Around the Grounds with Hilly: Round 6

Around the Grounds with Hilly: Round 6

19th May 2023

Round 5 produced a thrilling round of football in the Hampden League with four out of the five matches all very evenly matched. South Warrnambool and Terang Mortlake continued to flex their muscles, remaining undefeated. It sets-up for a mouth-watering clash this weekend, with only one of those sides to remain unbeaten. 

Sinnott on Fire

The Hampden League U23 team concept is one that I am excited about, showcasing our exciting talent in the region. I was thinking to myself, who would be the first player I pick to line up, and it’s a hard decision to make. One of the players that comes to mind is Camperdown star Hamish Sinnott. Hamish has started the season with the Camperdown Magpies in strong fashion. He is involved in the Carlton VFL program and appears close to getting a game in the navy blue once again. Hamish has so much upside in his football, a tall, athletic and skilful mover across the ground. He can play multiple positions including midfield, forward and half back, and most of all, he has a competitive nature that is well balanced. There is no wonder why Camperdown have started the season so well – having a young bloke by the name of Hamish Sinnott running around, a future star of the competition, just makes the Magpies that little bit harder to match up on.

Young Guns at Marvel

It was a welcoming site at Marvel Stadium on Saturday afternoon, with three young South Warrnambool Roosters on display. Top AFL prospect George Stevens lined up for the AFL/AIS Academy in defence, gathering 10 disposals and playing a very sound game, with scouting notes labelling him as a ‘neat user of the football’, ‘got himself into good position with his size worrying opposition forwards’. Archie Stevens and Will White (debut) lined up for Carlton and both enjoyed great games, fulfilling their roles to the highest degree. It’s terrific to see all three boys get a chance to place a high standard of football.

Couch and O’Sullivan Return

The Koroit Saints received a huge boost on two fronts last weekend in their clash against Warrnambool with 2019 premiership star Tom Couch and Saints young gun Finn O’Sullivan returning to the line up. Tom was instrumental in the team’s thrilling win, booting 5 goals playing as a permanent forward, including three goals in the first quarter. 

Whilst not huge in height, his strength around the contest and his huge football iq will certainly add to the Saints forward line that has been decimated in the off-season. I foresee Tom playing more minutes in the midfield as the season goes on, but nevertheless, a great recruit for the Saints.

On the other side of the ledger, local football fans got to see the exciting talent of Finn O’Sullivan. Finn is a highly touted underage AFL prospect who is improving his craft with the Oakleigh Chargers in the Coates Hire League. It would be fair to say we won’t be seeing Finn many more times in the Hampden League. His pace, athleticism, and skill was outstanding to view on Saturday and you can see why AFL recruiters are excited by Finn’s potential. The element of his game that I was impressed by the most was his composure, he reminded me of Scott Pendlebury, having plenty of time and space before releasing the football. I can’t wait to see where this young star takes his football. 

Round 6 Matches

Terang Mortlake vs South Warrnambool (HLL Match of the Day) – Two undefeated sides, one great contest coming up. South Warrnambool have strength all across the ground while the Bloods play a fast, exciting brand of football and their forward structure is dangerous. The midfield of the experienced vs the young will be a highlight. I love what the Bloods are showing but it might be a tough task upstaging the Roosters. South Warrnambool is my tip.

North Warrnambool vs Port Fairy – North Warrnambool’s start to the season has been indifferent albeit the injuries they have had are significant. If they replicate their performance against Cobden a fortnight ago, they’ll be hard to beat. Port Fairy are much improved, the only one factor hurting them in their games are their starts. The Seagulls are arguably the best second half team in the competition, but coming back from a large deficit at half time can be difficult. If they start well, I believe Port Fairy can win.

Camperdown vs Koroit – This weekend would be Camperdown’s best chance to match it with Koroit for a number of seasons, and it will provide them with a great test. Koroit was terrific last weekend as their younger brigade continue to impress (Block, O’Donnell, O’Sullivan). I think the match comes down to the wire. I’m tipping Koroit by under two kicks.

Cobden vs Portland – After a promising start to the year, the Cobden Bombers are in need of another win – having dropped their last couple. The Portland Tigers coughed up a few goals in the first quarter last week against North Warrnambool, but fought-back admirably in the second half to make the contest close. I think Cobden will win this one, providing they are playing at their best.

Hamilton vs Warrnambool – Interesting contest as both sides have had their troubles inside forward 50 converting goals, which could see their win-loss record a little different if conversion was better. I’m excited by the Hamilton Kangaroos youth but I think Warrnambool’s method and structure could be a little hard to overcome. The Blues in a tight one.

See you at the Footy 


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