South Morang scored a comfortable 41-point win over Heidelberg West at Heidelberg Park in Round 16 of Northern Football Netball League Division 3 football.
Class players stood out for South Morang in the 14.19 (103) to 9.8 (62) win.
Daniel Caruso’s his skills were on display – playing mid and forward, while Tye Hall is getting back to his best and took a great hanger. Hall starred in the third stanza in which his team put the game beyond reach of the Hawks – booting six goals to nil into a slight breeze.
Alex Colaidis booted four majors and was among the best. After not booting more than two goals in any game prior to Round 14, he has slotted 13 in the past three games.
The Lions’ defence – led by Reece Jones and Ben Muscat – held firm all day. Ben Power, James Mellerick and Bailey Brown were reliable and set up numerous attacks.
South Morang found loose short targets with ease all afternoon and were regularly able to transfer the play from back 50 to forward 50 without a Hawk laying a glove on the ball.
Cory Giannone and Luke Inzillo were busy in the midfield. Luke Shelton bobbed up with two goals – including a rare snap on his non-preferred right foot.
“It is good at any time to win down here,” South Morang coach Gary Hall said. The Lions have struggled at times at the ground in the past.
The win keeps the Lions in third spot on the ladder as they head to the Round 17 bye. A loss would have made them vulnerable to dropping out of the top-four, but now they appear almost certain to face off in their fifth-successive finals campaign.
Heidelberg West saved its best for the final term, but the game was cooked by then – being 45 points down at the last change.
The Hawks booted three goals to two in the final stanza to avoid a huge loss. A loss of ten goals plus looked likely at some stages in the contest.
Ben Kennan was the best for Heidelberg West. Usually in defence, he played midfield and forward and his use of the ball was exceptional. Both Moores – Brad and Kane – contributed well.
Jarryd Coulson had to battle both Paul Disanto and Aaron Lazaric in the ruck. Coulson did his best work around the ground and moved forward late to provide his team with a target to kick two majors. Luke McKenna did well in and under the packs.
The Hawks were often ineffective moving forward – getting pushed wide by a disciplined Lion defence. On the occasions when they were more direct, poor execution often cost them dearly.
Kyl Ewart moved back to play reserves and booted eight majors – helping Heidelberg West reserves to a win. He was sorely missed in the senior team.
Masaki Miki has missed a lot of football in 2018. He is slowly finding form, but his absence early in the season helped contribute to his team’s slow start to the year.
The Hawks also appear to need another tall defender – and didn’t have a good match-up for Lions defender turned forward Mathew Robinson. Robinson provided a target at centre half forward and brought the small forwards into the game.
“We made too many skill errors today,” Heidelberg West coach Gary Cutler said.
The Hawks next travels to Crispe Park to play Reservoir. After South Morang has the bye, its regular season ends with a trip to Whatmough Park to play league leaders St Mary’s.
Final scores: Heidelberg West 9.8 (62) def by South Morang 14.19 (103)