HASTINGS dropped from second place on the Nepean Division leader to fourth after being overrun by Somerville on Saturday.
It was the first loss of the season for the Blues and once again highlighted how close the top teams of the competition were.
After trailing by 14 points and being kept goalless in the opening term, the home side hit back in the second and led by seven points at the main interval.
Luke Clark, who finished the afternoon with five majors, started to get his hands on it in attack and Josh Mulheron began to get on top in the middle of the ground.
The third quarter was an arm wrestle with the Blues maintaining their ascendancy. Paul Rogasch and Lance Brouwer, along with Kain Stratton, were doing wonderful work in defence for the Blues and Luke Hewitt was proving to be a handful in the forward half of the ground.
At the last change, Hastings had its nose in front 6.7 (43) to 5.7 (37).
Somerville was rumoured to be going into the game without prime mover Tim McGennis, however, he took his place.
Adrian Ridout came straight back into the team after three quarters in the reserves. He missed four weeks with a hamstring. Cal Dixon also played his first game in a number of weeks after looking to be out of favour.
The Eagles needed to find something in the last quarter and they did, booting five goals to two to run out 10.8 (68) to 8.12 (60) winners.
The Blues squandered opportunities in the final 25 minutes, booting five behinds.
Ben Sedgewick was again at the top of his game for the Eagles with another outstanding performance in defence, while Dixon showed his capabilities through the middle of the ground.
Scott Simpson turned around an average performance last week to be one of the Eagles’ best and Jedd Sutton was again one of his team’s best performers.
The Eagles are looked upon as a bit of a glamour side, however, they have a defensive quality and a hunger that people underestimate.
Against Red Hill, Sorrento and Hastings, the Eagles have been required to find a little extra, get up off the deck and fight. They have responded every time against quality opposition.
The Eagles have won four of their five games (only defeat was a shock loss to Pearcedale), however, sit in fifth place on the ladder.
Rosebud is nestled neatly in third place on the ladder after a commanding victory against Dromana.
In a match that didn’t reach great heights and was marred by poor skill execution and turnovers, the Buds still remained the better of the two teams throughout the contest and recorded a 10.7 (67) to 6.15 (73) victory.
Rosebud’s Tom Baker was the key difference between the sides with five of Rosebud’s ten goals.
Jason Bristow and Rob Forrest set up the win with blistering first halves of footy. Each collected 26 possessions and although they faded in the second half, Ryan Spooner and Rhys Bancroft picked up the slack. Sam Kremich also did a superb job on the dangerous teenager Sam Fowler, who failed to hit the scoreboard.
The Buds control of the match was evident by the fact that they had 80 to 56 marks, while their run receives were also in their favour at 43-30. Inside 50’s were about equal though.
The home side also had a lot more purpose taking the balI into their forward line, while the Tigers seemed to bang it in and hope.
Matt Jones was outstanding for the Tigers, as was Terry Wheeler and Sam Guerts.
Frankston Bombers made it two wins on the trot after easily accounting for Devon Meadows, 17.17 (119) to 10.13 (73).
The Panthers again let themselves down with a poor first half and although fighting back in the second hour, the damage had already been done.
Zac Longham was outstanding for the winner with five goals.
Sorrento got back on the winners list with a massive 28.14 (182) to 4.1 (25) victory over Tyabb.
Leigh Poholke booted six goals for the winners, Nick Muller snagged four and a further nine players hit the scoreboard.
Troy Schwarze was back from overseas and Ryan Jeffrey returned from suspension. Jon Croad and Daniel Grant were both missing but expected to be back next week. Miles Pitt heads overseas this week.
Tyrren Head continued his dominant season, while Chris Morgan was dominant in the ruck.
Tyson Sparkes and James Cottrell were the best of the Yabbies.
Red Hill maintained its position at the top of the ladder with a 15.10 (100) to 5.14 (44) victory against Pearcedale.
Hillmen coach Tony Blackford said after the game that the result wasn’t a reflection of the game.
“It really wasn’t until the last quarter that we were able to shake them,” Blackford said.
Michael Chaplin booted four for the winners and Matt Vagg kicked a couple against his old side.
Rye sits in second place on the ladder after smashing Crib Point.
The Demons were never challenged and recorded a 18.15 (123) to 11.6 (72) victory.
The Magpies, who were so impressive last year with a grand final appearance, are now sitting in the bottom three with just one win and will not play finals in 2015.