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Round 6 Preview - Strathmore Community Bank Premier Division

Friday, May 19, 2017

By RHYS PAYNTING

RADIO GAME - Keilor v Greenvale

ALWAYS one of the most-anticipated games of the season, and this is no different.

Keilor’s coming off a painful loss at the hands of Maribyrnong Park, while Greenvale is in red-hot form, following an 18-point win at Raeburn Reserve against Pascoe Vale.

Jets star Addam Maric continued to prove why he is one of the biggest headaches for opposing coaches in 2017, adding two goals to bring his season tally to 18.

Courtenay Dempsey played arguably his best game of the season and will be a worrying force if he can reach his peak this early in the season.

It comes as no shock that Dean Galea will be the one to stop for Greenvale defenders.

The century-goal scorer from last season has already amassed 21 majors in his five games, and will look to extend on that number this weekend at home, a place where Keilor have lacked consistency.

Craigieburn v West Coburg

An interesting match-up between the in-form and confident West Coburg and a Craigieburn side that is lacking manpower and desperate for a win.

Could this home fixture be the perfect time to make that happen?

Aaron Kite and Ryan Bongetti have missed crucial games due to leg injuries recently, leaving major holes in the midfield and forward line for the struggling Eagles.

Craigieburn ruckman Jeremy Page was the best of the bunch in his team’s 109-point loss to Strathmore, while hard-nut ball-magnets Stefan Terzieski and Jake Piggot were good, but will need the support staff to step up.

Jack Yelland has been the standout for the Burgers so far this season, while playing-coach Digby Morrell kicked a goal and was among the best in his first outing of 2017.

A must-win for both clubs in this, which should provoke Craigieburn to put up a real fight in front of their loyal fans.

Aberfeldie v Pascoe Vale

Not the fixture that Kyle Hardingham would have wanted on the back of a loss and a week off, especially with Aberfeldie in damaging form.

Abers are coming off the back of a win that shows their dominance and suggests they’re a rather firm favourite to take home the silverware this season.

It was the usual suspects who took control of Abers’ demolition job of the dangerous Essendon Doutta Stars.

Josh Pound, Sam Cattapan, Caleb Hislop and Joel Madden were all in electric form, and will be at the forefront of Hardingham’s plans coming into this, alongside the ever-damaging Kyle Reimers.

Josh Cauchi and Jacob Polizzi were again among the goal scorers for Pascoe Vale, but will face a tougher task this weekend against a brutal Abers defence.

A chance here for Pascoe Vale to show their true grit, but a frightening game ahead and one that could get out of hand if it’s not controlled.

Avondale Heights v Maribyrnong Park

The week off came at a great time for Avondale Heights, who ran out of breath at the final hurdle against West Coburg two weeks ago in a thriller.

It’s a scary task facing Maribyrnong Park, but playing at home and being fresh in the legs is something that will give the home side a sense of confidence.

Patty Rose remains the danger target for Lions defenders, having kicked 20 goals in his five games to start Season 2017.

At the other end of the ground, the visiting Lions are a force this season, coming off the back of a 13-point win against reigning premiers Keilor, and looking as dangerous as ever.

Will Martiniello and Robbie Castello are in blistering form and will prove a handful for Avondale Heights in this one.

You would expect Maribyrnong Park to be too strong, albeit away from home, but it’s a struggle to write off Avondale Heights in any game this season, regardless of ladder position.

Essendon Doutta Stars v Strathmore

Two sides coming off very-much opposite results.

Strathmore were on the favourable side of a 209-point smashing of Craigieburn, despite their shaky start to the season, while Essendon Doutta Stars faced their first heavy loss of the year against Aberfeldie.

The Stars will be glad to get back on home soil despite still having some injury concerns, and will look to get back on the winners list here.

Ball-winners Darren Pfeiffer and Mitch Jensen continued their strong form with ruckman Lachy Ronaldson doing most of the damage in the hit-out department.

Cleve Hughes had one of his better games of the season, kicking three majors, despite his team’s huge loss.

It was a scoring master-class for Strathmore, who managed 35 goals in their thumping of Craigieburn, with Hamish McIntosh the major scorer bagging seven in a dominant performance.

The Stars will need to put a hold on McIntosh as well as Alex Grima and Adam Iacobucci, who have both come into good form over the past month, if this one is to go to script in favour of the home side.


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