The Fight to the Finals
There is so much to still play out in the remaining rounds of the Hampden Football Netball League, and the final five is far from organised. The battle for top position is still open, even though I personally believe Koroit will hold onto that mantle. The battle for top three position is well and truly open between South Warrnambool, Portland and North Warrnambool, with all of the three mentioned meeting one another in the coming weeks. North Warrnambool hosts Portland this weekend and this result could tell how the narrative might go. And last but not least, the fifth and final position is still up for grabs, despite Warrnambool holding a two game advantage. Cobden and Hamilton are chasing, but they would need everything to go right for them in the run home and hoping the Blues drop most of their games. This is how I beleive the top five will look after Round 18:
- South Warrnambool
- North Warrnambool
In seasons gone by, the Hampden League senior goal-kicking award has almost always had a clear winner. This year’s battle is a three horse race between Portland’s Tom Sharp, Koroit’s Sam Dobson and Warrnambool’s Jason Rowan. The Tigers goalkicking ace has enjoyed the new role up forward, currently leading the table on 60 goals, while Dobson and Rowan are both 54. It’s going to be an exciting battle for the final five games of the season, and I know each individual will be focusing more on the team result, but hopefully the eventual winner will look back at seasons end of their fine performance in the forward 50. My tip is Portland’s Tom Sharp, an ultra consistent season and a smoky in this year’s Maskell Medal for mine.
Cobden Midfielder Down
One of the most improved players in the Cobden Bombers line up this season has been Ryleigh McVilly. Unfortunately, Ryleigh sustained a horrific leg injury on Saturday in the team’s victory against Port Fairy. The Cobden Bombers on their facebook page stated that Ryleigh had surgery to repair a clean break to his fibula and a dislocated ankle. No doubt it will be a significant time on the sidelines for the tough inside midfielder, who’s been one of the team’s most consistent performers.. We hope everything goes well in his recovery and we see him back on the ground sooner rather than later in the red and black.
Round 14 Matches
Port Fairy vs Camperdown (HLL Match of the Day) – Camperdown will enter the match with a load of confidence after their surprise defeat of the Portland Tigers. Youngster Hamish Sinnott and gun forward Sam Gordon lead the charge and will be called on again to back up their heroics. Port Fairy has been much improved in the past three weeks and will be looking for another good showing. Camperdown for me.
North Warrnambool vs Portland – Wow, what an encounter coming up. It was extremely close last time and I’m predicting the same again. The other major part of this game is this could be the battle to determine the last spot inside the top three. Portland have held it all season and will be desperate to hold a double chance heading into the finals whilst North Warrnambool will be backing themselves in as their form of recent weeks has been very good. A great match coming up, I think home ground advantage will help the Eagles.
South Warrnambool vs Warrnambool – South Warrnambool were outstanding for the first half last week with a side missing 8 of their best 21. Late withdrawals of Youl, Hussey, Saunders and White didn’t help the cause. They’ll be looking to get back on the rebound against the cross town rival. Warrnambool will be hoping to gather some good form heading into the final rounds as they are being chased by Hamilton and Cobden for the fifth spot. I think South Warrnambool will win.
Cobden vs Koroit – A tough encounter for the Cobden Bombers, who will be celebrating Tom Spokes 100th senior game. The Bombers need to get a scalp if they wish to make a last ditch effort to make the five, but the Saints will be tough as they are the most in-form team of the competion. I see Koroit winning this one.
Terang Mortlake vs Hamilton – I think this could be one of the games of the round. The Bloods have been in very good form whilst Hamilton are fighting for their first ever Hampden League finals appearance. It will come down to the wire but I think the big ground will suit Hamilton, as they are a very good running team.
See you at the footy