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Round 9 Preview - Essendon Ford Division 1

By TARA MURRAY (Star Weekly)


TULLAMARINE v AIRPORT WEST

Live 2pm on Mixlr.com/edflfooty & 98.9 North West FM

THIS match will give the best idea of which side is the Essendon Ford Division 1 favourite heading into the halfway point of the season.

Both sides have had periods of dominance and are getting wins on the board, but we haven’t seen the best of either side.

The Demons are coming off their first loss and it could be a welcome reality check.

In most matches the Demons have come from behind to get the win, but it didn’t happen against Taylors Lakes. 

The Demons depth looks to be a key for them, most recently adding Keilor premiership player Jack Kennedy.

Airport West has done what they needed to this season and sit undefeated.

They have been tested, as they were in their last game against Westmeadows, but have been able to find a way to get the win.

If they come out on top here, they will sit two games clear and be well-deserved premiership favourites.

OAK PARK v JACANA

Could this be the battle to avoid the wooden spoon?

Oak Park finally got on the board in the previous round in a thrilling win against East Keilor.

While they weren’t convincing having to come from behind at three-quarter time, a win is a win when you lose your first six matches.

From the Kangaroos’ perspective, they will be hoping the win will get some confidence in the group and be the start of a run of good results.

This is a must-win for Jacana if they want to try and avoid relegation.

Facing one of the other sides towards the bottom of the ladder, it’s a match they would be setting themselves for.

Injuries and lack of depth has hurt the Jaguars this season, but if they play to their best, there’s no reason why they can’t win.

And surely, Jason Cloke is due for a bag of goals.

CRAIGIEBURN v TAYLORS LAKES

While there is the fight for top spot going on around the grounds, this game could quite easily be the match of the round.

These are two surprise packets of the division, with both sides having been able to match it with the top teams for periods of time.

Craigieburn comes off two weeks without a game, which could work one of two ways.

For the Eagles the biggest thing is consistency within games, with lapses of concentration seeing bags of goals kicked against them.

The Lions caused the biggest upset of the season so far in their last match, against Tullamarine.

With the exception of a couple of poor quarters, the Lions have been as good as anyone. 

The confidence is growing in the playing group and another win here would cement their spot in the top four.

WESTMEADOWS v EAST KEILOR

Westmeadows is hoping the break hasn’t halted the momentum it had started to get the last few weeks.

While the Tigers haven’t been getting the results, they are starting to push the top teams and could have quite easily beaten Airport West in their last outing.

The young playing group has started to gel, with the likes of Josh Hale matching it with the top players. 

Once the Tigers get a bit more consistency, expect to see them get a few more wins and maybe sneak into the top four.

East Keilor, which was highly touted in the pre-season, will be hoping the second part of the year is a lot better.

There’s been a lot going on behind the scenes, including former co-coach Nick Grigg leaving the club.

They’ll be looking forward to getting on the park and hopefully have a change of fortunes.

Injuries haven’t helped the Cougars cause with many of their off-season recruits missing several games, but they still wouldn’t be happy with just one win at this point.

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