Saints too strong for Eagles

Josh Mounter continued his solid form for Beaconsfield in a 33-point loss to South Belgrave. 402311 Picture: ROB CAREW

By David Nagel

South Belgrave is the proud owner of the Rik ‘Crazy’ Crook Cup after a dominant second quarter steered the Saints to a 33-point victory over Beaconsfield on Saturday night.

A big crowd turned out to witness the battle for a cup named after a legend of both football clubs, with Beaconsfield forced to make two key changes heading in.

The Eagles were missing the imposing presence of key forward Charlie Muley, along with classy winger Lachie Modica.

In their place came two debutants, with Finn Devine and Ben Fogarty getting their chance at senior level after long junior careers at the club.

South slightly had the better of the opening exchanges, with more efficient conversion leading to an 11-point lead at quarter time.

Jafar Ocaa quickly cut that back to five, but the Saints then controlled the second term from that point forward.

And it was their key focal points, Tim Smith and Damian Garner, that did most of the damage.

Will Evans got the Saints rolling with a long bomb from outside 50, before Smith showed his class with two-consecutive majors.

At the 14-minute mark he produced the classic; strong lead, mark and goal, before being the beneficiary of a ruck infringement just four minutes later.

When Garner then took a strong grab at the 22-minute mark of the term, the Saints had booted out to a 32-point lead.

The icing on the cake came when Lachie Benson ran into an open goal to make it 38 points at half time.

The Eagles outscored the Saints – 7.5 to 6.6 – after the break, but the early damage had been done.

South had many great contributors on the night, with Charlie Peters, Sean Bartels and Cayden Black having the better of the midfield duels, while Tyreece Leiu, Jordan Nuku and Will Bromley were super-effective down back.

Beaconsfield had no answer to the dual threats of Smith and Garner, who finished with five and three goals respectively.

The Eagles went down fighting in their first loss for the season with Brandon White limiting the damage down back, while Josh Mounter continued his rock-solid start to the season with a fine game on centre wing.

The visitors missed the commanding presence of Muley at centre-half-forward, with Jake Bowd forced to move from his regular spot in defence to provide a mobile option.

Ryan Williamson battled hard in the ruck, while Jack Doherty provided White with some valuable assistance down back.

Bowd finished with two for the third-placed Eagles, who face another tough away trip this week when they head to second-placed Montrose.

SOUTH BELGRAVE 3.1 8.4 12.10 14.10(94)

BEACONSFIELD 1.2 2.2 5.5 9.7(61)

South Belgrave Goals: Tim Smith 5, Damian Garner 3, Lachlan Benson 2, Daniel Wynd 2, William Evans, Jack Meyers. Best: Tim Smith, Tyreece Leiu, Charlie Peters, Will Bromley, Jordan Nuku, Tate Laub.

Beaconsfield Goals: Jake Bowd 2, Declan Curran, Myles Currie, Damien Johnston, Sam Merrick, Jafar Ocaa, Tylah Stokoe, Nathan Wright. Best: Brandon White, Joshua Mounter, Myles Currie, Jack Docherty, Ryan Williamson, Devon Smith.

Other Games: Mitcham 12.7(79) def by Bayswater 13.9(87), Mooroolbark 13.8(86) def North Ringwood 9.9(63), Park Orchards 15.18(108) def Montrose 12.16(88), Wantirna South 10.13(73) def by Doncaster 16.13(109).

Ladder Round 4: Park Orchards 16, Montrose, Beaconsfield, South Belgrave, Bayswater 12, North Ringwood, Mitcham, Doncaster, Mooroolbark 4, Wantirna South 0.

Fixture Round 5: Montrose v Beaconsfield, Mooroolbark v Bayswater, North Ringwood v Doncaster, Park Orchards v South Belgrave, Wantirna South v Mitcham.