By David Nagel
Two absolute legends of community football have treated MPNFL fans to something very special with Marc Holt and Shane McDonald dominating a Super-Sunday of finals football.
Holt added to an already glittering 1000-goal career with an amazing 11-goal performance in Karingal’s 20-point victory over a brave Somerville in the division two first semi-final at Mornington.
And, not to be outdone, a stunning five-goal haul from superstar midfielder McDonald helped Bonbeach to a 20.9.129 to 10.14.74 victory over Frankston YCW in the division one elimination final at Rye.
McDonald produced a spectacular first-quarter burst, booting three goals in the Sharks electrifying nine-goal opening term that saw them lead a stunned Stonecats outfit by 57 points.
McDonald’s third goal of the quarter, a brilliant left-foot snap on the run after the cleanest of crumbs sums up the skills of one of the best players to have pulled on a jumper in the MPNFL in recent years.
The Stonecats threw everything at the Sharks in the second term, but the dominant team of the first term kicked goals at crucial times against the breeze to hold a comfortable margin at half time.
The Sharks took total control in the second half to run out convincing winners and book a place in next Sunday’s first semi-final against reigning premier Pines at Chelsea.
Holt’s demolition job of the Somerville defence was timely to say the least with the Bulls in danger of letting a great season of football slip away. The champion full-forward burst out of the blocks, booting five first-quarter goals, before finishing the game in style with a dominant last term.
The Bulls looked certain winners in the first term, but didn’t count on a brave Eagles’ revival that saw them draw to within a point of the lead midway through the final quarter. Holt kicked four goals in the final quarter, including a steadying set shot from deep in the forward pocket.
The Bulls now have the chance to turn the tables on their qualifying final conqueror from last week, Langwarrin, in next Saturday’s preliminary final at Somerville.
There was also some terrific netball played in the MPNFL today, with Mornington turning its form around at precisely the right time of year to score a 40-30 victory over Dromana in the division one elimination final.
The Bulldogs were a top-of-the-ladder contender for most of the season but lost their last four games to slip to fifth place on the ladder. The Bulldogs will take on five-time reigning champions Edithvale-Aspendale in next Sunday’s first semi-final.
And Seaford is just one step away from a berth in this year’s division two grand final after ending the season of Hastings with a 49-39 victory at Mornington.
The Tigers now face a huge hurdle in the form Langwarrin in next week’s preliminary final, with the Kangaroos overpowering the Tigers last weekend.
Dromana has set up a blockbuster second semi-final showdown with Southern Peninsula rival Sorrento after a gutsy 16-point victory over Pines in Saturday’s qualifying final at Rosebud.
The Tigers and Sharks will meet on neutral ground at Rye’s RJ Rowley Reserve next Saturday after the Tigers held off a determined Pines outfit in the final term.
The Tigers looked sure winners at three-quarter time – two points ahead and with the aid of a strong breeze in the final term – but took until late into the match to secure a guaranteed place in the last two weeks of finals.
Dromana’s dangerous forward line once again troubled the Pythons, with the exquisite left-boot of Ethan Johnstone contributing four goals and Reece Wilde and skipper Terry Wheeler chiming in with five goals between them.
The experienced pairing of Rohan Bleeker and coach Rikki Johnston were also outstanding for the Tigers, while Billy Geurts more than matched motors with Russell Gabriel in the ruck.
Pines, well it now has to endure a three-week Sunday-survival program if it is to defend its much-publicised title-win from last year.
And the Pythons will need to do so without the reliable Ben Thomas, who will be sorely missed after a dislocation and break to his lower leg.
The Pythons will take on Bonbeach in next Sunday’s first semi-final at Chelsea.
In netball, Sorrento has booked a place in next week’s second semi-final against Rosebud after a thrilling 55-54 extra-time qualifying final victory over Edithvale-Aspendale.
The Sharks and Eagles have been strong rivals over the last two years and have played some great matches – with this one being almost the pick of the bunch.
Edi-Asp had a game-high margin of seven goals before Sorrento struck back to claim a famous victory.
Red Hill appears to have a stranglehold on the Chisholm MPNFL Division Two premiership after the Hillmen dismantled Langwarrin by 40 points in the second semi-final at Chelsea.
The Hillmen made great use of the breeze, booting 14 of their 15 goals in the second and fourth quarters – including a stunning 7.2 to 2.2 final term that extended a 10-point lead at three-quarter time.
Coach Jamie Mollo once again received great consistency across the park with youngster Dan Frampton joining Kyle Beveridge, Jake Mold and Harry Wynn-Pope as some of the Hillmen’s best-performed players.
The club’s leading goalkicker, Jono Ross, was instrumental up forward with five goals, while defender Jonah Siversen showed his enormous value to the team by booting two goals of his own.
Langy – who received great service from the like of Ash Fenech, Gerard Brown and Jesse Murphy – will take on Karingal in next Saturday’s preliminary final at Somerville.
In netball, Crib Point has booked its place in this year’s grand final after a 47-36 victory over Langwarrin.
The Magpies are now just one step away from redemption after losing last year’s grand final to Karingal. Langwarrin will play Seaford in next Saturday’s preliminary final at Somerville.