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Eastland’s In and Under column returns this week, Media Manager Ryan Long gives you his key takeaways from the latest weekend of local footy.


All Roads lead to Seebeck Oval


If you want to get a look at the benchmark of Premier Division, look no further than Seebeck Oval this weekend when Rowville meets Balwyn in a clash of two red-hot undefeated teams.


Both sides are coming off the back of big wins against finalists from last season.


The reigning premiers Rowville took care of Vermont comfortably by six goals on Saturday, but with the way they dominated the first half, that final margin could have been a lot more damaging. 


Vermont’s Adrian Kalcovski was red-carded in the opening minutes of the contest as the Hawks were quick to jump on top, having 13 more Inside 50s in the first term. They kept the Eagles scoreless for the first 40 minutes of the game. Rowville moved the ball from one end to another with much ease and benefited from the likes of Cooper Macdonald re-entering the senior side from Collingwood VFL.


Up forward, a luxury for Rowville to have Lachlan Wynd also available from VFL football, playing as the key target up forward, booting four in the first half.


A minor fightback saw Vermont get within three to four goals in the third quarter but it was never enough to truly concern the Hawks. Lachlan Johns efforts across the afternoon were a major reason why Vermont was able to hang around for most of the day, he finished with 34 disposals and a couple of goals.


The glaring issue for the Eagles in the opening few rounds is the lack of targets up forward. They’ll be without Kalcovski for the next two weeks in what may turn out to be two season-defining games for the club when they take on Noble Park and Doncaster East.


As for Rowville, they host the Tigers on Saturday who knocked off another contender in East Ringwood on the weekend. They managed to keep a high-scoring Roos side in check, keeping them to just eight goals.


The addition of North Melbourne star Kayne Turner has proven to be a great success, averaging 24 disposals per game and 8 tackles. His pressure around the contest has been superb, ranked third in the division for Overall Pressure.


Jordan Lisle was fantastic on the weekend with five majors but it’s been Nathan Oakes who has impressed in the opening three rounds, leading the goalkicking for the Premier Division with 12 majors.


This weekend, we’ll have a great indication of where they sit as they make one of the toughest road trips in the Premier Division. Looking forward to this one.



Don’t underestimate South Croydon’s top tier  


ANZAC Day saw another terrific clash between Blackburn and South Croydon which has now become an annual tradition on this date.


Despite Blackburn going in as favourites, starting the season 2 and 0, they were outplayed by a hungry South Croydon midfield who put on a masterclass in the third term, kicking five goals while keeping Blackburn scoreless. 


Experienced stars Brayden Kilpatrick and Matthew Jones were outstanding, combining for 21 disposals, 8 clearances and a goal in the third term. Both finished as the two highest disposal getters on the ground.


Daniel Cooper was kicking goals from all areas of the ground, finishing with a fantastic bag of six.


South Croydon were given a fright late in the game as a 39-point lead was cut down to just six points in the final quarter before a late behind sealed a Dogs victory. 


Still, a lot to work on for both sides but certainly walked away last Thursday impressed with what the Dogs can achieve when at full strength. 


Former Blackburn Coach and current South Croydon Coach Brendan Allen left with the bragging rights. They’ll be looking to make it back-to-back wins when they host Norwood this Saturday at Cheong Park.



Mount Evelyn proves their credentials


In the Senior Women’s competition this week, Mount Evelyn impressed with a 32-point win over Vermont in the Deakin University Match of the Round.


It was the first time that the club had been on centre stage for a Match of the Round and the group certainly didn’t disappoint with an exciting quick brand of football. Both sides were young across the board with plenty of players coming up from their respective Under 18’s sides. 


Up forward for Mount Evelyn holds the key to their success in the division. Mackenzie Adams was busy in the third term, kicking three of her four goals to stretch out that margin after what was a tight first half on the scoreboard.


Beth Cruickshank was just as vital, hard-working, a strong mark and a great kick for goal, three majors for her in the afternoon.


Mount Evelyn are the only team in the competition to have defeated the Eastern Devils premier division side who are searching for their third straight flag this season. Mark their Round Eight clash in the diary as one to keep an eye on.


For Vermont, there’s also plenty to be excited about for the future with what is a reasonable young list across the board.

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