SOMERVILLE has locked in a top three place on the MPNFL Nepean Division ladder following a strong fighting win against Red Hill on Saturday.
The Eagles once again withstood a relentless opposition that refused to concede defeat, despite the fact that the Eagles appeared to put the Hillmen away a couple of times in the second half, winning 12.14 (86) to 10.9 (69).
After a solid performance against Hastings last week, where they withstood a late charge from the Blues, it was always going to be interesting to see how Somerville backed up.
The home side booted the first two goals of the game before Red Hill hit back and started to control the game on their terms.
Somerville lost important defender Kane McKenzie before the game to a hamstring injury, which certainly threw out their structures in the second term when Red Hill gained total control.
The quick transition football we have come to expect from Red Hill was clearly on show in the second quarter with Jake Mold, Matt Hyden, Benny Poole and Sean Marchetti dominating through the middle of the ground and Jonah Siverson, Michael Mock and Tom McKinley controlling things in the back half.
In attack, Red Hill had Peter Dal Lago, Tommy McEnroe, Jarred Eames and Harry Larwill who all looked dangerous and were converting opportunities.
Somerville looked at sea with Ben Sedgewick being moved back, Scott Simpson forward and Tommy Shaw playing through the middle.
At half time, the Hillmen were in total control, dictating terms and playing the game in their front half.
In the past, the Somerville of old would have buckled at that point. Mentally they would not have been able to overcome the domination.
However, the Eagles reset during the long interval, its preferred structure was back and they got to work. They started to win contested balls again, ball transition was long and direct and the forwards got in good positions one out to cause some headaches for the opposition. The result was four goals to one in the third term and a 21-point three quarter time break.
Ben Sedgewick and Billy ‘Bang Bang’ Rolfe were simple sensational for the winners. Sedgewick’s workrate was outstanding and he was rewarded with three goals, Rolfe continued to present and got the better of Dan McNamara, finishing with four majors. Justin Allsop was also outstanding with two important goals while Adrian Speedy played his best game for the season, his team mates giving him the footy in dangerous spots so he could use his raking left foot.
Josh Westerman was again terrific, shutting down the inform Jake Mitchell, while also making life difficult for Marchetti at times.
It was a finals-type contest. Plenty of skill errors from both sides, which were only caused by each of the defensive structures and perceived pressure. The ball was red hot and not one player shirked an issue.
The game saw the debut of Red Hill youngster Ethan Bryan, who did some nice things and proved he is another one for the future of the Red Hill Football Club.
The loss saw Red Hill drop to fifth place on the ladder and they will play Hastings in the Elimination Final.
Rosebud is still a mighty chance to finish on top of the ladder after absolutely smashing Dromana at Pier Street on Saturday.
The reigning premier had 40 scoring shots to just 10 and should have won by a whole lot more than 70 points, 17.23 (125) to 9.1 (55).
The Buds booted seven goals to two in the opening quarter and by half time the margin had blown out to 54 points.
Dale Stephens was brilliant for the winners with three goals, another one of those ‘second string’ players who does all the right things and has taken the next step this season.
Greg Bentley and Ben Shultz bobbed up for three each while ben Dwyer dominated in the ruck.
Brenton Payne and the Rhys Bancroft also controlled things in the middle of the ground, while Jake Jarman continues to dominate.
The Tigers had no answers, despite the good work of Dan Guerts and Christian Ongarello.
Top of the table Frankston Bombers took some time to shake off Pearcedale, however, booted 10 goals to five after half time to win 17.16 (118) to 11.12 (78).
Zac Longham booted five for the winners while James Degenhardt and Jarryd Amalfi were outstanding.
Harrison Prior was outstanding for the Panthers in his first game released from Frankston.
Hastings travels to Frankston this Saturday in what should be a sensational contest after the Blues belted Crib Point by 102 points.
The Blues booted 14 goals to two in the opening half and eight goals to two in the second hour, winning 20.12 (132) to 4.6 (30).
Hastings had 12 goal kickers, eight of them booting two each, with Mark Devereaux and Nathan Gray unstoppable through the middle of the ground.
In the final game, Devon Meadows booted the first nine goals of the game before Tyabb kicked six on the trot to get themselves back into the game.
Despite the Yabbies’ purple patch, they went down 15.9 (99) to 9.7 (61).
Curtis Barker was arguably the best player on the park for the Meadows while Jace Henderson was outstanding too with three goals.