The first bounce in the Community Football League finals series is just over one week away, with the make-up of the Second Grade and Rising Stars final four starting to take shape.
As such, it’s time to head Around the Grounds to check out the latest results heading in to the business end of the season.
The top three sides in Second Grade rose head and shoulders above the rest of the competition as Ainslie, Belconnen, and Tuggeranong all registered 100+ point victories.
Eastlake won a thriller over Ainslie in the Rising Stars competition, whilst Queanbeyan and Marist joined them in the winners’ circle.
Woden were victors again, and Batemans Bay fell agonisingly short of toppling the second-placed Griffins in Third Grade. ADFA/RMC blew Molonglo away to set up an exciting final round.
ANU handed Harman their second loss of the season in Fourth Grade in a thrilling contest. Elsewhere, Woden and ADFA/RMC collected the points.
Goulburn are still waging a war with Cootamundra for the Regional Grade minor premiership after they both emerged victorious, and Ainslie toppled Tuggeranong.
In the Women’s Grade, Eastlake knocked over competition leaders Tuggeranong, and Belconnen booked their spot in the Division One finals series.
Women’s Division Two action saw Molonglo and Ainslie cruise to comprehensive wins, with both sides still fighting it out for a spot in the major semi-final.
SECOND GRADE (ROUND 14)
Ainslie 20.16.136 defeated Eastlake 4.4.28
Darcy Paine kicked five goals in a Best on Ground performance for the Tricolours as they trounced the Demons at Kingston Oval on Friday night. Ainslie took almost every opportunity presented to them on a weekend where the competition’s top three sides blew away the opposition.
Belconnen 23.24.162 defeated Queanbeyan 1.7.13
The competition front-runners made a massive statement to the rest of the competition with a comprehensive 149-point thumping of the finals-bound Tigers. Nathan Blackburn slotted five goals for the victors, who have all-but wrapped up the minor premiership.
Tuggeranong 30.24.204 defeated Gungahlin 0.1.1
The Hawks completed one of the most dominant wins in competition history with a 203-point thumping of the Jets at Gungahlin Enclosed Oval. Holding an insurmountable 128-point lead at three quarter time, Tuggeranong refused to let up as they piled on another 12 goals to close out the game.
RISING STARS (ROUND 14)
Eastlake 6.5.41 defeated Ainslie 5.10.40
Second-placed Eastlake prevailed over the Tricolours in an absolute thriller at Startrack Oval on Saturday. The lead changed hands all throughout the day in what could be a preview of a finals clash come September.
Queanbeyan 14.9.93 defeated Belconnen 2.6.18
Queanbeyan look to be on track to claim back-to-back Rising Stars premierships as another comprehensive win sees the Tigers perched on top of the competition table. Dean Lord slotted three majors for the Tigers in a Best on Ground performance.
Marist 27.19.181 defeated Tuggeranong 3.0.18
Marist’s eighth win of the season ensured that only two victories separate the first-placed Tigers and the fourth-placed Marist on the competition table. Jack Ellis and Michael Kendrick both nailed four goals each to propel their side to victory.
THIRD GRADE (ROUND 17)
ANU 10.14.74 defeated Batemans Bay 12.1.73
Batemans Bay fell agonisingly short of toppling the second-placed Griffins in a breathtaking contest at ANU South Oval. A win would have made this week’s clash against Molonglo a sudden death affair in the race to the finals, but now the Seahawks must pile on the points to leapfrog the Juggernauts on percentage.
Woden 22.19.151 defeated UC 2.0.12
Chris Karchinsky was judged as the best afield as the Blues collected their thirteenth win from fourteen starts in 2015. Karchinsky’s five goals were only bettered by a six goal effort from Lee Campbell, with eight teammates joining them on the scoresheet.
ADFA/RMC 17.17.119 defeated Molonglo 3.8.26
The Rams shot out to a seven-goal lead in the first term, leaving the Juggernauts stunned and well behind the eight-ball. Liam Humphrey kicked five goals for the visitors as they gear up for a massive finals tilt. Molonglo’s Ray Jackson became the competition’s first player to crack the 50-goal barrier for the season.
FOURTH GRADE (ROUND 17)
ANU 10.8.68 defeated Harman 9.7.61
The last time these two sides met, the ladder-leading Hogs made light work of the Griffins with a 101-point victory. It was a completely different story this time around as the Griffins handed Harman their second loss of the 2015 season in a nail-biter at ANU South Oval.
Woden 14.15.99 defeated UC 3.9.27
The Blues collected a vital win in the context of their season as they all but booked their ticket to the finals. Brian Morton and Joshua Campbell kicked three goals each for the victors, whilst Magpie Bradley Fleming was the best of a beaten bunch.
ADFA/RMC 11.19.85 defeated Molonglo 7.8.50
The Rams took an early lead before the Juggernauts clawed their way back in to the contest to cut the margin to just two points at halftime. The third-placed Rams flexed their muscle after the break to pile on six second half goals to Molonglo’s two.
REGIONAL GRADE (ROUND 17)
Ainslie 13.7.85 defeated Tuggeranong 7.7.49
Ainslie held a slender one-point lead heading in to the final term before kicking six unanswered majors to cap off a memorable victory. Brent Ford kicked three goals for Tricolours as they held the Hawks to a mere two behinds in the fourth stanza.
Cootamundra 24.10.154 defeated Cooma 5.7.37
Chris Drum kicked four goals for the Blues as they held their place on top of the competition ladder with a win over the Cats at home. A meeting between these two sides in the finals series is not out of the question.
Goulburn 13.8.86 defeated Yass 3.15.33
Goulburn’s resident sharpshooter Heath Russell again troubled the scorers, nailing five goals for the Swans away from home. Inaccuracy cruelled the hosts, as they only managed three goals to go with a staggering fifteen behinds.
WOMEN’S GRADE (ROUND 4)
Belconnen 8.8.56 defeated Gungahlin 3.7.25
Belconnen booked their place in the finals with a crushing 31-point victory over the Jets at Amaroo. Tanya Taylor kicked four goals for the victors, who have found form just in time for the business end of the season. Recent results suggest that the Magpies could be a dark horse in the finals series.
Eastlake 4.9.33 defeated Tuggeranong 3.5.23
A number of Canberra’s best players were on show as the Demons drew level with the Hawks on the competition ladder with a comeback win. Trailing by three points at the final break, Eastlake outclassed their opposition to set up a mouth-watering final round that will determine the minor premiership winners.
Riverina had the Bye.
Ainslie 12.11.83 defeated ANU 1.0.6
The Tricolours sent a message to the rest of the competition with a brilliant 77-point win over the Griffins at ANU South Oval. The win sees Ainslie edge ahead of Molonglo and ANU in to second-place on the competition ladder.
Molonglo 9.10.64 defeated ADFA/RMC 0.0.0
Lori Dunn slotted four goals in a Best on Ground performance for the Juggernauts to set up a massive 64-point victory. Molonglo’s defence refused to budge as they held the Ewes scoreless at Stirling Oval.
Queanbeyan had the Bye.
ARTICLE WRITTEN FOR AFL CANBERRA