By AKSHAY KAPADIA
OAK Park hosted the Hillside Sharks in what was the EDFL’s Match of the Day.
Oak Park sat in fourth position on the ladder after their two-point win over Westmeadows at home last week, while Hillside was a win behind Oak Park in fifth, losing to competition leader Craigieburn at home.
This game was always going to bring something special, as both teams fought it out for a top four spot.
Hillside shot off to a brilliant start to the game.
Liam Johnstone kicked the first goal in the opening minute. This was followed up by Brandon Coletta’s mark inside the goal square to put the Sharks two goals up.
Oak Park got their first of the game through a free kick inside the forward 50, and then took the lead with two separate uncontested marks inside 50 leading to goals for Liam Molloy and Rhys Bloomfield.
At the end of the quarter, Oak Park held a comfortable eight-point lead.
Oak Park continued to move ahead with the first goal of the second quarter, but from there it was all Hillside as they piled on the remaining six goals for the half.
The tide had definitely turned in favour of Hillside and with an 11-point lead at halftime, they were looking to extend their advantage further in the third term, and they did so after the long break.
Hillside kicked six out of the next seven goals to put them even further in front halfway into the third quarter.
Oak Park battled to get back into the game, but couldn’t find a way in, leaving themselves 33 points down at the last change.
The Kangaroos did kick the first two majors of the last quarter, but that was all they could manage as fatigue slowed the game down and Hillside eventually finished with the last two goals of the game.
It ended a 36-point win for Hillside with Mohamed Taleb finishing the day with four majors.
For Oak Park, this means that they have fallen out of the top four, but are still level on points with Hillside, who now sit fourth.
This week, Oak Park travel down to Hadfield in a game they should win.
Hillside hosts Westmeadows in what is the standout Essendon Ford Division 1 fixture of Round 13.
OAK PARK | 11.9-75
Goal Kickers: D. Clare 3, R. Bloomfield 3, L. Molloy 2, M. Burger 2, L. Howard
Best Players: L. Howard, R. Bloomfield, M. Burger, D. Campbell, M. Dalrymple, D. Clare
HILLSIDE | 17.9-111
Goal Kickers: M. Taleb 4, B. Coletta 3, R. Weightman 2, M. Micallef 2, L. Johnstone 2, J. Micallef, T. Stone, J. Volpato, J. Bertollo
Best Players: J. Volpato, M. Taleb, T. Stone, J. Sinclair, M. Micallef, L. Johnstone