St Therese flexes muscles with big win over Ariels
REIGNING premiers St Therese loaded up on talent and unleashed it on the Ariels to storm to a 25-goal win in Round 7 of the Men’s Premier M-League competition. St Therese dominated the opening term to race to a 14-goal lead a the first break, and though at times the title contenders struggled with inaccuracy at times, were too strong for Ariels defensively and secured the 61-36 win.
Fronting up with its strongest team of the season, St Therese welcomed back Riley Richardson for a full match, and had the versatility to rotate the seven on the court. The team limited Tristan Comans and Harrison Lefebure for a half each and rotated Tom Hardwick and Jayden Cowling between goal attack and wing attack. By comparison, the Ariels had the eight players, with Dan Stone having another tough game on the night but unlike his goal keeper role in the Premier Mixed, he played in the shooting circle.
Danger signs were on show early as the pairing of Connor Lilly (13 goals) and Tom Hardwick (five) helped pile on 18 goals to four, as the St Therese defensive end of Jake Hederics and Ronan Pring shut down the Ariels attack. Richardson was controlling the midcourt, and the shooters were getting plenty of chances. By half-time the score had blown out to 23 goals and the match was looking likely to be a record win for the season.
Instead St Therese rotated some players with Hardwick moved into wing attack, Lefebure came on at centre and Cowling went to goal attack. Though the Ariels did manage to stem the bleeding nad win the third term 14-13, it was a bridge too far to get back into the game. Dan King was providing extra pressure int eh defensive circle, while David Priddle‘s move into goal defence was fruitful.
After a good third term, the Ariels could not quite win the fourth, as St Therese scored 14 goals to 11 and got ip by 25 goals, 61-36. Lilly scored 35 goals in the win, with Hardwick and Cowling both scoring 13 in the respective halves. Richardson was the standout in centre and wing attack, with Hederics and Pring clear stars up the defensive end with their pressure on the opposition shooters. Josh Clavarino shot 14 goals in the second half after just four in the first half, while Mitchell Small provided some movement in wing attack.
Ladder leaders City Heat continued their unbeaten run with a massive 35-goal win over Darebin Dragons in the other one-sided Round 7 match. On top from start to finish, the Heat scored double-digit goals each quarter and restricted the Dragons to eight goals or less in each of their terms. Alastair Punshon played in defence was named best-on, while the shooting combination of Brodie McCleish (15 goals) and Cameron Allum (29) were also impressive.
Boroondara Thunder caused a huge upset over Netblacks to win by a goal on Court 1, getting up in a nail-biter, 46-45. The Netblacks were minus star shooter Junior Levi and the Thunder took full advantage early, dominating the opening term to lead 19-6 at quarter time. The Netblacks got back on top in the second term, and then stormed into contention in the last term with a 16-4 final term, but it would not be enough. Terron King stood up in defence in the first half, then moved into goal shooter in the second half, while Taurin Eimermacher was influential in wing attack. Deepak Patu was unsurprisingly Netblacks’ best in the loss.