VIKINGS CLINCH TOP SPOT IN RAMS DIV 1
By CONNOR PAIN
Altona clinched top spot on the RAMS Division 1 ladder and have earned a bye in the first weekend of finals after defeating finals contender Hoppers Crossing by 36-points at JK Grant Reserve.
The Vikings jumped out of the blocks early and raced to a 16-point lead after the first quarter, but the Warriors hit back in the second term, booting four goals to one to tie the score going into the main break.
That was as good as it got for Hoppers who didn’t kick a major in the second half and were goalless in three of the four quarters. They were outclassed by Altona who showed why they finished the regular season top of the table.
Patrick Rose booted four goals in the 36-point victory, bringing his tally to 79 for the season as Altona enter finals riding an eight-game win streak.
The loss leaves the Warriors in third and will see them face rivals Deer Park in a qualifying final, in what shapes as an exciting match-up.
Spotswood produced a huge final quarter performance to down Werribee Districts by four points, setting up a clash between the two sides in an Elimination Final on Sunday.
The game was a seesawing battle. The Woodsmen led at the first two breaks but conceded seven goals in the third, the Districts taking a 15-point lead into the final term.
Three goals to zero from Spotswood in the fourth got them over the line 13.8. (86) to 12.10. (82), seeing the Woodsmen finish the season in fourth place, percentage above their Elimination Final opponents.
Jase Perkins booted 10 goals in Deer Park’s 35.15. (225) to 6.8. (44) rout of Wyndhamvale with half of the Lions players kicking at least one goal.
James Condos kicked six while Chris Stewart added five of his own as the Falcons had no answers in the 181-point drubbing and finish as wooden spooners.
St Albans came from behind in the last quarter to down Albion 13.14. (92) to 12.18. (90).
The Saints needed 25 points in the final term to overcome Albion in the tight affair, the loser being condemned to second last on the ladder.
Matthew Hutchesson starred for Sunshine in its 28-point win against Caroline Springs, helping the Kangaroos to a sixth place finish on nine wins.
The 13.15. (93) to 9.11. (65) win sees Sunshine finish firmly in the middle of the table; three wins behind the last finals spot and five wins from the bottom four.