IN an extraordinary tale of events, Rosebud is a realistic chance to play finals this year after beating Red Hill on Saturday.
Despite losing four games by less than a goal this season and being struck down by injury to some key players, the Buds are now just a game outside of the top five with two matches to play.
The Buds (111.77 per cent), sit in sixth position and have a superior percentage over Rye (106.37), who currently hold down fifth position.
Rosebud face Tyabb this weekend, before finishing the season with a match against Devon Meadows at Olympic Park.
Rye tackles Somerville this weekend and finishes with Sorrento at home in the final game of the season.
There is no doubt that the season of Rosebud and Rye is going to come down to the final home and away game of the year on August 23.
The Buds will be disappointed that they are not playing Devon this weekend, after they lost Troy Aust, Chris Doria, Cal O’Hare and Brian (Brandon) Wapshott. This is added to the injury of Steve McInnes. Some of these guys might be right for the final round. McInnes and Doria definitely will be.
Rosebud was sensational against the Hillmen on Saturday, finally getting away to a good start. The Buds were even with Red Hill at quarter time and led by seven points at half time.
The final result was 11.14 (80) to 10.12 (72).
Greg Bentley was outstanding for the Buds with a best on ground performance. Tom Baker was strong in attack with three goals and 17-year-old Sean Downie in only his fifth senior game was fantastic with three majors. Lachy Armstrong also played a significant role.
Rosebud coach Nick Jewell said his side was a blue collar team that need to compete hard to win matches.
“We put four quarters of football together which helped us win the game. We outscored Dromana after quarter time and Sorrento after half time but our first quarters hurt us in these games. We have to play like a blue collar side all day to win,” said Jewell.
Rosebud is almost at full strength with Bentley over his soft tissue injuries (he has played only seven games this season), Ryan Spooner (shoulder) getting confidence and Armstrong up and going after spending six weeks overseas.
Asked about his side’s finals chances, Jewell said “there’s plenty of work to do”.
Marcus Dal Lago was named Red Hill’s best player while Josh Mold and Matt Mitchell in his first game worked tirelessly.
Hillmen coach Tony Blackford said he knew it was a danger game for his side.
“As a coach you just get those gut feelings and I could just sense that we were a bit down before the game,” Blackford said.
“We fought it out well but Rosebud had a lot to play for today and they played with a real intensity all day. Bentley was just sensational and proved why he is arguably the best player in the competition.”
Hastings caused one of the upsets of the season when it kicked the last goal of the game to beat Sorrento.
After Sorrento hit the front for the first time with two minutes left on the clock, the Blues responded with Luke Hewitt putting the home team back in front.
Sorrento’s Ben Schwarze had an opportunity to win the game for his side in the dying seconds but missed his shot at goal and handed the Blues an unlikely victory.
The Blues kicked with the aid of the wind in the first quarter and got away to a flier, leading by 16 points at the first change. They led by six points at half time and by 16 points again at three quarter time.
Good kicking at goal certainly helped them win the match, finishing with 13.3 (81) to 11.13 (79).
Grant Masterson showed once again how great he can be with four goals while Josh Mulheron and Steve Robb were superb.
Leigh Poholke booted three for the Blues while Troy Schwarze and Dave Lawson were named as their best players.
Devon Meadows got jumped on the weekend and despite hitting the front in the last quarter, were beaten by four points at the hands of Somerville.
While the Panthers had their chances to win the game, it was the first quarter (6.7 to .0.3) that hurt them in the end.
After the first break, the visitors booted 11.14 to Somerville’s 7.2.
The Eagles got the chocolates though and once again proved that their best is extremely good and hard to stop.
Adrian Ridout, who booted 18 goals in three appearances, was not in the side on Saturday. However, Ben Sedgewick played forward and booted three goals, while Jedd Suton, Steven Croe and Justin Farrelly were at their best.
Jack Bow kicked four for the panthers and Craig Thorne, Billy Hayes and Stef Baumgartner were named in their best players.
The Panthers are likely to unearth another debutant this week in light of the injuries they sustained on Satrday.
Dromana chopped up Frankston Bombers on Saturday, winning 24.20 (164) to 6.12 (48).
The Bombers have been brave this season but they were simply no match for the class of the Tigers on Saturday.
Anthony Bruhn put on a show with eight goals while Jae Williams played his best senior game ever across half forward with four majors. In more good news for the Tigers, Dan Gormley was back to his best and Adam Coyle and Toby Banks found plenty of the pill.
Mitch Bosward, Jay Reynolds and Duncan Proud were again among the best for the Bombers while Ben Simmons was also very good.
Crib Point is two games clear on top of the table and will finish the season minor premiers after smashing Rye.
The Magpies started well and led by 12 points at quarter time and cut the game open in the second and third quarters, booting ten goals to four.
Rye rallied in the last but it was still a 15.5 (95) to 9.9 (63) victory to the Magpies.
Glen Boyd was outstanding with seven majors while Luke Herrington starred again with three. Jake Bromley was also back to his best in a run with role.
Ben Winters-Kerr and Jake Semmel, along with Ben Cain, were named Rye’s best.
Pearcedale had to work hard to get the four points against Tyabb, winning 13.13 (91) to 9.16 (70).
The Dales set up the win with a five goal to two third quarter with the wind and led by 37 points at the final change.
Jake Anderson was brilliant for the Yabbies with five goals while Craig Conlan and Ash Souter were also among their best.
Dylan Hoare kicked five for the Dales while Trav Sauer and Ben Mitchell collected the top votes. Troy Jacobson has also finished the season extremely well.