By Nick Creely
Olinda Ferny Creek continue to surprise and excite in the AFL Outer East’s top-flight.
The Bloods enjoyed a ruthless victory on Saturday, brushing aside Wandin to the tune of 109 points, 18.10 (118) to 1.3 (9).
Now in fourth position on the table, Brendan Donovan’s group is rising quick and fast.
While the Bloods managed 28 scoring shots in a powerful attacking display – led superbly by Hunter Greenall and Lachlan Taylor who combined for 10 goals – the home team, who were playing the fixture at Woori Yallock, conceded just four scoring shots and didn’t conceded a goal until the final term.
Kelsey Currie’s outstanding season continued with a best afield display, while Dale Rohrmann and Pat Rosier were also strong contributors.
The winless Dogs were well served by John Ladner and Josh James who battled hard.
Woori Yallock, meanwhile, picked up a huge scalp on the road and a confidence-boosting win, overcoming a deficit to register a 22-point win against Pakenham, 10.14 (74) to 8.4 (52).
The Lions were up by as much as five goals in the contest before Jack Cole’s side found another edge to run all over the top.
It was an incredible impressive performance against a side also expected to feature in finals.
As he so often does, Ryley Monkhorst was at another level, while his brother Zach was a colossal and kicked some important goals.
Kane Thompson’s impressive season continued with another assured display.
In the remaining games, Beaconsfield had too much toe for Upwey Tecoma, 11.11 (77) to 3.3 (21), while Cranbourne edged out Narre Warren in a thriller, 7.9 (51) to 7.7 (49).
Division 1 saw Gembrook Cockatoo and Seville play out a nail-biter, but in the end the Brookers had just enough in the tank to hold the Blues at bay, 7.8 (50) to 7.5 (47).
The Brookers surged out with an impressive first half, taking in a 30-point lead into the major break, but the Blues worked their way back into the contest with an impressive five-goal third term to level up the scores.
In a nail-biting last term with momentum swinging rapidly, the Brookers did just enough to bank the all-important four points.
Tyler Joosten was best afield for the Brookers, while Nathan O’Keefe provided a constant threat to snag two goals for the visitors.
Mt Evelyn continues to knock every challenge out of the park, banking a 22-point win on the road against Emerald, 8.13 (61) to 6.3 (39).
It took until the third term for the Rovers to break clear with scores level at half time, putting together an ultra-impressive four goal to zero third term to run away with the victory.
The ladder-leaders had many winners across the park, namely Noah Beamish, while Daimon Kift will almost certainly be in the votes again with another classy display.
For the Bombers, Matt Livermore and Jarrod Marshall were in the best.
In the remaining games, Officer had the better of Monbulk in a potential finals preview at Starling Road, 9.11 (65) to 5.9 (39), while Berwick Springs took the points in its first ever home match, defeating Belgrave by 42 points, 9.17 (71) to 4.5 (29). The Magpies stuck with the Titans for the first half before Rodney Benstead’s side kicked five goals to one after the main break.
Healesville had the bye.
Kinglake and Yarra Glen played out a closely fought affair in Division 2, but the Lakers got the job done by 13 points, 7.5 (47) to 5.4 (34).
The home side always had a narrow lead at every change, but to the visitors’ credit managed to stay in the contest.
Yarra Junction banked a huge win against Broadford, 28.12 (180) to 7.5 (47).
The Eagles did what it needed to, registering 40 scoring shots in the hefty win, including a bag of 10 from David Johnson and six from Leigh McCombe.
In the remaining matches, Powelltown had the better of Yea, 19.9 (123) to 7.4 (46), while Alexandra banked a gritty 20 point win against Warburton Millgrove at Mac Sparke Oval, 10.5 (65) to 7.3 (45).
The Saints were actually training by five points at the final change before flexing its muscles with an unanswered four goal final term to seal the win and consolidate its top spot on the ladder.