By Roy Ward
SOUTHERN Dragons continued to rise in their maiden Southern Football League division 2 season with a 45-point win over South Yarra on Saturday.
The Dragons have now have two wins from their opening four matches and have moved two games clear of the relegation zone, with South Yarra and Black Rock still winless.
With six goals in the second term and seven in the third, the Dragons were home by three-quarter time and their early goals proved vital as the game turned into a mud wrestle in the final term as the heavy conditions took hold.
New Dragons coach Scott Hilton praised his side’s efforts and applauded their endless capacity to run. “One thing I’ve learnt about these players is that they will go as hard into a contest in the final minute as they do in the first,” he said.
The Dragons were also buoyed by the return of inspirational midfielder Jason Yap, who kicked three goals.
“Jason’s physical fitness is outstanding,” Hilton said. “He is a personal trainer and he is so hard into the contests and is so fit he is almost untaggable. He also brings a good vibe to the group.”
James Cheah was named best player along with Bryan Grundy, Dan Rawlins and Lui Nguyen. “Cheah was hard at the contest all day and Rawlins was at his usual best, moving between centre half-forward and centre half-back. He has been a fantastic recruit for the club.”
Hilton said the Dragons had to continue to focus on each game and find ways to get their full squad on the training track.
“It’s just about consistency from here. The endeavour is there but we have doctors, surgeons, lawyers and all other types among our players so it’s hard to get them all on the park.
“Anything is possible. We would like to play finals but it’s just about developing our core group and the club as a whole. We don’t want to be making up the numbers and in three to five years we would love to be playing in division 1.”
In other division 2 clashes Oakleigh District continued its winning ways, beating Hampton by 13 points, while Springvale Districts had another loss, kicking four goals, 15 behinds in its loss to East Malvern.
Doveton Eagles were once again winners and shape as leading contenders for the division 3 premiership joining Moorabbin with four straight wins after four rounds.