Footscray 17.7 (109) def. Richmond 7.9 (51)
Footscray handed Richmond their second loss for the season whilst simultaneously knocking them off the top spot after a 58-point win on Saturday afternoon.
A great day for Footscray saw them not only defeat the top Tigers, but it also saw Mitch Wallis return for his first game since sustaining an ankle injury. The experienced midfielder finished the game unscathed and recorded 22 disposals and six tackles.
Rhylee West continued to show his consistency with another spectacular game. The father-son prospect gathered 24 disposals and two goals, further strengthening his chances of an AFL call up. Bailey Dale and Will Hayes were the two leading ball winners, finishing with 27 and 26 disposals respectively, whilst also scoring three goals between them.
Footscray have the opportunity to go back-to-back in round 15 when they come up against Casey Demons later this week.
Liam Baker was a light of hope in Richmond’s loss. In his second VFL appearance since being omitted from the AFL side, Baker was moved into defence, a role he does not usually play. Despite the unfamiliar positioning Baker went on to record a game-high 29 disposals whilst laying six tackles, his strong performance putting him in contention for an AFL recall. Fellow defender Patrick Naish also performed well with 18 disposals.
Jack Higgins and Oleg Markov both contributed to the scoreboard, Higgins scoring one goal from his 22 disposals and Markov slotting two along with 11 marks. Duo Jacob Townsend and Connor Menadue collected 20 touches each and finished with a combined 13 tackles.
Richmond looks to get back on the winners list this round when they face Werribee.
Werribee 11.11 (77) def. by Collingwood 12.8 (80)
Collingwood have recorded their third consecutive win after defeating Werribee by three points at Avalon Airport Oval on Saturday.
John Noble is inching closer and closer to an AFL call up after yet another stellar performance in the VFL. The quick defender and wingman was picked up by Collingwood in the mid-season draft and after only three VFL games, has the potential to be next for an AFL call up. Noble collected 28 disposals in his sides win, earning himself a spot in Collingwood’s best.
A match winning mark on the goal line from Mark Keane saw Collingwood victorious, with the backline working hard all day to hold off Werribee. Jack Madgen was also strong in defence, finishing with 23 disposals.
The midfield showed a lot of positives with Rupert Wills returning from calf injury and gathering a game-high 29 disposals along with seven tackles. Speedster Ben Crocker finished the day with 17 disposals and a goal, Tyler Brown had 20 touches and rookie ruckman Max Lynch showed promising signs with 33 hitouts, 16 possessions and a goal.
Collingwood will face Williamstown later this week in the hopes of securing another win.
Box Hill Hawks 13.7 (85) def. Geelong 11.9 (75)
The thrilling game saw Box Hill trail by three points with less than two minutes on the clock, but a free kick 50-meters out from goal saw the Hawks slot the goal they needed before scoring yet again to defeat the Cats by 10 points.
Box Hill’s Jackson Ross kicked the last goal of the day, helping his side cement their lead. Ross finished the day with two goals from 26 disposals. Ruckman Jonathon Ceglar also found himself hitting the scoreboard. Dominating the ruck all day, the big man finished with 48 hitouts, 24 disposals and a goal.
Box Hill will face Frankston in round 15 where they look to go back-to-back.
Geelong were handed their sixth loss for the season after a devastating 10 point loss to Box Hill, which saw the game come down to the final two minutes.
James Parsons was strong in the midfield, collecting 23 disposals and adding two goals to the scoreboard. Also impressive in the midfield was Scott Selwood. Selwood was dangerous around the ground, collecting 20 disposals and laying 11 tackles.
Quinton Narkle and Sam Simpsons finished with 22 and 15 disposals respectively and finished with one goal apiece.
Geelong will face Sandringham this round, with both sides looking to redeem themselves from round 14 losses.
Casey Demons 11.19 (85) def. Northern Blues 11.6 (72)
The Northern Blue had a opened with a strong first half, taking the lead by 13 points heading in to the main break, but a surge of energy of Casey saw the Blues held to a 1.1 third quarter and ultimately lose to the Demons by 13 points.
Jake Lever finished the game unscathed after returning from a bone bruising injury he sustained in round 12 against Collingwood. Lever puts his name in contention for an AFL recall with his 16 disposal and eight mark display.
James Jordon and Corey Maynard recorded equal team-high disposals, collecting 25 touches each as well as a combined 12 tackles. Toby Bedford and Oskar Baker presented in front of goal with two and one goal respectively.
The Demons face Geelong with round, with both teams coming off of wins in round 14, looking to go back-to-back.
After an impressive first half, skill errors in the third and fourth quarters cost the Northern Blues the four points, handing Casey the victory.
The Northern Blues are tasked with a challenge when they come up against Port Melbourne later this week where they will look to sharpen their skills and hopefully emerge victorious.
North Melbourne 14.14 (98) def. Sandringham 5.11 (41)
In near perfect football conditions, Sandringham started strong, slotting the first goal of the game but it was all downhill from there as North Melbourne ran circles around the Zebras to record a 57-point win.
Majak Daw returned for his first game since breaking his hips and pelvis last December. A large crowd grew to see Daws successful return in what was a happy day for North Melbourne. Daw played two eight minute blocks in his first game back and recorded four disposals and took a contested mark in defence.
Also down back was Ben McKay, the tall defender positioned himself in the right places to collect 23 disposals whilst also taking 14 marks. On the opposite end of the field, Curtis Taylor and Taylor Garner dominated the forward line, slotting four and two goals respectively.
North Melbourne will face Essendon this week, who found themselves sitting in the top spot after a win in round 14.
Whilst a 57-point loss was not what Sandringham wanted to achieve last weekend, some positives came out of the game.
Jack Lonie successfully returned from his knee injury with a spectacular performance. The small forward slotted three of Sandringham’s five goals and exited the game unscathed. Bailey Rice also contributed a goal to the scoreboard, he also collected 20 disposals.
Sam Rowe was strong in the air; the ruckman finished the game with 20 hitouts as well as 13 disposals. Assisting him in the midfield was veteran David Armitage who had 17 disposals.
Sandringham hope to redeem themselves and secure their sixth win of the season when they face Geelong in round 15.
Coburg 8.11 (59) def. by Essendon 15.8 (98)
Essendon reclaimed their spot on the top of the ladder this week after defeating Coburg by 39 points on Sunday afternoon.
The Dons dominated all day, holding Coburg goalless in the second quarter, seeing them extend their lead to 48 points at the main break. Josh Begley, who was omitted from the senior side, pushes for an AFL recall after a phenomenal 20 possession and three goal game.
Teammates David Myers and Brayden Ham also found plenty of the ball, recording 26 and 25 disposals respectively. Will Snelling continued to show promising signs. Snelling was picked up during the mid-season draft and continues to perform consistently with another 33 disposal game.
On a negative note, Brandon Zerk-Thatcher and Kobe Mutch both suffered injuries (finger and leg, respectively), seeing them sidelined for the remainder of the game. The extent of their injuries is yet to be confirmed.
Essendon look to hold on to their spot at the top of the table, hoping to emerge victorious when they face North Melbourne in round 15.