Collingwood and the Northern Blues fronted up on the MCG on Saturday. (PHOTO CREDIT: Jason Heidrich)
Collingwood and the Northern Blues fronted up on the MCG on Saturday. (PHOTO CREDIT: Jason Heidrich)

Round 17 in the VFL returned to the golden days with Collingwood and Carlton playing in a curtain raiser game at the MCG, whilst Footscray defeated top-of-the-ladder Williamstown. Heartbreakingly, Frankston failed to record their first win of the season in captain Shane Hockey’s 100th match.

Collingwood 21. 10. (136) defeated Northern Blues 10. 8. (68)

Gracing the MCG as the curtain raiser game before Collingwood played Carlton, the Magpies defeated the Northern Blues to cement themselves a position in the top eight. An accurate seven goal opening quarter from Collingwood set the tone for the day, with their efficiency in front of goal trumping the Blues particularly early.

Jesse White found some form with four goals and a solid display in the forward line: however, he will still need to prove his worth to Nathan Buckley and will be a player to watch over the next few weeks. Patrick Karnezis was also among the best and will push for selection after an influential game and three goals.

For the Northern Blues, Troy Menzel was a shining light with 20 possessions and a goal. Liam Jones was also good, playing a different role to usual being used in defence.

Leading goal kickers:

Collingwood: J. White 4, P. Karnezis 3
Northern Blues: M. Watson 2

Best:

Collingwood: B.Kennedy, J. White, P. Karnezis, J. Taylor, J. Williams, J. Witts
Northern Blues: G. Strachan, S. Cattapan, M. Dick, T. Menzel, B. Walsh, S. Murray

Essendon 11. 9. (75) defeated by Werribee 15. 13. (103)

An important win for Werribee leaves them one clear of seventh-placed Essendon and in prime position for a home final. The Tigers’ six-goal second term proved to be match-defining, with the Bombers unable to level their intensity for the remainder of the game.

David Myers had his best VFL game for the year, in only his third outing since recovering from a shoulder injury. The midfielder was strong on the inside with a number of effective clearances, while Elliot Kavanagh was also important with a “complete” performance that will have him pushing for senior selection.

For the Tigers, Majak Daw was a standout with three goals.

Leading goal kickers:

Werribee: Daw 3
Essendon: Hardingham 3

Best:

Werribee: Laracy, M. Sodomaco, M. Brett, M. Daw, I. Conway, J. Hussey
Essendon: D. Myers , E. Kavanagh, J. Polkinghorne, J. Melksham, B. McNiece, A. Browne

North Ballarat 11. 10. (76) defeated Geelong 4. 5. (29)

After holding the Cats to just one second-half goal, the Roosters claimed their third consecutive victory. Geelong led by three points at half time, but couldn’t match the intensity of North Ballarat’s second half as they charged home to a 47-point win.

Despite the win and percentage boost, North Ballarat only have six wins for the season and reaching finals – while mathematically possible – would be a very difficult task.

Leading goal kickers:

North Ballarat: Black 2, Hooper 2
Geelong: All singles

Best:

North Ballarat: Peters, T. Lockyer, J. Tsitas, A. Boseley, L. Kiel, T. Dumont
Geelong: J. Jansen, J. Cunico, D. Gore

Box Hill Hawks 18. 15. (123) defeated Casey Scorpions 7. 7. (49)

The Hawks are top of the ladder again after a huge 74-point win over Casey.

Box Hill led at every change, with a 6.3 to 0.2 third term cementing the result. Casey remain in eighth position, two games ahead of several pursuing teams although with a tough draw to come.

Pat Lawlor was the standout for the Hawks with 25 disposals, 15 marks, five tackles and four goals. Whitecross was also prolific with 20 kicks and a goal, as was Marc Pittonet with five tackles and a goal.

Leading goal kickers:

Box Hill: P.Lawlor 4, S.Grimley 4
Casey Scorpions: R.Bail 2, J.Spencer 2

Best:

Box Hill: P.Lawlor, S. Collins, J. Simpkin, K. Heatherley, B. Whitecross, M. Pittonet
Casey Scorpions: R.Bail, A. Riley, D. Keilty, S. Byrnes, B. Newton

Frankston 10. 7. (67) defeated by Coburg 11. 9. (75)

A heart-breaking loss for Frankston who failed to claim their first win, despite leading late in the final quarter of a back and forth term. Coburg’s finals hopes are still just about alive, but with a number of teams sitting around them it will be a close run to the finish line.

Leading goal kickers:

Coburg: Hill 3, Johns 2
Frankston: Gardiner 2, Wilsen 2.

Best:

Coburg: Fox, T. Goodwin, B. Clifton, N. Linton, E. McConnell, L. Johns
Frankston: S. Hockey, J. Newman, B. Cavarra, J. Pongracic, D. Sutton, S. Fox

Sandringham 19.6 (120) d Port Melbourne 12.15 (87)

Sandringham won their fourth game in a row and consolidated their spot in the top four after overcoming a 16-point deficit early in the final quarter. Port Melbourne’s sixth loss in a row leaves finals hopes possible but challenging, with a number of teams having a 6-9 record.

Tim Membrey was among the best with four goals and will provide a capable forward target for St Kilda should he get the call-up. Cameron Shenton was also one of his side’s best with 29 disposals and two goals.

Leading goal kickers:

Sandringham: Membrey 4
Port Melbourne: O’Sullivan 2, Dove 2, Lisle 2

Best:

Sandringham: Noone, D. Minchington, C. Shenton, F. Ray, C. Jones, T. Membrey
Port Melbourne: N. Batsanis, K. Dove, S. Clarke, T. O”Sullivan, C. Cain, T. Pinwill

Williamstown 8.14 (62) defeated by Footscray 10. 13. (73)

In a heavyweight battle of the West at Burbank Oval, the reigning premiers knocked off the ladder leaders. Footscray’s third quarter proved decisive, turning a six-point deficit into a 16-point three-quarter time lead. The triumph was an important one for the Dogs, who were able to hold onto fourth spot while the Seagulls dropped to second.

Leading goal kickers:

Footscray: Boyd 3, Honeychurch 2
Williamstown: Gallucci 3, Dunell 3

Best:

Footscray: N.Hrovat, T. Boyd, B. Prismall, J. Kelly, A. Cordy, M. Honeychurch
Williamstown: B. Jolley, S. Dunell, E. Carr, C. Lockwood, M. Banner, L. Masters.