RED Hill made it two wins on the trot on Saturday when it dominated for much of the afternoon to beat Rosebud at Olympic Park for the first time since 1985.
Rosebud led inside the first minute of the match when Keegan Downie goaled but from that moment on, it was all Red Hill.
The Hillmen’s dominance from the half back line and blistering pace through the middle of the ground was just too much for the Buds to handle.
The inevitable match-up between Red Hill’s Chris Irving and Rosebud’s Greg Bentley did take place from the first bounce. The personal duel was cut short when ‘GB’ tweaked his hamstring in the second quarter.
Peter and Marcus Lago were superb across half-back and through the middle for the Hillmen while Tom McEnroe was the best player on the ground with his dash and ball use from defence.
Harry Wynn-Pope was again competitive in the ruck and around the ground against the best in the business in Ben Dwyer, while Michael Mock, Mitch Wallace and Jonah Siverson all won their battles in the back half. Siverson out-pointed Downie and Wallace had the better of a returning Tom Baker from Casey in the VFL.
Red Hill was a very competitive outfit last season, however, some additional class in the side has made a significant difference to the line-up and its ability taking the ball forward.
Chris Irving was again dominant through the middle and at stoppages and even wound back the clock to his younger years taking a screamer at half forward.
Ben Hughes straightens Red Hill up but he didn’t boot a goal in the first quarter and got an early corky. He still finished with a game-high five goals.
Sean ‘Nooga’ Holmes has also returned after a year riding motorcross and the one that is getting under most guards is Dylan Hoare. Holmes was exceptional on the weekend and Hoare was a lively nuisance, finishing with a goal.
Jake Mold missed the match as a result of a spider bite, Matt Hyden was a late withdrawal and Benny McCormack was in the reserves.
There’s a lot of upside to the Hillmen and there’s no question that they like the wide-open spaces – their run and spread is going to cause a lot of issues for opposition teams. Rosebud trailed by as much as 38 points early in the last quarter before fighting back to get within 17. The final margin was 21 points, 10.5 (65) to 5.14 (44). Many of Rosebud’s behinds were rushed.
Jack Jarman and Daniel Wilson, despite not being named in Rosebud’s best, were clearly their best two.
Sean Downie was also very good for the Buds, as was Anthony Pegg from half back and Jake Corrin. Leg speed in attack seemed to be an issue for the Buds and it’s something they need to be looking at addressing quickly.
Pearcedale proved that its big win against Frankston Bombers on Easter Saturday was not just a flash in the pan, despite going down to Somerville on Saturday. The Dales stuck with the Eagles at the nest for the entire match and had its chances in the last quarter, however, inaccuracy paid a price.
Somerville had its noses in front for the most part of the match and won 12.17 (89) to 110.22 (82).
The Eagles have had a great start to the season with three wins from three matches, including a win against Red Hill at home.
On Saturday, Adrian Speedy and Justin Allsop continued their outstanding starts to the season while Billy Rolfe was also at his best. In defence, Kane McKenzie was superb.
Andrejs Everitt booted three for the winners and Jedd Sutton booted a couple.
Luke Dalmau was again electric for the Dales with four goals while Matt Smith and Daniel Marshall were outstanding.
Devon Meadows put a horrible pre-season behind it and notched its first win of the season, beating Crib Point 13.22 (100) to 10.8 (68).
The Panthers lost more than 20 players in the off-season, troubling its depth.
However, its top end talent was always there and after strong performances against Hastings and Pearcedale in the opening two rounds, deserved to taste victory.
The Panthers dominated the opening quarter and despite a fightback from the Pies, always had the game in their control. Allan Murray booted four goals to give him 12 for the season, while Steve McInnes added another three to give him 11 for season 2017. Jesse Dehey and Stef Baumgartner continued their superb starts to the season.
Ned Shannon, the son of former Hastings’ star Andrew, was great again for the Pies with three goals while Taylor Stratton and Brad Arnold led from the front.
Leigh Poholke celebrated his 100th game for Sorrento on Saturday with a game-high six goals in his side’s 27.15 (177) to 10.7 (67) victory against Rye.
Nick Corp booted five also for the Sharks while Shannon Gladman continued his outstanding season with three goals from the middle.
Tim Churchin was the only multiple goal kicker for Rye with two while Harry Whitty and teenager Joel Wills tried hard.
Dromana notched up its first win of the season, smashing Tyabb 22.19 (151) to 6.3 (39).
Beau Cosson returned with seven goals for the Tigers while Cam Carmody finished with four and Adam Hunter three. Terry Wheeler and Rory Gregg were amongst the Dromana best again, as was Shaun Clarke.
Ethan Rahilly and Jordan Pollard were once again the best of the Yabbies.