This week in Round 12 of the Peter Jackson VFL, the battle among the middle ranked team on the ladder continues to heat up, with a crucial clash being between Casey Demons and Richmond in Beaconsfield, writes Mitch Wynd.
Richmond held off a determined Essendon outfit to claim a six-point win at Windy Hill. Leading by 12 points at three-quarter time, Richmond found themselves three points behind when Josh Begley kicked a goal midway through the final quarter. Jayden Cass and Taylor Hunt were able to score a goal each to bring the Tigers back. Anthony Miles (36 disposals, eight clearances, seven inside-50s) was prolific in the middle, while 2016 draftee Ryan Garthwaite kicked 2.2 after spending the majority of the year in defence.
Casey lost their match against Port Melbourne by 65 points, in what was a surprising result for the 2016 runners-up. Trailing at each break, the Demons simply couldn’t match what Port Melbourne were producing, and fell further behind at each break. Corey Maynard and Ben Kennedy tried hard in the middle with 32 and 30 disposals respectively, for no reward.
The last contest between these two teams was in Round 13 last year, and it was a classic, the final margin just two points in Casey’s favour. Casey led at every change except the three-quarter time break, when the scores were tied. Tim Smith kicked five goals in what was a fantastic display up forward for the winning side. Jason Castagna kicked three for Richmond, however it was not quite enough to get the Tigers over the line.
Other matches this week include:
GEELONG v COLLINGWOOD – 1:00PM Saturday July 8 @ Simonds Stadium
LAST TIME THEY MET – Collingwood 13.14.92 vs. Geelong 5.12.42 – 2016 Round 17 @ Victoria Park
Six goals from Sam Dobson powered Geelong to a 19.12.126 to 6.5.41 victory over Coburg last round. The Cats increased their margin at every change, and the win keeps them in the chase for a top-eight spot on the ladder. Jack Berry was dominant in the ruck with 46 hitouts and a goal, while Sam McLachlan was damaging with 27 disposals and three goals.
Collingwood registered their second big win in a row with a five-point victory over Footscray at Victoria Park. In a highly balanced team effort, Collingwood held a 17-point three-quarter time lead and managed to fight back when Footscray tied the scores late in the final quarter. A goal to Ben Crocker proved to be the winner, as Footscray’s attempt for a draw after the siren hit the post. Crocker, Lachlan Keefe, and Kayle Kirby were the leading goal kickers with two each.
COBURG v WERRIBEE – 2:00PM Saturday July 8 @ Piranha Park
LAST TIME THEY MET – Werribee 9.5.59 vs. Coburg 9.19.73 – 2016 Round 12 @ Avalon Airport Oval
Coburg were comfortably defeated by Geelong to the tune of 85 points. The Lions were unable to bring the winning form from the previous week’s victory over Sandringham. One positive to take from the game however, was the performance of Liam Hunt. He has ‘Sherrin’ imprinted on his hands since he had the ball 48 times, for 17 clearances and a goal. James El-Moussalli (33 disposals, six clearances, five inside-50s) was good as well in what was a tough day for Coburg. Coburg will celebrate NAIDOC Week by wearing guernseys specially designed by Wurundjeri woman Mandy Nicholson, which will then be auctioned off online after the game.
Werribee tried to launch an unlikely comeback midway through the final term against Sandringham, but fell short by just six points. 34 points down in the final quarter, Werribee booted four unanswered goals to put fear into Sandringham who had lost their past five matches. Unfortunately for the Tigers, they left it too late. Nick Larkey was the leading goal kicker with 4.2, while Samuel Wright was the highest possession winner with 30 touches and six inside-50s.
NORTHERN BLUES v PORT MELBOURNE – 2:10PM Saturday July 8 @ Preston City Oval
LAST TIME THEY MET – Port Melbourne 12.15.87 vs. Northern Blues 8.10.58 – 2017 Round 1 @ North Port Oval
The Northern Blues will be ruing their poor goal kicking, as it possibly cost them the match against the top-placed Box Hill. The 6.19.55 to 11.11.77 scoreline makes for difficult reading, as the Blues had three more scoring shots over their opponents. Blaine Boekhorst was strong in the middle with 37 possessions and six tackles, while Luke Russell led the clearances tally with 13. The loss means that the Blues slip down the ladder again, from 5th to 6th after being in the top four after Round 9.
Port Melbourne controlled the contest all day against Casey, winning 16.9.105 to 5.10.40. After a shock loss to Collingwood in the previous week, Port Melbourne were looking for a win to keep pace with Box Hill at the top of the ladder, and got the job done. With Toby Pinwill (32 disposals, eight clearances, 11 tackles), and Eli Templeton (29 disposals, six clearances) working hard in the middle, there were plenty of scoring opportunities for the forwards through the day, Dylan Conway led the way up forward with 4.2.
— Northern Blues FC (@NBluesFC) July 5, 2017
NORTH BALLARAT v ESSENDON – 1:00PM Sunday July 9 @ Eureka Stadium
LAST TIME THEY MET – Essendon (20.17.137) vs. North Ballarat (15.9.99) – 2017 Round 7 @ Windy Hill
North Ballarat had the bye last week. Still winless after 10 games, the Roosters are ranked last for average disposals, hitouts, and goals per game. Still, anything can happen in the second half of the season, and hopefully the Roosters can get a win on the board.
Essendon pushed Richmond throughout their match, and even took the lead midway through the final quarter, but could not hold on for victory. The final score read 10.14.74 to 12.8.80. Alexander Boyse was a multiple goal kicker once again with three, along with Jackson Merrett who also kicked three. David Myers (35 disposals, nine inside-50s, seven clearances) did his best in the midfield to nearly bring Essendon a great win.
BOX HILL v WILLIAMSTOWN – 2:00PM Sunday July 9 @ Box Hill City Oval
LAST TIME THEY MET – Williamstown 8.14.62 vs. Box Hill 13.12.90 – 2017 Round 3 @ Burbank Oval
Box Hill are a game clear on top of the ladder after a 22-point victory over the Northern Blues away from home. Three goals each to Ty Vickery and Vincent Adduci were important in beating the inaccurate Blues. After an unexpected slip-up against Casey the week before, Box Hill will be hopeful that they are back on track in 2017.
Williamstown enjoyed the bye last week, currently well-placed in third on the ladder. They immediately face a great challenge against Box Hill, and it will be interesting to see whether the week’s rest has any impact on the final result.
SANDRINGHAM v FOOTSCRAY – 2:00PM Sunday July 9 @ Trevor Barker Beach Oval
LAST TIME THEY MET – Footscray 19.24.138 vs. Sandringham 5.9.39 – 2017 Round 7 @ VU Whitten Oval
Sandringham snapped a five-game losing streak with a narrow victory over Werribee, 17.6.108 to 14.18.102 at home. Leading by 17 points at three-quarter time, the Zebras took the margin out to 34 points in the final term, but Werribee gave them a fright with four unanswered goals. However, Sandringham found a way to hang on and win for the first time since mid-May. Shane Savage (38 disposals) and Nathan Freeman (37 disposals) were the ball magnets for the Zebras.
Footscray were desperately close to stealing points from Collingwood, with Anthony Bruhn’s after the siren shot hitting the post. A goal would have drawn the game, but the scoreline finished at 13.7.85 to 12.8.80. Clay Smith displayed his hunger for the contest, finishing with 20 disposals and 16 tackles, while veteran Matthew Boyd was the leading possession winner with 22. Despite the loss, Footscray still hold a top-four spot.