R13 NOBLE PARK
DAVE WATSON'S SENIOR MATCH REVIEW
Seven days is a long time in football.
A week after being comprehensively defeated by Balwyn, Vermont bounced back in the best possible way with a solid 20 point victory over Noble Park at Terrara Road.
With a growing injury list which includes the likes of Robbie Ross, Ash Froud, Matt Greig, Paul Chadwick and Grant McCarthy which would indeed test most clubs depth, the Eagles went into this contest looking to regain some lost ground and let the competition know it may be just a one horse race come September.
The significance of the win was simply two fold. Moving back into second place on the ladder and a four point buffer over the Bulls.
The Eagles now have a real chance to sew up that position on the ladder with upcoming outings against Lilydale (a), Scoresby (a), East Burwood (h), Norwood (a) and Blackburn (h) in the run home to the finals.
One of the rare players to stand up last outing was Ryan Mullett and the skipper once against led by example with a superb best on ground performance. At times there must be the connotation that Mullett brings his own ball to a match given the amount of times his hands attach themselves to leather.
Close behind the leader was the diminutive "pack crasher" Tom Schneider who once again relished the wintery conditions with a solid four quarter performance. Having been starved of opportunities the week prior, Justin van Unen returned back to the head of the goal kicking list with seven goals taking his season tally to 59 which is four goals clear of his nearest rival Rowville’s Cody Morris.
Once again the unpredictability of the full forward was again on show when in the third quarter he somehow missed the most certain of goals you are ever likely to see when from a metre out he some how managed to miss the lot not evening registering a point.
After a tentative start with the Bulls grabbing the first two goals, the Eagles then moved out to a two goal lead kicking four unanswered goals. Not to be denied the visitors bounced back kicking the next three goals to take a six point lead into the quarter time break.
With Dean Millhouse really marshalling the defence and Mullett carving up the midfield the Eagles look another level at times in the second quarter and were rewarded with a five goal to two quarter to turn the deficit into a 14 point lead at the main break.
The victory without question being set up in the third quarter as the Eagles blew the lead out to 36 points with a comprehensive six goal to two quarter.
The final quarter had the Bulls never really threatening to seize control despite winning the quarter on the scoreboard. Their forward line despite having some quality performers in Matt Dunne, Brett Dore and Shayne Allan never were allowed to breathe as the Eagles defence smothered the majority of their opportunities presented.
Vermont 4-1-25 9-5-59 15-5-95 17-6-108
Noble Park 5-1-31 7-3-45 9-5-59 13-10-88
J.van Unen 7, D.Mendes 3, K.Emley, N.Henley, T.Schneider, X.Barry-Murphy, M.Davis, A.Chiodo, B.Crowe all 1each.
Vermont Best (Watson's choice)
R.Mullett, T.Schneider, J.van Unen, D.Millhouse, D.Mendes, S.Taylor.
Next Saturday the Eagles venture to Lilydale in a split round with the following week no match set down.