FINALS BOUND TEAMS RECORD BIG WINS
By NICK BOYLAN
With the penultimate round of RAMS Division 1 football upon us, all finals-bound teams recorded dominant victories to develop form ahead of the post-season.
St Albans were one team outside of the five with a slim chance of upsetting a team above but unfortunately, finals are not to be for the Saints in 2019.
Up against Deer Park, the Saints fell behind early and trailed by 29-points at the first change. From there, Scott Greenhough and the Lions were dominant, showing that the form that claimed a 2018 Division 1 premiership was coming back in a strong way.
Ex-Western Bulldog Jack Redpath has been much maligned for his from through various parts of this season, but has silenced critics with impressive play in Jase Perkins’ absence. With seven goals on the weekend, Redpath was able to lead Deer Park to an 86-point win.
Districts also did their premiership chances no harm, with a powerful 137-point win over Caroline Springs. With a 12.11 to 2.2 half, Werribee Districts controlled the contest from the outset. Nick Buykx showed his class with four goals, while Joshua Mould continued his sparkling 2019 season with another match-winning display.
Soon-to-be-crowned minor premiers Altona were simply too strong for Albion, running away with a 243-point win. Starting with an 11-goal opening term, the Vikings and Jordan Robbins showed their class from the outset.
Patrick Rose has bounced back into form with 16 goals in his three previous games, and followed that up with nine against Albion, growing into a purple patch at the right time for Altona.
Spotswood will continue to sit in second position after a comfortable 119-point win over Point Cook. The Bulldogs fought hard and were competitive early, but Spotswood flexed their might with a dominant second half.
Dylan Callard was masterful up forward with seven goals, ably supported by 2008 Brownlow Medallist Adam Cooney who booted five majors.
Hoppers Crossing booked their spot in the finals with a strong 51-point win over Sunshine, off the back of keeping Sunshine to a mere two behinds in the opening term. Kane Galley was terrific for the Warriors, while Daniel Strnak continued his classy season up forward with another four majors.
Next week, Altona will get a great test from St Albans, who will be determined their 2019 season with a big win. Deer Park will hope their winning streak continues when they host Point Cook and Hoppers Crossing will host Division 2-bound Albion.
Spotswood will battle against Caroline Springs, while Werribee Districts will host a Sunshine team focussed on arresting their poor form and transitioning into 2020 with a strong performance.
With one round left in the home-and-away season, RAMS Division 1 is set for an exciting finals series in 2019.