DOLL’S SWEET SIXTEEN SEES CATS IN TOP FOUR
By PADDY GRINDLAY
With just three rounds to go, only a game separates fourth to seventh as Albion leapt into the top four with a big win over West Footscray, benefitting from a handy percentage boost in the process thanks to the trusty boot of Ben Doll.
Doll kicked over a quarter of his total goal tally of 58 in the WRFL’s Division 2 competition on Saturday afternoon, punting a frankly ridiculous 16 goals in a 190-point thumping of the Roosters.
Doll’s goalkicking exhibition has sky-rocketed his side’s percentage, with the Cats leap-frogging Wyndhamvale into fourth place on the ladder.
Albion punted 19 goals in the second half, eventually cruising to an emphatic 32.19. (211) to 3.3. (21) drubbing.
Tom Caile and Kane Liossis were the Roosters’ best, while Doll was aided chiefly by key Cat Darcy McPherson, who added three goals of his own.
Wyndhamvale lost their spot in the finals-playing bracket by falling three goals short to a determined Parkside outfit, conceding four goals in the final quarter and fourth place.
Jesse Shell (three goals) was outstanding for the Falcons, who led by five points at the final change.
But Luke Pupillo, Jackson Barrett, and five-goal forward Brent Kelly hauled the Magpies back into the match, roaring home at Henry Turner Reserve to secure their 12th win of the year, 10.11. (77) to 9.5. (59).
With both the Falcons and Albion to face the seemingly unbeatable Point Cook Centrals before the end of the home and away season, Wyndhamvale will be hoping for Parkside to continue their winning ways next week when they face the Cats at J.R Parsons Reserve.
Meanwhile, an upset at North Footscray means the Devils are still touchable in third, Newport keeping its season alive with a stirring 11.8. (74) to 7.8. (50) victory.
Now only two games clear of a chasing pack including Albion, Wyndhamvale and Newport, the Devils could have effectively put an end to Newport’s year by marooning it to 20 points, and in need of results to fall its way to make the four.
But Mustafa Mesto was having none of that, kicking three goals on his way to another best-on-ground performance, assisted by three goals from Nayef Hamad and a solid performance from Malek El-Hassan.
Jonathon Higgins made his first game in the Devils’ seniors this year a good one, the home side’s best in a disappointing loss.
The Devils however should be safe in the four and would only need to win one of their remaining three games to be confident of a finals berth.
Glen Orden’s hopes of being in the mix come post-season have taken a serious blow, with Point Cook Centrals running all over them at Featherbrook Reserve.
Nine goals to one in the opening quarter set the tone, with the Sharks enjoying a 24.14. (158) to 6.10. (46) victory to remain unbeaten this year.
Daniel Strnak continued his fine year with five goals, while partner in crime Mitchell Palma was best afield.
Lachlan Furniss was the Hawks’ best.
Albion’s clash with Parkside shapes as the game of the round next week, while Wyndhamvale have a massive task ahead when they host Point Cook Centrals.
The Hawks will need to secure a win against North Footscray to remain in touch with the finals race, while Newport will expect to take the points over the Roosters at Langshaw Reserve.