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14 August 2019
By Colin MacGillivray
Jeparit-Rainbow and Noradjuha-Quantong have punched the final two Horsham District football finals tickets with a round remaining in the home and away season.
The Storm and Bombers entered round 17 in a three-way contest for the fifth and sixth ladder positions, with Kalkee even on points but trailing on percentage.
Jeparit-Rainbow’s contest against the Kees at the weekend was a virtual elimination final, with the winner guaranteed to play in the post-season.
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It was the Storm who grabbed the ascendancy early, slamming through six goals to none in the first quarter.
There was no letting up from there as Jeparit-Rainbow continued to pile on the goals to run away with a 20.12 (132) to 8.6 (54) victory.
While Peter Weir had an opportunity to seal the league goal-kicking title in his 100th game for the club, it was Storm forward Ben Warren who dined out instead. Warren booted 11 goals, with Weir adding three in support, to drive the victory. For Kalkee, Jace Monaghan, Simon Hobbs and Zavier Hobbs were among the better players.
Noradjuha-Quantong also ended the weekend on a high with a 27.10 (172) to 3.4 (22) win against Pimpinio.
With their season in the balance, Bombers Jack Vague, Dustin Cross and Jordan Huff stepped up to help lead the victory.
Huff and Oakley kicked five goals each, Oakley in his first match since June, and both should figure prominently if the Bombers are to advance in finals.
Pimpinio’s Angus Gilsenan, Simon Nuske and Brock Hamerston were among the best.
Swifts suffered a similar drubbing at the hands of Harrow-Balmoral, going down 30.18 (198) to 4.5 (29).
The Roos were merciless early against the Baggies, kicking an incredible 13 goals in the first term and 20 before half time before easing up in the second half.
Former AFL-listed player Michael Close kicked nine goals in his best return for the Roos since being cleared of concussion symptoms earlier this season, while his brother Simon shared in the rout with eight.
Midfielder Peter Staude and utility Hamish Ellis were also conspicuous.
There were few winners for the Baggies, but Zach Salmi was a clear standout, kicking three of the team’s four goals. Defender Todd Matthews did his best to help stabilise a backline that was under siege from the opening minutes.
Natimuk United overtook the Baggies for third place after easily overcoming Taylors Lake.
Six goals to Jaydon Stiles and a season-best performance from young gun Taj Payne saw the Rams record a 13.15 (93) to 2.6 (18) win over the Lakers, who were best served by Trae Martin and Matt McCulloch.
Laharum gave a gallant effort but could not secure its third win of the season againt Rupanyup.
The Panthers were inaccurate despite controlling the first term, but were still good enough to win 11.12 (78) to 8.9 (57), with Daniel Schaper and Elliot Kelly outstanding and Matthew Weidemann kicking four goals.
There were positive signs for the Demons despite the loss, with junior player Cooper Tyler stepping up from the under-17s to kick five goals and Mitch Horwood again excelling.
Final ladder positions and the league goal-kicking leader will be decided this weekend in a series of important matches to finish the season.
Jeparit-Rainbow will take on Harrow-Balmoral at Harrow, with Peter Weir leading Roo Simon Close by three goals.
Natimuk United will also have plenty to play for when it travels to Kalkee, with a win ensuring the Rams would finish in the top three for the first time since the 1990s. Jaydon Stiles is also only two goals adrift of Weir and could snatch the goal-kicking crown from both he and Close.
Swifts will need to win a road game against Rupanyup and hope the Rams lose to finish top three, while Edenhope-Apsley should seal second spot with a win against Laharum.
Noradjuha-Quantong could finish fifth with a road win against Taylors Lake and a Jeparit-Rainbow loss.
The entire August 14, 2019 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!