Without Edwards, Pythons lose their power PENINSULA LEAGUE
By Toe Punt PINES has lost four games on the trot in MPNFL Peninsula Division and is now in danger of missing the top five all together. After sitting a game clear at the top of the table at the midway mark of the season, the Pythons have fallen in a slump, generating the obvious question, ‘is it a case of no Aaron Edwards, no Pines’? While the brainstrust at Pines will have you believe that this isn’t the case, the fact is that Pines has not been able to win a match since the best forward in the game went down with a season-ending knee injury four weeks ago against Langwarrin. On that day against the Kangas, Dale Tedge went to full forward, booted a handful and the Pythons had a strong win. On the back of that, coach Pat Swayne said team structures would stand up and while Aaron was a great player, there were other avenues to explore that could fill the void. We all love Swayne’s optimism, however, we all know that that is just smoke and mirrors. The fact is that the most dominant forward line in the competition is minus arguably the best player in the competition. This leaves the 2016 league MVP Tim Bongetti one out down there. Mornington coach Chris Holcombe said on the RPP Footy Show on Saturday morning that Pines were ‘kidding themselves’ if they believed Edwards not playing wouldn’t have an effect. “He’s a star and they are a much better team with him there. They stretch defences. Of course he’s a massive loss and there’s little point denying it,” Holcombe said. Chelsea coach Brett Dunne agreed. “They’ll need to look at the way they
YCW trouble: Bonbeach were held to just five goals for the match against Frankston YCW. Picture: Andrew Hurst
are using Guy (Hendry) and see if they can push him forward,” Dunne said. “It’s nice to have him playing as a defender but they need him playing forward to help Bongetti,” Dunne said. On Saturday Pines was beaten by Seaford by a goal, which kept Seaford’s finals’ hopes alive. Frankston YCW flexed its muscles and restricted Bonbeach to just five goals on their own turf. The Sharks were held to just one goal in the first half but had a strong
third quarter and found themselves just eight points down at the last change. The Stonecats, with the aid of the breeze, stepped it up a notch in the last and won 10.10 (70) to 5.9 (39). Mt Eliza is also still in the running for a spot in the finals after turning around an ordinary first half to beat Karingal 12.10 (82) to 9.8 (62). The Bulls led by three points at half time before the Redlegs booted 10 goals to six after the change. Karl Lombardozzi was superb for
the winners while Dan Gormley was at his best with three goals. Langwarrin came back to earth with a thud, smashed by EdithvaleAspendale, who are now a game clear in third place. The Kangas were held goalless in the opening half before completely dominating play in the third quarter and booting 5.10 to 3.1. It should have been 10.5. The Eagles slammed on seven last quarter goals through to win 16.13
(109) to 5.18 (48). The Eagles had 12 goal kickers. Mornington booted four goals to one in the last quarter to beat Chelsea by a goal, 11.16 (82) to 10.16 (76). Warwick Miller was a star for the Dogs again with four goals while Dave Willett booted four also for the Gulls. Mornington is on the look out for a new coach after Chris Holcombe told the club he couldn’t commit the time next season.
Eagles crash land in race to finals Slim win: Red Hill got above Devon Meadows by just a point on Saturday. Picture: Scott Memery
NEPEAN LEAGUE By Toe Punt SOMERVILLE is no longer in the race for MPNFL Nepean Division finals after being overrun by a fast finishing Dromana on Saturday. With both teams being locked together on 32 points on the ladder, along with Red Hill, it was always going to be near impossible for the loser of Saturday’s game to make it. The Eagles have now fallen a game behind Dromana and Red Hill with just two games remaining. While Somerville is out of the equation, the race is hotting up between Red Hill (fifth place) and Dromana (sixth). There is less than one percent separating the sides on the ladder. Dromana faces Pearcedale and Rye in the final home and away games of the season. Red Hill finishes with Crib Point and Tyabb. It’s all going to come down to percentage. Red Hill was lucky to escape from Devon Meadows with a win, falling over the line by the smallest of margins, 8.15 (63) to 8.14 (62). At half time the Hillmen led by 22 points and Devon Meadows was goal-
less at that point in the match. However, with injuries to Dan McNamara (concussion), Tom McEnroe (hamstring) and ruckman Harry Wynne-Pope, the Hillmen were lacking rotations and barely hung on. The Meadows drew level late in the last quarter and had the ball deep inside their attacking 50 metre line when the siren went, however, they never got their noses in front. Jono Ross was superb for the Hillmen again with four goals while Jonah Siverson and Chris Irving were at their best. Scores were level at half time between Dromana and Somerville. However, some subtle changes that saw Dromana’s Beau Cosson and Ethan Johnstone moved to half back and Rikki Johnstone forward saw the match turn. Sam Guerts was sensational across four quarters also for the Tigers as they booted nine goals to four in the second half to win 15.11 (101) to 10.9 (69). Andrejs Everitt made the most of his limited opportunities for Somerville with five goals. Hastings breathed some life into the 2017 season with a hard-fought game against Sorrento. The Blues got within two points of
the Sharks in the last quarter before going down by 28 points, 13.13 (91) to 9.9 (63). Leigh Poholke was superb for the Sharks with four goals while Max Gardner and Danny Stephenson were also outstanding. Ricky Ferraro, on the back of being named the new Hastings coach for seasons 2018 and 2019, was Hastings’ best, along with Shaun Foster. Pearcedale recorded a comfortable 57 point victory against Tyabb, 16.15 (111) to 8.6 (54). Pat Heijden booted five goals for the Dales while Harry Prior dominated through the middle. Rosebud continued its domination of the opposition with a 19.17 (131) to 3.3 (21) win against Crib Point. Keegan Downie booted six goals and Dale Stephens and Fraser Hustwaite dominated for the Buds. In the final game, Frankston Bombers restricted Rye to just one goal in each of the first and second halves to win 19.16 (130) to 2.10 (22). James Degenhardt booted three majors for the Bombers and proved how important he is to this team while Sam Fox and Mitch Bosward dominated at the stoppages. Joel Wills and Harry Wilson were Rye’s best.
Frankston Times 7 August 2017