By Nick Creely
Noble Park is within striking distance of top spot in the Eastern Football League with a hard-fought 20-point win against Berwick on Saturday.
The Bulls held off the Wickers to register the 12.10 (82) to 10.2 (62) victory, with the home side starting strongly and maintaining their edge throughout the contest to bank their seventh win of the season.
With a fast-start which saw the home side race out to a 15-point quarter time lead, the Bulls extended the lead to 17 at half-time, before a strong four goal third term saw the margin blow out to 30 points, signalling game over.
The Wickers lost no supporters after fighting hard in the last term, booting four goals to two to provide a brief scare, but the home side had too much class across the board and were never truly threatened.
Liam Scott was outstanding off half-back for the Bulls to be best afield, Tommy Glen, Kyle Martin and Luke Bull were solid contributors, while Ali Zijai and Lachie Quaife booted two goals apiece.
For the Wickers, defender Michael Riseley was a strong presence, while Madi Andrews had the ball on a string.
Rowville had the bye.
In the Southern Football League’s Division 2, ladder leaders Springvale Districts have moved to a 10-0 start, brushing aside Skye with ease, 13.12 (90) to 5.6 (36).
The clash was somewhat even at half-time, with the Dees holding just a five-point advantage, but stormed away with a nine-goal to one second half.
Spearhead Matt Wetering slammed home another six majors to move to 53 for the season – it would be no surprise to see him wearing VFL colours at some point.
Billy Green, Cory Hutchinson and Daniel Spence were all named in the best for the Dees.
Keysborough, meanwhile, went down to East Brighton by 57 points, 13.17 (95) to 5.8 (38).
The Burras were in the contest at the final change – down by just 19 points – but were blown out of the water by the home side who slammed on six unanswered majors.
And Hampton Park banked a gritty 16 point win against Chelsea Heights at Robert Booth Reserve, 11.3 (69) to 7.11 (53).
The Redbacks were trailing at the final change but clicked into gear when it mattered, with Luke O’Brien (three goals), Liam Myatt (three goals), Travis Davis and Jackson Fry among the best.
In Division 3, Endeavour Hills played some of its best football of the season against South Yarra, 19.17 (131) to 3.1 (19).
The Falcons – sparked by a brilliant seven-goal performance from Sam McLean – were clinical from the outset.
In the remaining game, Narre South Saints banked percentage with a dominant win against Doveton Eagles, 31.26 (212) to 0.2 (2).
Division 4 saw Hallam bank a 46-point win against Cerberus at home, 9.11 (65) to 2.7 (19).
The Hawks were held scoreless at quarter time – trailing by four points – but slammed on five second quarter goals to ultimately set up the result.
After half-time, the visitors fought back but the Hawks had enough class to claim the four points.
Jack Sharlassian’s dynamic form continued with a bag of four, Matt Jerram, Patrick Tatt and the ever consistent Rory McIvor were also named in the best.
And a wasteful Lyndale fell by 11 points to Moorabbin Kangaroos at Widdop Crescent, 12.10 (82) to 9.17 (71).
The Pumas had their chances – booting just nine majors from 26 scoring shots – but would be pleased with their endeavour throughout the clash.