Kenilworth
Tipped by many at the beginning of the season to be the Grand Final preview, ladder leaders Lockleys return home to face Kenilworth on Saturday afternoon. Both sides are coming off impressive victories and are in good form. Lockleys undefeated from seven starts wrapped up the minor premiership last weekend and will be wanting to send a message to one of their main challengers. Kenilworth are coming off back-to-back victories over West Croydon and Eastern Park respectively. Whilst the Kookaburras have at times been inconstant this season, they are sitting in second and a victory would go a long way to securing a top three spot. However, let this one slip and they could find themselves in fourth spot come 5pm on Saturday. Lockleys by 7 points.
Smithfield vs. Salisbury
The final game of round 8 sees the fourth placed Salisbury head to Smithfield Oval to face fifth placed Smithfield on Saturday afternoon. A long with Lockleys these are the two in-form teams of the competition. So, you can expect this to be a cracking, high-scoring contest in what will be a season defining game. For the winner a place in the top three beckons, whilst for the loser a top five spot is not guaranteed. Luke Buckby has been outstanding this season for Smithfield averaging five goals a game and if he can kick a bag this week, the Panthers will go a long way to winning. Whilst Jack Howden and Sean Hee have been regularly in the Pies best and could well hold the keys to a Magpies victory. Salisbury by 4 points.
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