DEVILS WIN VITAL TOP FOUR CLASH
By RHYS WOOSNAM
The penultimate round of the 2018 season saw a number of premiership aspirants stake their claims and notch important wins, with the North Footscray Devils in particular picking up an incredibly valuable four points.
Round 17 was a significant sliding doors moment for both the Devils and Parkside as their contest may end up having massive implications for the top four. In a topsy-turvy encounter which saw both teams hold handy leads at the end of quarters, North Footscray proved to have the greater endurance and heart in the end, clinching the victory by 30 points.
Parkside looked in control early, rushing out to a 19 point advantage at the first change, however by half time it was all square.
After half time the Devils flexed their muscle, kicking seven goals to just three. The win secures North Footscray a finals berth and the ultimate opportunity to pull off back to back flags in the division.
For Parkside, it will come down to the biggest regular season game of the year as they take on Manor Lakes, with the winner getting the last spot in the top four.
The Storm managed to book themselves a mini elimination final next week thanks to a comfortable win against the Newport Power.
Manor Lakes were never truly challenged throughout the day and eventually got home by 20 points. Brandon Turner took his season tally to 20 majors by booting three on the weekend, while Mitchell Davis and Ty Priest chipped in with two apiece.
The loss by Newport snuffed out any slight mathematical chance they had of making finals, and the team will now look to finish 2018 on a positive note against Albanvale.
Albanvale will be begging for the year to end as they sit four games clear on the bottom following their thumping at the hands of Point Cook.
The Bulldogs were ruthless all day and could have won by more than 81 points if they were accurate in front of goal. It looked like Albanvale may go scoreless for the match until the ironically named Alex Shanks kicked their solitary major.
The match was a representation of a horrible season for Albanvale, who look like winning just the one game in 2018.
Elsewhere, Point Cook’s major challenger for the premiership notched another win, with the Yarraville-Seddon Eagles proving too good for West Footscray.
Their 28 point win confirmed their minor premiership status and has them in good stead to lift the cup in September.