Posted in Front Page News , Weekend Wraps

By Ben Pollard

The second week of SMJFL finals is the beginning of the business end for the Under 14s, 15s and 16s. The top four teams in each division square off in the semi-finals this week, so let’s take a closer look at how they got here…

Under 14 Division 1

(1) Murrumbeena Gold (13-1) vs (2) East Brighton Vampires (11-3)

(3) East Malvern Gold (8-6) vs (4) St Peters (7-7)

Expect the clash between Murrumbeena Gold and East Brighton Vampires to be repeated in the grand final – these two teams were head and shoulders above the field in Under 14 Division 1. Murrumbeena’s only loss of the year came against the Vampires… By 95 points! However, the Gold turned it around in Round 14 by 58 points over East Brighton. What’s the real form line?! St Peters barely scraped into the top four and might struggle to advance any further against East Malvern Gold: they lost both home-and-away matches between the teams.

Under 14 Division 2

(1) South Melbourne District (13-1) vs (2) Ormond Blue (13-1)

(3) Hampton (8-5) vs (4) Cheltenham (7-6)

Another division that seems to be a race between two… The key match this weekend will be between South Melbourne District and Ormond Blue; teams barely separated by percentage on the ladder. The Districts won their only encounter in Round 9 by a comfortable 42 points, so it’s theirs to lose! Hampton and Cheltenham should be a close one – the teams winning one game each against each other during the season – but a preliminary final against either South Melbourne or Ormond appears to be a daunting prospect.

Under 14 Division 3

(1) Prahran (10-3) vs (2) St Kilda City (9-4)

(3) St Peters Red (9-5) vs (4) Mt Waverley (9-5)

Ooh yes, we love an even division… Prahran easily accounted for their opponent this week, St Kilda City, twice during the season, but definitely won’t want to lose to them when it matters now. If they do, they’ll face either Mt Waverley or St Peters Red, who, funnily enough, have both knocked off top-placed Prahran. It’s tough to call the other result, but if form is any guide, St Peters’ 34-point victory over Mt Waverley in Round 10 should hold them in good stead.

Under 14 Division 4

(1) East Malvern Blue (11-2-1) vs (2) East Sandringham (12-3)

(3) Highett (10-3-1) vs (4) Murrumbeena Maroon (10-3-1)

Where do you look for a winner in this division, folks? With formlines all over the shop, the flag could go to any one of these four teams! Pick a number from a hat, maybe…

Under 15 Division 1

(1) Cheltenham (14-0) vs (2) Caulfield (12-2)

(3) East Sandringham (9-5) vs (4) South Melbourne District (7-7)

Undefeated means nothing when finals come around, hey? Cheltenham won’t want to be feeling the pressure of keeping their amazing streak going, because the other three contenders are gunning to knock ‘em off. Chelt has already seen off this week’s opponent, Caulfield, by 45 points in Round 13, so their confidence will be high. We surely couldn’t see a Cheltenham choke… East Sandringham looks likely to advance too, having defeated South Melbourne District twice already this season.

Under 15 Division 2

(1) St Bedes/Mentone Tigers (13-1-1) vs (2) Mt Waverley (9-6)

(3) East Brighton Vampires (7-8) vs (4) Waverley Park (6-9)

St Bedes/Mentone Tigers look to be the closest thing to unbackable favourites to take the Under 15 Division 2 flag. The Tigers have beaten Mt Waverley three times already this season, by 14, 52 and 62 points. Their danger team in the finals might actually be East Brighton Vampires, who went close to knocking them off twice… However, the Vampires face a task to even get past their semi final opponent, Waverley Park, having lost twice and won only once against them so far.

Under 15 Division 3

(1) Ormond (13-2) vs (2) Dingley (12-2)

(3) East Sandringham (10-3-1) vs (4) St Pauls (10-5)

These four teams were all at least two and a half games clear ahead of their nearest rivals and clearly deserve to be playing off for the flag. Both matches promise to be close, hard-fought contests, with Dingley trumping Ormond once already this season by 15 points and St Pauls getting the points over East Sandringham by the same margin in their previous encounter.

Under 16 Division 1

(1) Ormond (14-1) vs (2) East Malvern Gold (12-3)

(3) East Brighton Vampires (12-3) vs (4) Hampton (8-7)

Funny division, this one. Ormond have compiled a very impressive record, but East Brighton Vampires would feel stiff to have missed the top two on percentage… The Vamps delivered Ormond their only loss of the season AND defeated East Malvern Gold twice. Yet, they face Hampton in an elimination final; a team that defeated them last time they met. Both Ormond and East Malvern Gold will be desperate to win their semi final and avoid the Vamps next week. Last time out in Round 9, Ormond got the chocolates by 18 points.

Under 16 Division 2

(1) Dingley (8-2) vs (2) Caulfield (7-3)

(3) St Pauls/Bentleigh Demons (6-4) vs (4) Ajax Comets (5-4)

It’s hard to get the best read on these four teams, given they’ve only been playing each other for 10 rounds. Top-placed Dingley surprisingly seems to have the job ahead of it this week, though. Their opponent, Caulfield, has triumphed over them twice – the most recent battle in Round 13 a three-point thriller. We could be in for a cracker in that one… St Pauls/Bentleigh Demons and Ajax Comets should also provide a tight contest, with their two home-and-away matches shared 1-1.

Under 16 Division 3

(1) Northvale (9-1) vs (2) Mordialloc Braeside Red (7-3)

(3) Waverley Park (6-4) vs (4) South Melbourne District (5-5)

Northvale and Mordialloc Braeside Red’s match should be a humdinger! Northvale took Mordi Brae to the cleaner’s early in the season, but Mordi Brae struck back in Round 13 by 17 points. In the other semi final, Waverley Park would’ve fancied their chances against South Melbourne District after defeating them comfortably early on, but just last week South Melbourne trounced them by 72 points! Wonder how bruised and battered Waverley will be feeling on Sunday…