By TOBIE CHAPMAN
RADIO GAME | Strathmore v Keilor
THIS is quite an interesting clash, Strathmore’s form has been up and down but they’re coming up against a Keilor side that may just have a few cracks appearing. Strathmore dealt with Airport West comfortably but Keilor fell by 32 points to Pascoe Vale.
Michael James went down with an injury and the likes of Kane Barbuto, Dylan Joyce, Luke McGuane and Andrew Browne were unable to impact the game. This caps off a month where they lost to Aberfeldie and got over the line against West Coburg with some help from a sending off and a head count.
As we head into the final third of the season Mick McGuane will be looking for his side to recapture their early season form and they’ll be looking to make a statement against Strathmore.
Matthew Little may be the key for the Mores, as long as he isn’t busy with VFL duties. He has 30 goals in the six games he’s played, although 15 of these have come against Airport West. He’s a crafty forward with great contested marking for his size and they’ll need him to fire alongside Hamish McIntosh.
Keilor by 13 points.
Pascoe Vale v Maribyrnong Park
Pacco have hit their straps now, a very important win over Keilor setting them up nicely. Marby Park are a tough side to judge, every time you write them off they throw a little lifeline back out. They limped over the line against Avondale Heights two weeks ago after a disappointing month but they were dominant against West Coburg last week.
Pascoe Vale are a tough prospect though, any side which can limit Keilor to only two goals in a half are an excellent football side. Daniel Harris and Ben Warren are the backbone of this side, and both were in top form last week each kicking four goals.
I’m looking forward to the battle of the big boys in the ruck, Chris Prowse and Giles Guest should match up well on each other and Prowse is coming off a good game.
Chris’ brother Nick also had a big game, he kicked five goals and it’ll be interesting to see who Pacco try to combat him with. Jesse Wells has spent time forward this season but the experienced tall might spend more time down back this week.
Pascoe Vale by 31 points.
SHORE RESERVE | West Coburg v Aberfeldie
West Coburg are starting to fall away now, but they’ll be satisfied with their season to date irrespective of what happens this weekend. Aberfeldie can sniff blood with Keilor in their sights at the top of the ladder and won’t slip up over at Shore Reserve.
They’ll have to watch out for Fabian Brancatisano who’s had an excellent fortnight and was unstoppable against Keilor. Danko Bzenic pulled on the Big V for Vic Metro last week and his return will be welcomed by West Coburg.
Abers are still without livewire forward Kyle Reimers but he wasn’t needed last week thanks to a five-goal haul to Courtney Johns and four to Jack McNamara. McNamara is flourishing after a stint in the ruck and has kicked six, one and four in his last three games.
Brock McLean, Luke Blackwell and Mark Lynch continue to drive the side from the midfield and Ben Mabon will continue to improve in the ruck as he plays more football.
Abers by 45 points.
Avondale Heights v Essendon Doutta Stars
Avondale Heights’ disappointing season continued in a big loss to Aberfeldie and they’re coming up against a Douttas side that is flying at the moment. They’ve had wins against Abers and Greenvale in the last fortnight to lift them into the top four.
It just hasn’t clicked for the Heights this year and Douttas will be too classy. Patrick Veszpremi was arguably best-on-ground last week and his intercept marking and kicking off half back will play a big role again this week. He’s supported by the reliable Tyson Hartwig and together they’ll be looking to limit the influence of Patrick Rose, who was goalless last week.
Alex Marklew has become an important part of the Stars side, his versatility and athleticism proving difficult to stop off the half forward flank. Shylo Smith needs little explaining, but he ensured his side didn’t let Greenvale back into the game with two important goals to stop a Jets run late in the third term last week.
The Heights will be looking for greater contribution from Scott Harding, who has struggled at times this season. Tom Russell delivered a strong performance in the ruck against quality opposition in Ben Mabon, and could really take it to Lachlan Ronaldson this week.
Douttas by 45 points.
Greenvale v Airport West
This is the game Greenvale needed after such a disappointing loss last week. They’re in danger of falling back into a pack that includes Strathmore and Maribyrnong Park, and if that happens finals will become a tough proposition.
Fabian Deluca had a good game in the ruck last week and Fort Caruso continues to prove his ability as one of the premier midfielders in the competition. Greenvale’s injury list is lengthy at the moment so they’ll appreciate the easier hit-out this week.
Airport West had a tough day out at Strathmore but found good contribution from Kier Bol who has had a good couple of weeks, and Clayton Rogers is having an impressive season. Majok Ngong was thrown forward and he was able to kick two goals having only kicked a solitary major for the season before Round 12.
Greenvale by 80 points.