Vermont has moved into outright second place on the First Division ladder after recording a solid 79 point victory over South Croydon at Terrara Road. The win taking the Eagles to seven wins on the “spin” as the season entered the half way mark. The four points on offer was set up for collection by half time as the Eagles raced to a commanding 60 point lead after kicking eleven unanswered goals to completely bamboozle the opposition. 

Tom Schneider relished the greasy conditions with a solid four quarter display winning countless contested ball. David Barton once again continued his superb recent form with another dominant display down back. Young Guns Lachie Johns, Ryan Wilson and Xavier Barry-Murphy also had stellar performances with the latter playing arguably his best match this season to date. 

Up forward Justin Van Unen moved to 34 goals for the season with a solid return of six but once again he let another opportunity slip of a much bigger haul missing another six gilt edged chances. One would suggest that when he does have a day out that a double figure tally is just around the corner. He currently now sits second on the First Division goal kicking table one behind Rowville’s Cody Morris.    

Going into the match missing key defender Dean Millhouse and star forward Matt Greig along with Robbie Ross and Ash Froud still sidelined the Eagles were quick to get off the mark early in the first quarter.  Just two minutes in Travis Bird made no mistake close range from a tight angle as the goal umpire put out the two fingers. Within a matter of six minutes the Eagles were caught flat footed as the visitors kicked three unanswered goals to race out to a 12 point lead. 

Stung into action van Unen brought up his first of the afternoon with 13 minutes on the clock bending a goal from deep in the pocket at the Terrara Road end. Goals to Nathan Henley, another to van Unen, Simon Taylor and Lachie Johns in a six minute period suddenly had the Eagles three goals to the good with quarter time approaching.  

Qtr Time: Vermont 6-3-(39) South Croydon 3-2-(20) 

The second quarter was totally dominated from start to finish by the Eagles who six goals for the quarter holding the visitors in return to a slender one point. Simon Taylor got the quarter off to a flying start making no mistake in the opening minute with a fine strike from 35 metres out. Four minutes later van Unen moved the lead out to 34 points when he snapped the ball around the corner.   Ben Crowe back into the side after missing the last start win at East Burwood kicked one of the candidates for goal of the day. Tucked 40 metres deep on the boundary at the Canterbury Road end, the player dubbed “Crowbar” kicked a sweetly hit drop punt as straight as a dye giving the goal umpire hardly any work to do to signal a goal. 

With a minute Andrew Ellis further extended the lead converting from a free kick at the 15 minute mark of the quarter. A goal on the run from Xavier Barry-Murphy and a goal just as time on entered from Nathan Henley saw the deficit reach an even ten goal mark. 

 Half Time: Qtr Time: Vermont 12-9-(81) South Croydon 3-3-(21) 

With heavy rain sweeping the ground during the half time interval both teams slogged out the opening ten minutes of the quarter trying to both find some cohesion. Van Unen finally broke the ice 11 minutes in with his fourth of the afternoon with a dinky snap shot on goal to extend the lead out to 69 points. 

Blair Allan finally ended the Bulldogs goal drought that had extended to over an hour when he kicked his second of the afternoon.  Lachie Johns then quickly counteracted that goal with a nice set shot from 35 metres before Allan again got on the score sheet for the visitors with his third of the afternoon.

But in the dying minutes of the quarter van Unen struck twice in a matter of 60 seconds to take his tally out to six and the lead out to 74 points.  

Three Qtr Time: Qtr Time: Vermont 16-13-(109) South Croydon 5-5-(35) 

With the contest a fore gone conclusion the visitors looking to restore some pride in the last quarter burst out of the blocks kicking two goals in the opening six minutes through David King and Rob Mallison. 

The diminutive King certainly proving to be a jack of all trades with his summer exploits in the Victorian Premier Cricket competition with Ringwood having seen the opening batsman elevated to the Bushrangers list.  

While on the subject of cricket another former Premier player in the wicket keeping form Kris Bardon finally kicked the Eagles first goal for the quarter at the 21 minute mark after receiving an unselfish pass from van Unen.  With just minutes remaining Andrew Pretto kicked his first senior goal for the club from a free kick making no mistake as his team mates swarmed from afar to join in the celebration. 

Final Score: Qtr Time: Vermont 18-19-(127) South Croydon 7-6-(48) 

Vermont Goals: J.van Unen 6, N.Henley 2, S.Taylor 2, L.Johns 2, X.Barry-Murphy 1, T.Bird 1, K.Bardon 1, A.Pretto 1, A.Ellis 1, B.Crowe 1.

 Vermont Best: T.Schneider, D.Barton, L.Johns, X.Barry-Murphy, R.Wilson, J.Van Unen.

 Next Saturday the Eagles are back on the road venturing out to East Ringwood.




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