LIONS SECURE DOUBLE CHANCE
By CONNOR PAIN
Deer Park secured a finals double chance after a second half blitz against Spotswood that sees the seven-time reigning premiers finish the TIV Division 1 home and away season in third place.
Inaccurate kicking hurt the Lions early as both teams were up for the fight, but it was the Woodsmen who took the lead into the half by the finest of margins.
Knowing a win and a Hoppers Crossing loss would put them into third, the Lions blitzed the third quarter with five goals to zero, retaking control of a tight tussle and all but confirming their third-place finish by the three-quarter time siren.
The fourth was academic for the visitors with Lachlan Smart’s season high six goals powering the Lions to the 17.15. (117) to 11.8. (74) win, with them now set to face Altona in week one of finals.
The loss ends an up and down season for Spotswood who will miss out on finals football for the first time since 2000 and will need to replace outgoing senior coach Andrew Eames.
The Woodsmen finished two games astray of fifth-placed Hoppers Crossing.
Point Cook ended its season on a high note thanks to a barnstorming final quarter that propelled them to a 19.15. (129) to 12.12. (84) win against Sunshine.
Nicholas Buykx’s six goals led the Bulldogs who were trailing entering the fourth, but an unbelievable 7.7 to 0.2 last term explosion flipped the game on its head and saw the visitors run out 45-point victors, their fourth win of 2022.
Hisham Kerbatieh was gallant in defeat with five majors and best-on for his side, the electric forward a bright light all season for the Kangaroos.
Caroline Springs finished its near perfect home and away season with a comfortable 40-point triumph against Hoppers Crossing.
The Lakers were in cruise control with top spot and the first week of finals off having been secured weeks ago, but still managed to flex their muscles as premiership contenders.
The Warriors were held scoreless in the second term and added just three goals total after a three-goal opening term.
Ryan Allan’s four majors added to his competition-leading tally and sees him finish with 71, the forward in fine form and able to rest before facing either Altona or Deer Park.
The timing couldn’t be worse for the Warriors ahead of a cut-throat elimination final with rivals Werribee Districts, the 13.7. (85) to 6.9. (45) loss Hoppers Crossing’s fourth in six games to end the season.
Werribee Districts enter the final in red hot form on the back of a 20.9. (129) to 10.10. (70) win against St Albans.
Trent Lee starred with five goals but it was a collective effort as 11 individual Districts players hit the scoreboard in the 59-point win.
The Saints season ends on a sour note in seventh, never able to find early season form that saw them beat finalists Hoppers Crossing as they’ll look to bounce back in 2023.
Elliot Cavallaro finished his home and away season with a perfect 10 in his side’s 23.12. (150) to 6.4. (40) thumping of Yarraville-Seddon.
The Vikings forward booted 10 majors; a best-on ground performance that saw him finish in second spot on the goalkicking leader board for Division 1 along with his Vikings picking up their 16th win of the season.