TURNING UP THE HEAT
Competition for ladder positions has heated up in the Focus on Furniture Division 2.
With only ladder leader Henley secure, the other finals combinations are unlikely to be determined until the end of the minor round as only two wins separate second from sixth.
There are several contests this week that will, no doubt, see further changes to the ladder following a few switch-a-roos last week.
Third-placed Sacred Heart OC will host fourth-placed Athelstone in the match-of-the-round while Gaza, fifth, will greet PHOS Camden, second, to Klemzig Oval in no lesser clash on Saturday.
Each side swapped places after SHOC emphatically defeated Scotch OC by 95 points, the Phantoms beat Pembroke OS by a resolute 73 points and Athelstone just went down to the mighty Sharks by five points.
Ben Moroney, Jacob Laba, Matthew Delmenico and Tristan Carcuro from Sacred Heart OC controlled their contest from the second quarter onwards last week but they cannot have a down quarter against the Raggies after they highlighted their qualities in just failing to the top side.
It is sure to be another enticing fixture between two sides that will want to be meeting Henley on the final day of the season.
One cannot discount PHOS Camden though from reaching the season-decider, particularly considering it is the second best side in the competition at present.
Orry Cross, Luke May, Harry Cumming and Richard O’Grady will want to stay as such at the end of this week’s clash against the Eagles.
However, Gaza has its own battle on its hands to remain in the top five with Unley Mercedes Jets hot on its heels.
A humbling 23-point loss to an enlightened Broadview would have dented spirits last week so rallying the troops will be crucial for coach Andrew Jarman leading into the Eagles next encounter.
The Jets maintained their pressure on Gaza with a hard fought 13-point win over Old Ignatians last week.
Any further frailties shown from the Eagles will see the Jets soar into their coveted finals position.
The emergence of the Tigers in recent weeks though will ensure Unley Mercedes will not be gifted victory on Saturday.
Nick Petch, Mitchell Duval, Nick Stuart and Ben Jamieson must prepare for another challenging battle as taking Broadview lightly in its current form could have far greater implications.
The distinct possibility now of avoiding relegation has lifted the morale of Josh Sheppard, Brodie Pearce, Josh Tziortzis and Zach Slade around Tigerland of late, particularly after elevating themselves off the bottom of the ladder after last week’s triumph.
At that lower end of the ladder, Scotch OC has now found itself at the base and hosts Old Ignatians on Saturday in an effort to clear demotion contention.
Pembroke OS is in the three-way fight to remain in Division 2 next season but facing Brad Geddes, Damien Williamson, Josh Thewlis and Michael Gautesen of the Sharks won’t see that scenario change this week.
Article: Stephen O’Loughlin | Image: Jayson Vowles