Rosebud has taken an extraordinary leap from eighth to fifth on the Chisholm MPNFL Division One ladder after an upset 35-point victory over Dromana at Pier Street on Saturday.
The Tigers were expected to be too strong for the Buds on their feared home deck but trailed at every change to end a five-game winning streak.
Ethan Johnstone booted four goals for the Tigers, but three goals each to Tim Lincoln and Josh Fisher and another brilliant display from gun midfielder Sean Downie inspired the Buds to their best win for the season.
Perennial finalists Sorrento and Frankston YCW produced an absolute classic at David MacFarlan Reserve with the Sharks prevailing by five points to maintain their position at the top of the ladder.
There was never more than five points the difference at the three change of ends with the Sharks kicking 3.3 to 2.4 in the final term to break a three-quarter-time deadlock.
Leigh Poholke was typically efficient up forward, snagging five for the winners who welcomed back coach Luke Tapscott for his first game in a month.
Chad Harris and Jye Lloyd were tremendous for the Sharks, while Grant Lofthouse and Josh Butland played inspired footy for the Stonecats – who have now lost three consecutive games.
Mornington appears certain to be relegated to division two in 2020 after the Bulldogs were overrun by Edithvale-Aspendale at Alexandra Park.
The Bulldogs led at every change but were outscored by five goals to two in the final quarter – losing by six points – to fall two games and percentage behind the Eagles at the bottom of the ladder.
At Bonbeach, Trent Dennis-Lane kicked four goals to propel the Sharks to an impressive 27-point victory over Frankston.
Luke Verma, Mitch Gent and defender Matt Douglas were fine contributors for the Sharks, while Ryan Marks-Logan and midfielder Jake Greeley were best for the Bombers.
Bonbeach now sits one game clear of a chasing pack in fourth spot on the ladder.
And reigning premier Pines has out-slogged Mt Eliza to score a grinding 16-point victory at Eric Bell Reserve.
Lachie Marshall showed character, bouncing back strongly from a poor game against Sorrento last week, to be best on the ground, while Ben Thomas added another scalp to his growing collection in defence.
Tom Small and the consistent Ethan Park shouldered most of the workload for the Redlegs.
Chisholm MPNFL Division Two also produced a thriller with Chelsea now a game clear in third place on the ladder after a 9.9.63 to 7.16.58 win over Somerville at Beardsworth Avenue.
The Gulls trailed at every change but dug deep in the final term, kicking 2.2 to 0.4 to edge out the inaccurate Eagles. Experienced duo Todd Gardiner and Brad Clark were superb for the Gulls, while Curtis Bywater bagged five goals in a match-winning display up forward.
Tom Roberts, Nick Mason and Rowan Hogenbirk were terrific for the Eagles, who wasted their chances by kicking 1.8 to 5.4 after half time.
Red Hill made it 11 wins in a row with another comprehensive victory, this time a 30-point triumph over a gallant Langwarrin at the Red Hill Showgrounds.
The Hillmen came no-where near their average score of 131 points for the season but were still never seriously challenged for the four premiership points.
Danny Allsop and Marcus Dal Lago continued their great form for the Hillmen, while Blake Harkness, Jarryd Amalfi and Tim McGenniss were best for the Kangaroos.
Former Carlton star Brendan Fevola kicked two goals in Hastings’ 67-point victory over Crib Point.
In other games, Dylan Sloan and Andy Teakel kicked three goals each in Seaford’s 43-point victory over Tyabb, while Brendan Fevola played his first game since round seven for Hastings in a 67-point win over Crib Point.
Fevola kicked two for the Blues, with Luke Hewitt and Caleb Watkins stealing the spotlight with three goals each for the winners. Jake Hewitt and Steve Robb were terrific for the Blues, while Jarrod Fisk, Declan Gould and Tim Cook were the better players for the Magpies.
Netball also produced a fantastic finish, with Mornington and Edithvale-Aspendale playing out a thrilling draw at Alexandra Park.
Two of this year’s premiership favourites finished locked on 39-all, showing the premiership race is as wide open as it has ever been.
The previously top-of-the-table Bulldogs drop to second place on the ladder after Rosebud scored a hard-fought 57-53 victory over Dromana. The Buds have now won five games on the trot and thoroughly deserve their top ranking in the competition.
In other games, Frankston scored a 34-goal win over Bonbeach while Pines kept its finals hopes alive with a four-goal victory over Mt Eliza. And third-placed Sorrento was too good for Frankston, winning 58-41 at Sorrento.
A great defensive effort from Crib Point kept Hastings to a losing score at Hastings on Saturday.
In division two, Crib Point has announced itself as the team to beat for this year’s flag with a 55-41 triumph over Hastings.
The Magpies were runners up last year and appear determined to go one step further in 2019.
Langwarrin had a strong win over Red Hill, while Seaford stamped its papers as dangerous with a 45-33 victory over Tyabb. The Tigers have now won their last five games in impressive fashion.
And Somerville rounded out a super-Saturday of sport in the MPNFL with a 42-36 victory over Chelsea. The Eagles have now won three of their last four but face a big test against Karingal next week.
Karingal, Devon Meadows, Pearcedale and Rye all had a bye on the weekend.