CLOSE CATS, DEVILS BOUNCE BACK
By PADDY GRINDLAY
Albion have fallen agonisingly short of consolidating their position in the top four of the WRFL’s Division 2 competition, falling to an unerringly accurate Parkside outfit by just three points at JR Parsons Reserve.
Albion, who were replaced in the four by Newport, started brightly with an opening goal to Caleb McPherson, who ended with two for the day in a solid performance – matched by his unperturbable brother, Darcy.
But the Magpies were near-perfect going forward, kicking eight goals straight in the first half, notching their first behind for the match in the third quarter.
Jy Lambley’s incredible goal-kicking season continued with an additional four, while Shaun Campbell returned to form.
Parkside made their move in the third, kicking four goals to one and holding a 16-point lead. They would not score again, with the Cats screaming home.
Unfortunately for the home side, they squandered their many opportunities, kicking 1.7 in the final quarter to fall 12.3. (75) to 10.12. (72).
It’s a disappointing result for the Cats, who had every opportunity to stamp their papers for finals football, but have now fallen out of the four thanks to Newport’s flogging of West Footscray.
Newport didn’t concede a goal to the Roosters at Bryan Martyn Oval, piling on the majors themselves in a 26.24 (180) to 0.2 (2) thumping.
Nayef Hamad booted six, Mohammed Melhem four while Mustafa Mesto’s brilliant year continued with another best-on-ground performance. Joshua Barker was best for the Roosters.
Newport with a percentage boost in hand, are now a game clear in the top four with two games to play, with other top-four contender Wyndhamvale falling to the Point Cook Centrals.
It was always going to be tough against the competition’s unbeaten team, but the Falcons remained in touch for most of the afternoon, not taking much of a percentage hit as they fell 7.10. (52) to 11.21. (87).
It was the Sharks’ poor goalkicking that didn’t help affairs, but Nathan Williams and Matthew Turner kicked two apiece. Ambrose Keogh bagged two for the Falcons.
Brent Turner was best afield for the Sharks, who are clearly the team to beat when finals arrive.
Glen Orden may have bowed out of the race to participate however, falling two games behind fourth spot thanks to a tough loss to the third-placed North Footscray at Heathdale Oval
Despite a signature performance from five-goal skipper Daniel Rosenzweig and three from Lachlan Furniss, the Hawks couldn’t hold off the Devils, who took the lead in the second quarter and paced the match from there.
Adam Petridis was best for the Devils, while James Waters caused massive headaches for Glen Orden, bagging five goals of his own in the 13.7. (85) to 11.5. (71) win.
North Footscray are now locked into the top four, and would need to drop both remaining home-and-away games to lose their grip on third. Glen Orden, on the other hand, would need to win both their remaining matches and have results fall their way to make the four.
The Hawks will travel to Wyndhamvale to play the Falcons in a monster clash, with the loser likely to be eliminated from finals contention. The winner will hope that other results fall their way – Parkside’s clash with Newport looms large, with the Magpies losing the last time they met. A win for Newport would see them become firm favourites to take that elusive spot in fourth.
Albion’s task doesn’t get any easier with the Sharks to play at Shark Park on Friday night, while North Footscray should salute against West Footscray.