Firsts: Dingley took on Bentleigh with the Bentleigh girls keen to make an impression on the premiers, and this they did early on with Dingley taking a one –point lead into the first break. Dingley were able to take control early in the second term and while Bentleigh were able to score a couple in reply mid-term, Dingley were able to steady. Alecia Wise ran the show, and with Sara Merkus covering miles in the middle of the court the experience of the Dingoes made all the difference. Bentleigh kept coming, but couldn’t make the necessary scoreboard impact, Dingley finishing victorious by 46-31.
Seconds: Bentleigh took on CPL in a game that was close all day. The CPL girls came into the game unbeaten, while Bentleigh won their first game in the second round by running over the top of Mordialloc. The two sides looked evenly matched and so it proved, with neither side able to make a convincing break. In the end it was Bentleigh that were too strong to the tune of 33-28.
Thirds: Bentleigh and St Kilda City met in a great battle to head Division Five. Neither side had tasted defeat before this week and neither side showed any desire to do so. At the end of a titanic struggle Bentleigh saluted by the smallest possible margin, 46-45. Heatherton joined them on maximum points by walloping Oakleigh District 74-7. Elsewhere Dingley beat Cheltenham 33-14, Mordialloc outlasted Clayton 27-20, while Black Rock trumped Chelsea Heights by 46-27.
Bentleigh also remain undefeated after holding out a fast-finishing St Kilda City in a thriller at Bentleigh Reserve, 8.12 (60) to 8.6 (54). The Demons butchered their chances to put the result beyond doubt in the third term, registering a wasteful 3.9. The 23-point margin at the final change left the door ajar for an improbable Saints comeback, a result that very nearly eventuated. However, Bentleigh held on for dear life and narrowly escaped with the four points after a pulsating final few minutes. Full back Justin Hall was outstanding on young Ayang Nyanjok all day, and his leadership and coolness under pressure was invaluable in the tense final term. Captain Scotty Lawry was also at his scintillating best, while Jackson Meredith and Pat Nicholls had an impact on the scoreboard.
CLAYTON vs BENTLEIGH (Meade Reserve) Like East Malvern, Clayton too suffered the effects of a short turnaround after ANZAC Day and will be in much better shape for their date with Bentleigh this weekend. The Demons, one of three teams yet to taste defeat in 2016, have done just enough in each of their three games to get the points, but they can’t afford any complacency this week. This is another game that could go either way. The Clays play the narrow confines of Meade Reserve very well, but Bentleigh have too strong a line up and should get the job done.
We’d like to begin by congratulating James Coles and Kyle Swinden on playing their 150th and 100th games for the club respectively.