By Nick Creely
These Bulls are rising fast.
Noble Park’s sublime form in the Eastern Football League’s top-flight continued on Saturday, with the Bulls comfortably brushing aside Doncaster East with a final quarter surge, 13.14 (92) to 11.6 (72).
In second-place on the table, the Bulls didn’t have it their own way throughout the contest – in fact the home side trailed at both half-time and the final change – but had enough class across the lines to slam on four goals to one in the final term.
The home side had 27 scoring shots as it pushes hard for top spot on the ladder in what has been an outstanding season so far.
Big man Kieren Byers was immense for the Bulls, controlling stoppages to have a big say on proceedings in the crucial moments of the contest, while regular ball winners Jack Sketcher and Kyle Martin lifted a cog when they needed to.
Liam Scott – after starring down back last week – booted three in another highly promising performance.
In a mouth-watering contest on Saturday, the Bulls will take on the top-of-the-table Vermont, in what is destined to be a clash with plenty of observers.
Rowville, meanwhile, went down to Blackburn at Seebeck Oval, 14.8 (92) to 10.11 (71).
In Southern’s Division 2, Springvale Districts goal machine Matt Wetering once again had a day out, snagging eight as his side banked a 76-point win against Heatherton, 17.15 (117) to 6.5 (41).
Wetering – who now has 61 snags from his 12 matches this season – was absolutely dominant as the Demons extended its unbeaten run in the competition in 2021.
The 11-0 Demons were also well served by Stefan Feehan (four goals), Daniel Spence and Matt Thompson in the dominant win – which was set up in the first term.
Keysborough were also big winners, with a 60-point drumming of Hampton, 14.6 (90) to 4.6 (30).
The Burra took just over a quarter to set the game up, leading by 23 points at half-time, before slamming on seven goals to one in the third and final quarters.
And Hampton Park banked a gritty 10-point win against Skye, 8.12 (60) to 6.14 (50).
In Division 3, the Doveton Eagles turned in one of its most promising performances in some time – and most valiant of the season – in a nail-biting draw with South Yarra, 11.1 (67) to 9.13 (67).
The Eagles led narrowly for the majority of the day, but the Lions fought back late from a 17-point deficit to tie up the game.
Despite the draw, it was a day of great optimism for the rebuilding club, with Leigh Tannahill the star of the show with four goals.
Joshua Johns, Brayden Oliver and Zakk Johns were named in the best for the Eagles, who will take plenty out of the performance.
And Endeavour Hills fell narrowly short by six-points to Ashwood at Essex Heights Reserves, 14.7 (91) to 12.13 (85).
The Falcons led by as much as 16 at half time, but an eight-goal to four second half was the difference with the home side finishing stronger.
Byron Parton, Matt Rogerson (three goals) and Sean Van Velsen were the best for the visitors.
Division 4 saw Hallam fire up against Lyndale at Barry Powell Reserve, with the Hawks winning by 66 points, 15.7 (97) to 4.7 (31).
The Hawks set the game up with an eye-catching five goal first term, and despite some fightback in the second term from the home side, the visitors slammed on four unanswered goals in the third to extend their margin to 48 points.
Impressively, the Hawks didn’t stop there, slamming on four more goals in the last.
Brendan Reynolds’ strong season continued with a dominant display, while Ben Coutet, Tom Bradley and Jack Sharlassian combined for 10 goals on the day.
In the remaining match, Dandenong suffered a tough 150-point defeat to premiership favourites Carrum Patterson Lakes, 29.15 (189) to 5.9 (39).
Despite the heavy loss, the Redlegs battled hard, with Luke Dinger, Dakota De Santis and Lenny Van Schaik named in the best.