PINES have continued their impressive run of form with a dominant victory over Frankston YCW on Saturday.
The Stonecats travelled to Pines’ Eric Bell Reserve in fifth place, having corrected the course of their season with two consecutive wins. Pines entered the contest on a three match winning streak, with a victory last week over Sorrento being the most impressive among them.
Although the game had all the makings of classic contest, Pines killed their opponents off quickly, racing away to a 33 point lead at the quarter time break.
In blustery conditions, YCW struggled badly against a Pines side who are known to punish teams on the scoreboard. By half time, the Stonecats had only kicked one goal and ten behinds.
Another goalless quarter saw the Stonecats go into the final term down by 52 points, and while they would hold Pines scoreless in the final term, it was too little too late.
With another loss on the board with just two games left to play, Frankston YCW are left just barely hanging onto their finals spot, as they went down to Pines 10.10 (70) to 3.19 (37). The result effectively secured Pines’ place inside the top five.
Bonbeach were also fighting to keep their finals hopes alive this weekend, as they took on Mornington in a must win match at Bonbeach Recreation Reserve.
The Sharks raced out to a comfortable lead over the Bulldogs in the first half, and maintained control of the contest throughout.
Mornington could do nothing to stop a rampaging Trent Dennis-Lane, who piled on a stunning nine goals in a best on ground performance for Bonbeach.
Dennis-Lane’s haul proved the difference, as Bonbeach put themselves within two points of a finals place with a 16.13 (109) to 9.12 (66) win.
With YCW falling and Bonbeach still a little bit further behind, the weekend presented the perfect opportunity for the Frankston Bombers to snatch back their place inside the top five if they could beat Edithvale-Aspendale.
The Bombers kicked with a strong breeze in the first term, but it proved to be a frustrating start to the contest for the finals contender. They went into the first break with a five point lead, but had kicked inaccurately.
The Bombers’ cause was also hurt by a nasty injury, after Brian O’Carroll was knocked out cold in an accidental collision and transported from the ground in an ambulance. O’Carroll has since been released from hospital.
Kicking with the wind, Edi-Asp went on to take control of the contest. The Bombers stayed in touch but ultimately were let down by their number of turnovers going forward.
Edi-Asp were helped by a five goal performance from Tom Lamb, who was making a one off appearance for the club after playing the majority of the year in the VFL with Sandringham.
Although the Bombers were competitive, ultimately Edi-Asp prevailed to claim the four points and stay in touch with first place on the ladder with a 13.13 (91) to 8.14 (62) win.
Edi-Asp coach Graeme Yeats said after the game that the win was an important one.
“It was a really important win today, and in the context of what’s happening inside the top five it was also an important game for them. They were striving to get back in the top five, and they’re a really strong team with a lot of talent so we knew that we were in for a strong challenge,” he said.
“We wanted our players to be ready for them to be aggressive and strong around the ball. They were strong, but we were able to play the game on our terms. We executed the game plan well.
“We play Mt Eliza next week and the loser will be vulnerable with Pines pushing up, they pose a threat. We’ve got to keep focused and do whatever we can to be better for next week.”
To keep their finals hopes alive, the Bombers will likely need to win next weekend against Sorrento at David Macfarlane Reserve.
Sorrento maintained their spot on top of the ladder by grinding out a tough win over bottom placed Seaford on Saturday.
Up against a side with only one win to their name this season, Sorrento made the decision to leave out a number of key names in Chris Dawes, Daniel Grant, and Troy Schwarze.
Sorrento again got off to a slow start, as the Tigers raced out to a shock 19 point lead at the quarter time break.
After the first break, the Sharks quickly got back on track with a six goals to one second quarter, as they claimed a 19 point lead of their own going into the second half.
While Seaford battled bravely to stay in the contest, the class and strength of Sorrento was just too much for them. The result saw Sorrento maintain their spot on top of the ladder, as they claimed a 11.10 (76) to 16.12 (108) win.
The final game of the weekend in Division One saw Mt Eliza secure their finals spot with a big win over Rosebud.
The Redlegs got off to a red hot start, and took a whopping 65 point lead into the half time break.
While Rosebud fought hard to restore some respectability, they ultimately couldn’t get close to Mt Eliza, as the score eventually finished 6.5 (41) to 19.12 (126) in the Redlegs’ favour.