By AKSHAY KAPADIA
Oak Park v Tullamarine
LAST week Oak Park travelled to Hadfield and completely took control of the game from the start. The Kangaroos were up by 55 points at halftime and ended up winning by 87, with Travis Anderson kicking nine goals.
Tullamarine stunned ladder leader Craigieburn with a 27-point win. Taking the lead early in the game, Tullamarine were able to stop the large influx of scoring that the Eagles had been accustomed to over the season. For the whole game Craigieburn was playing catch up, but the Demons had a response for everything that was dished out to them.
This week, Oak Park hosts Tullamarine in what is the game of the week for Essendon Ford Division 1. Oak Park needs to continue winning these last few games as Hillside are hot on their heels trying to chase down the fourth spot in the finals. Meanwhile Tullamarine is now chasing down top position and trying to keep Westmeadows at bay.
Glenroy v Taylors Lakes
Glenroy had the bye last week, a week to recuperate before the last portion of the season. The week before, they went down to Tullamarine by 31 points.
Meanwhile Taylors Lake had to come from behind to hold off a spirited Northern Saints outfit. Trailing up until three-quarter time, the Lions took the lead early in the last quarter to win by seven points. Fortunately, they were able to avoid embarrassment this late into the season, scraping through against the bottom side.
Glenroy will host Taylors Lakes in a sixth v seventh game, with both teams sitting level on points. It’ll be tough to pick a winner here, as both teams haven’t had the best of seasons and neither have done enough to suggest that they could challenge for a spot in the finals.
Hillside v Hadfield
Hillside was coming into their game against Westmeadows last week having defeated Oak Park away from home in Round 12. That win put them into the top four in preparation for a top four clash against the Tigers. The game seesawed between the Sharks and Tigers, with Hillside taking the early lead in the first quarter, then losing it by halftime. At three-quarter time the Sharks were down by nine points, and needed a big last quarter to defeat the Tigers. They managed to do so, winning by two points at the final siren.
Hadfield hosted top four hopeful Oak Park. Unfortunately, the Kangaroos were too good for them. Hadfield only managed one goal for the first half and by halftime, the game was virtually over. The Hawks did however find some momentum in the second half, kicking eight goals for the remainder of the day. But it was not enough, as they went down by 87 points.
This week Hadfield travels to Shark Park in what should be another one-sided game. Hillside are just outside the top four, only on percentage and one game off third-placed Westmeadows. A win here can boost them into the top four and possibly get them in a position to make a play for third.
Craigieburn v Northern Saints
Last week Craigieburn suffered their first loss of 2016, going down to Tullamarine by 27 points. They had trouble getting the ball into their forward 50 and making effective use of the ball from there. And a bad first quarter meant they were playing catch up for the rest of the game.
The Northern Saints hosted Taylors Lakes last week. They took the lead early in the game, kicking three goals to one in the first quarter. They slowly starting losing control of the game, as the Lions did well to catch up and by three-quarter time, the Northern Saints only had a one-point lead. The Northern Saints ended up losing by only seven points in what was a closely contested game that could have gone either way.
This weekend Craigieburn hosts the Northern Saints and it’ll more than likely go to script as this is first v last on the table. Craigieburn should win easily, it’s just a question of how much by.