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Round 17 Preview - Essendon Ford Division 1

By TARA MURRAY (Star Weekly)


TULLAMARINE v TAYLORS LAKES

THIS is the biggest match of the round and most important in deciding the last finals spot.

Both these sides have tough last round matches against the other two teams in the top four, so a win here is vital to get the upper hand.

For the Demons, they already know that they will finish in the top two and will face Airport West in the final round and again in the first week of finals.

Having lost to the Lions last time round, they would be keen to get a win this time around.

Last round, the Demons had no troubles in beating Jacana. The Demons won every quarter in the easy win, with Anthony Prestia the standout.

The Lions have the toughest final two rounds of the season and will likely need to win both matches to play finals.

They’ll be hoping the week off will have them fresh to get the points against the Demons for a second time.

HILLSIDE v JACANA

This is the Sharks’ last chance to push for a finals spot with a bye in the final round.

While on paper, the Sharks should easily account for the Jaguars, there will be a lot of pressure on the Sharks to make sure they win.

The Sharks enter the match on the back of some solid form in their win against East Keilor.

They took control in the second quarter, but they weren’t able to blow out the margin.

Had they kicked straight it might have been a bit different.

Raafat Rachrache kicked four goals for the Sharks, with Liam Johnstone and Jackson Volpato named their best.

For the Jaguars, they will be hoping to finally get that breakthrough win they’ve been searching for.

The Jaguars showed signs they can put a half decent score on the board against Tullamarine, despite being on the end of a big loss.

It was always going to be tough for the Jaguars against the ladder leaders.

Jason Cloke had his best return of the season with six goals and was named his side’s best.

OAK PARK v EAST KEILOR

This is the one match this week that won’t have any impact on finals, but could easily be the closest of the round.

The Kangaroos and Cougars have had similar seasons and could end up on the same amount of points come season’s end.

Both come into this match having lost to sides that could be finals-bound.

The Kangaroos struggled against Airport West which was looking to return to form after a shock loss.

Aden Harris was the standout for the Kangaroos, kicking four of their six goals, and was named their best.

It was a bit closer for the Cougars against Hillside, but they were never close enough to really challenge.

Dimitrios Guicas kicked three goals for the Cougars, while Matthew Knight continued his good form.

WESTMEADOWS v AIRPORT WEST

For these two teams, the final two rounds will take on very different looks.

The Tigers will be hoping to finish the season on a high, after struggling in the back half of the year.

Their last win was in Round 10 and before that it was Round 3.

With a young playing group, the season has taken its toll.

The Tigers started well against Craigieburn on Saturday, before the Eagles put the foot down on their way to an easy win.

Dean Clare kicked three goals for the Tigers, with Justin Taylor and Clayton Campbell the best in the loss.

They have a tough ask ahead of them here against Airport West.

The Eagles produced their biggest score of the season as they accounted for Oak Park.

Alex Penaluna, Brendan Godden and Ned Gentile all kicked five goals for the Eagles and nine other players hit the scoreboard.

While the Eagles have already secured a double chance, wins in the final two rounds would give them top spot and the minor premiership.

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