By Nick Creely
The pictures say it all.
Keysborough full forward and suburban football champion Matthew Carnelley reached a monumental milestone in senior football on Saturday, kicking his 1000th goal.
As the Burras prepared to welcome bottom placed Murrumbeena to its home ground in front of a vocal crowd, Carnelley needed just three majors to reach the 1000 in what has been a storied career where the goals have flowed from his right leg.
It’s safe to say that there was a tinge of anticipation for the sharpshooting forward who has kicked stacks of goals for Rowville, Ringwood, Forest Hill, Glen Waverley Hawks, and now the Burra.
In fact, at Forest Hill, Carnelley slotted hauls of 24 and 22 in 2016 respectively – staggering days out well remembered by those in attendance.
On Saturday, Carnelley not only pushed past the milestone but bagged out – snagging seven majors as his side banked a dominant 73-point win in Southern’s Division 2, 19.8 (122) to 6.13 (49).
As he has been during his long and illustrious career, Carnelley was razor-sharp in front of goal, marking everything in his wake as he thrilled the crowd.
It was a starring performance befitting the occasion.
The win was also an important one for the Burra, who sit in third – one game clear of Caulfield Bears in fourth.
Ladder leaders Springvale Districts kept their unbeaten season alive, holding off Chelsea Heights in an absolute thriller at Beazley Reserve, 7.6 (48) to 6.10 (46).
The Demons maintained a narrow lead at every change – getting the margin out to 13 at half-time – but the home side refused to go away in a plucky performance that took the game right down to the wire.
But the class of George Angelopoulos, and Matthew Thompson ensured the Demons would hold on and bank yet another win.
Hampton Park, meanwhile, were outclassed by the Bears at Koornang Park, 22.13 (145) to 6.6 (42).
The Redbacks were never really in the contest after trailing by 32 points at quarter time, kicking just three goals to 14 in the remaining three quarters.
In Division 3, Endeavour Hills were on song against the Doveton Eagles at Barry Simon Reserve, banking some valuable percentage along the way, 25.24 (174) to 4.2 (26).
The fifth-placed Falcons needed to win big, and they did, racing out to a 44-point quarter time lead to secure the win before piling on 18 goals to three after the first change.
Ben Holland was particularly destructive, bagging out with six goals next to his name, while Dylan Grayson, Byron Parton and Liam Hasler were all instrumental.
Hamish Williams and Joshua Johns didn’t stop trying all day for the Eagles.
Division 4 saw Hallam outclass Dandenong at Greaves Reserve, 18.13 (121) to 9.11 (65), while Lyndale were unable to claw back, going down by 18 points to Cerberus, 9.9 (63) to 6.9 (45).
Noble Park returned to some electric form in the Eastern Football League top-flight with a barnstorming win against North Ringwood away from home, 19.9 (123) to 5.7 (37).
The Bulls were never headed after a five goal to two first term, extending the margin out to 35 at half time.
But the visitors weren’t done with it just yet in an exciting performance.
Slamming on 11 goals to three in the second half, the Bulls banked valuable percentage and impenetrable momentum.
Ali Zijai was the star of the show, kicking four goals in a classy display, Jack Sketcher was typically busy, while Liam Scott and the great Kyle Martin were also in the best.
Rowville, meanwhile, didn’t have as enjoyable a day, going down to Balwyn by a whopping 79 points, 18.11 (119) to 4.16 (40).
The Hawks just couldn’t find its kicking boots, snaring four majors from 20 scoring shots on a tough afternoon.