By Matt Fotia
It was a dirty old day for the AFL Outer East in Bendigo as we went down in all four of the AFL Victoria Worksafe Community Championship clashes with the Bendigo Football Netball League. So rather than talk anymore about that let’s review all the action from the ATC Traffic Division Two.
It’s the Footy Review.
Powelltown celebrated its 100 year anniversary in style on Saturday claiming its third win of the season by 29 points over Alexandra, lifting the Towners back into the top five in the process.
Powelltown kicked five goals to two in the second term to hold a three goal lead at the main break, before edging further away from the Rebels in the second half in what was a free flowing game with 17 goal kickers across the two sides.
2018 Team of the Year Full Back Jack Garthwaite kicked five majors for the hosts, whilst Matthew Lord continued his early season form appearing in the best players once again.
Free flowing football seems to suit the Towners. They currently sit fifth on the table with a 3-2 record having lost to Seville and Gembrook-Cockatoo. They kicked their highest score for the season on the weekend (121) and have passed the elusive ton three times in 2019. Their two losses have come when neither side has kicked more than 12 goals.[Rd 2 Seville 10.12(72) def Powelltown 7.11(53) / Rd 4 Powelltown 10.9(69) def by GC 11.17(83)]
They’ve got eight players with four or more goals for the season, with four players (Dean Roy, Jack Garthwaite, James Rohan and Luke Miller) sitting on eight goals a piece, suggesting they have one of the most versatile and potent forward lines in the division. Powelltown’s home patch is also the highest scoring ground across the AFL Outer East’s (nee Yarra Ranges) history.
This weekend they come up against the undefeated Kinglake. The Lakers have been dominant in front of goal averaging over 139 points a game thus far this season with Chris Horman and new coach Andrew Fairchild booting 43 goals between them to date.
Powelltown have signalled their intentions – they want to score and they want to score big. If the Lakers want to play that way too, they might be falling straight in the Towners trap.
2 . Blues Battle
In the 2018 Division Two Grand Final Re-Match, Yarra Junction blasted an undermanned Seville away with a massive 88 point win at home.
The reigning premier had 42 scoring shots as they finished 27.15(177) with Samuel Morton and David Johnson both booting five goals. This bag being Morton’s third bag of five in a row. Tyson Wheeler, Cameron Hoare and Jake Blacker all kicked three majors, whilst Leigh Hoffman finished with two in a best afield performance as the Eagles won their third match of the season to sit second on the ladder.
On the other side of the coin sit Seville, who are currently sitting in fourth position, level with Powelltown, Alexandra and Gembrook-Cockatoo on three wins. Worryingly for the Blues two of those three wins have come against the winless Yea and Thornton Eildon.
They are missing the Cecere brothers as well as midfielder Justin Meyers and ruckman Stuart Williams to name just a few. This makes last seasons runners up vulnerable over the next month – and it’s a big month of fixtures.
They face the aforementioned Alexandra and Gembrook-Cockatoo over the next fortnight before the bye and a clash with the ladder leaders Kinglake. Worst case scenario they head into the second half of the season with a 3 and 5 record. Best case of course sees them sitting 6 and 2. But with their current form and injury problems the Blues will not be getting ahead of themselves, they’ll be content with one win from the next three and over the moon with two.
The blessing in disguise is that these injuries mean that more senior games will be played by players further down the list, and in the long run this will benefit the club massively.
The next month won’t make or break Seville – but it’ll definitely have a say in how it’s 2019 pans out.
3. Love Local Footy
The AFL have been desperately trying to increase the scoring levels and aesthetic appeal of the professional game for the past decade. They’ve changed almost every rule in the book and this season bought in two ‘radical’ changes with the 6-6-6 and new kick in rules. They were meant to increase scoring, but so far the consensus is they haven’t quite worked just ask Adelaide coach Don Pyke.
It was Round Nine of the AFL this weekend and the average match score was 164.7 points per game.
Only one player kicked a bag of five (Jeremy Finlayson – Greater Western Sydney) and his teammate Jeremy Cameron leads the Coleman Medal comfortably despite having gone goalless for two weeks.
By comparison the ATC Traffic Division Two average match total on the weekend was 205.2 points per game.
Three players [David Johnson (Yarra Junction), Sam Morton (Yarra Junction) and Jack Garthwaite (Powelltown)] kicked a bag of five. Seville’s Nathan O’Keefe kicked six goals in a losing side, Yarra Glen’s Jiemba Smith booted eight goals in his sides win and Andrew Fairchild kicked 12 majors against Thornton Eildon for the top of the table Kinglake.
There’s no debating the skill level the players in the AFL have, in full flight they are truly a spectacle to admire, only problem is they’re really in full flight.
So next time you’ve got a craving for a power forward kicking a big bag of goals or an end to end thriller, put your AFL membership back in the draw and head down to the local footy.