EDFL: Hillside Sharks tame Cougars

HILLSIDE tightened its grip on the top rung of the Essendon District Football League division 2 ladder with a 66-point win over East Keilor on Saturday.

The Sharks, who are yet to field their best team due to injury, battled trying conditions at Hillside Reserve to overcome the Cougars, who managed just four goals for the afternoon.

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Hillside set up the 15.8 (98) to 4.8 (32) win with a terrific opening term, kicking six goals and holding East Keilor to just one. The Sharks kicked only three goals in the next hour but still maintained pressure defensively, restricting the Cougars in front of goal – they would kick only one goal in each quarter.

Leading by 36 points at the final break, Hillside slammed home six goals in the final term to give their percentage another boost – the Sharks are now at 293.66 per cent, well ahead of Moonee Valley on 225.46.

Hillside and Moonee Valley are in a two-horse race for the division 2 title, the teams sitting three games clear of Roxburgh Park in third. Both have dropped just one game this season, Hillside to Moonee Valley in round six and the Valley to Coburg Districts in a shock loss in round nine.

Sharks president Scott Absolum praised the win given the tough conditions. 

“The ground is very, very heavy at the moment but the brand of football we’re playing is sensational. I couldn’t be more pleased,” he said.

“We started like a house on fire before East Keilor shut us down a bit. But the guys dug deep and it’s always good to beat East Keilor because they’re one of the sides that will be up there come finals time.”

As for his club’s injuries, Absolum expects to be at full strength within three weeks, and he predicts selection headaches.

“We had nine or 10 guys who sat out the first six or seven games,” he said. “But it’s meant we’ve been able to blood a lot of young kids and reserve grade players. Unfortunately, there are going to be five or six that miss out in the last couple of weeks.”

Also in EDFL division 2, Keilor Park trailed Roxburgh Park all day and eventually lost by 19 points. The two clubs switched spots on the ladder in the process. In premier division, Keilor’s finals hopes are all but extinguished. They’re three games out of the top four after a 23-point loss to Avondale Heights.