EAGLES FINISH ON TOP, MAGPIES FLY
By RHYS WOOSNAM
Yarraville will head into the 2018 finals series with a near perfect record after notching their 17th victory for the year on the weekend.
The Eagles bested their closest rivals Point Cook by 66-points in a dominant performance that leaves them as possibly the unbackable favourites for the premiership. It was the culmination of a tremendous season for Yarraville, who’s only imperfection was a draw, finishing three games clear at the top of the table.
The game seemed destined for a tight encounter with Point Cook holding a two point lead at quarter time until their opponents switched into gear, booting 14 goals to just four thereafter. It was a team-oriented display, as the Eagles found 10 separate goalkickers throughout the day, showing off their attacking nous.
The match of the round also had the biggest consequences hanging on the outcome, as Manor Lakes and Parkside battled to decide the final spot in the top four. With both teams on equal wins and minimal percentage separating them, victory was the only answer. It was a close contest all day, with the margin at each break barely reaching three or four goals. At the final turn, Parkside held the ascendancy by 14 points, before ultimately hanging on for a famous and vital win. Parkside now face an uphill battle to ultimate glory, but for Manor Lakes it is season over.
It is said that how you finish a season can have significant impact on how you start the next one, and for Albanvale they will be hoping this rings true. The struggling side may have ‘won’ the wooden spoon but they managed to instill some hope in their supporters minds for 2019 with a shock 23 point win over the Newport Power.
Albanvale had only claimed a single scalp for the year until Round 18, however they produced their best performance for the season against Newport. Controlling the game completely after quarter time, the Cobras showed signs of what could come from a much improved squad next year. Wrapping up the regular season, North Footscray won the battle of the suburb of their western equivalents, besting them by 34 points.
The first week of the finals for 2018 will see a rematch of the Yarravile-Seddon and Point Cook match, with the Bulldogs hoping to turn things around. The other contest matches Parkside up against North Footscray in a do or die encounter.