WERRIBEE DISTRICTS JUMP TO THE TOP
By NICK BOYLAN
The top-two teams in TIV Division 1 clashed at Keogh Homes Oval, with Werribee Districts recording a thrilling eight-point win over Altona, handing the Vikings their first loss of 2021.
The first-half was befitting of two titans going pound-for-pound, with the lead changes into double digits as scores were tied at quarter-time Daniel Nielson proved a factor up forward for the Tigers, pulling down contested grabs while providing multiple second-efforts leading to teammate goals.
At the other end, Saad El-Hawli’s forward craft continued to be eye-catching, booting four goals, with the pick of those coming from a stunning one-handed mark, and helping the Vikings hold a 10-point lead at the half.
The second-half brought heavy downpours, as the Tigers did what they couldn’t two weeks prior against Hoppers Crossing, and adapted their play to the wet conditions. Josh Mould’s insertion into the midfield proved effective for Chris Gillham’s side, as Ben McMahon gained ascendancy in the ruck after Matt Trzeciak’s injury and helped Werribee Districts hold a 16-point lead going into the last quarter.
The contest slowed in the last quarter, suiting the Tigers, as Ethan Taylor and Jack Callaway tried to inspire a late Altona fightback. Two goals for Josh Macdonald in the dying minutes wasn’t enough for the Vikings to avoid their first loss of the season however, with the Tigers surviving the charge. Next week, the Vikings will look to get back on the winners list against Sunshine, while Werribee Districts will hope their form continues against Deer Park.
The Lions survived a fierce battle with St Albans before prevailing with a 10-point win. Led by a Lachy Smart bag of seven majors and a strong performance from Bailey Morrish, Deer Park withstood an inaccurate St Albans side, and notched an important win. St Albans will look to bounce back next weekend against Point Cook.
The Bulldogs remained close in the first half, but were outplayed in the second half, as they went down to Yarraville Seddon to the tune of 42-points. Jordan Robinson starred for the Eagles, alongside Archi Manton who slotted four goals. Yarraville Seddon will look for a third win in their promotion to TIV Division 1, when they take on Hoppers Crossing.
The Warriors showed their class once more with a commanding 48-point win over Caroline Springs, leapfrogging the Lakers into third position on the ladder. Brenton Payne continued his strong 2021 campaign, kicking six goals, while being supported by Lars Vidovic. Caroline Springs will hope they can get back on track against Spotswood, who notched their first win of 2021.
Josh Norton was sublime in the Woodsmen’s long-awaited win, as Anthony Eames will hope this victory will jumpstart his side’s slow start to the season.