NEWPORT STUN PARKSIDE
By PADDY GRINDLAY
Oh, to be a fly on the wall at Langshaw Reserve.
After a week off for the Queen’s Birthday, WRFL Division 2 footy burst back into action with the upset of the season, Newport becoming the first team outside of the ladder-leading Point Cook Centrals to defeat Parkside in a cracking affair.
On a picturesque sunny winter Melbourne afternoon, Newport held a slim lead at every break over the Magpies, who had previously only lost the one game all year.
In front of a raucous crowd at Langshaw Reserve, the home side held on, 12.7 (79) to 10.9 (69) for their fifth win of the year.
Scenes in the rooms were riotous – with Omar Abou-Zeid (one goal) hoisting Belal Mesto onto his shoulders as Newport belted out a team song.
Munir El Houli was on fire, with Hamzah Ali and forward Mitchell Taleb (three goals) key contributors in the stunning victory, while Parkside’s Thomas Markey and Bradley Graham could hold their heads high.
Parkside has only a one-win hold on second spot, with North Footscray now biting at their heels after drubbing West Footscray by 151-points, with Mathew Serafin booting nine goals in the pumping.
Fellow Devil Brandon Walsh added a lazy half-dozen, while Patrick Murray was best afield.
The Roosters’ Jordan Jobling had a rare goalless outing, but was still named his side’s best player.
There were very nearly two boilovers in Round 10, with Albion giving Point Cook Centrals an almighty fright at J.R Parsons Reserve.
Not unlike the Newport-Parkside contest, things were tense, with the Sharks holding a slender two-point lead at three-quarter time.
But, thanks to the efforts of Nathan Williams (two goals), Daniel Strnak and Matthew Wright, the Centrals held firm, despite kicking poorly in the last quarter. Their 1.8 to 1.2 final term was just enough to hold onto an 8.18 (66) to 8.10 (58) victory, accentuating their hold on top spot.
Glen Orden emerged from their week off determined to snap a five-game losing skid, and broke through against Wyndhamvale, opening up a five-goal lead in the third term and keeping the Falcons at bay late to win 11.9 (75) to 9.6 (60).
Falcon Daniel Burns’ best efforts were in vain as Glen Orden, like Newport, enjoyed a boisterous celebration at Heathdale Oval.
Newport next week will have an opportunity to double down on their giant-killing ways, with the Point Cook Centrals waiting at Featherbrook Reserve.
There’s no rest for Parkside, who have third-placed North Footscray to tussle with in a match that will shape the top four.
West Footscray host Glen Orden, and Albion will visit Wyndhamvale.
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