GDFNL Morris Seniors’ Previews – Round 6

GDFNL Morris Seniors’ Previews – Round 6

Geelong West vs. East Geelong
(Live on 94.7fm the Pulse this Saturday)
It is not often we have eighth vs. second as our match of the round. Yet only eight premiership points divide the two sides on the ladder given the close results in the senior competition.
Geelong West returned to the winners’ list with a 48-point win against Bell Post Hill thanks to a four-goal haul from Portland recruit Jackson Dunlop. While the Giants prevailed with eight changes from their previous winning side against North Geelong. It should be noted that Bell Post Hill were also missing key members as well. All eyes will be on Gus Fraatz, an early favourite for team of the year wingman.
East Geelong has been labelled the in form team by many opposing coaches this week thanks to wins over Thomson, Inverleigh, North Geelong and Corio. However they fell behind in the clearance count to the Devils last week (the first time this has happened since their season opening defeat to the Panthers).
Can Geelong West claim back-to-back wins for the first time since Round 17, 2022 or will the Eagles claw their way to a fifth straight win? 

(Live stream available – click here)
Last time they met – Round 12, 2023. East Geelong 17.15 (117) defeated Geelong West 4.6 (30).

Bannockburn vs. Werribee Centrals 
The Tigers displayed the ultimate team performance against North Geelong on Saturday to capture a 4-1 start to the season. A healthy spread of goal-kickers, a 12+ differential for inside-50s and 10+ uncontested marks saw the Tigers victorious over the Magpies by 15 points. They welcome teenager Callum McCarthy on senior debut and Callum McCarthy who replace the injured Joel Devlin and Ashton Phillips.
The Centurions also sit in the top five and are every chance to secure a 5-1 start for the first time since 2021 if successful this weekend. On the other hand, the visitors will be without Brad Carlton (knee) and Tyler Crennan (unavailable) which will put the extra pressure on Daryl Chesterman, Michael Culliver and Jack Stephenson after tight wins over the Panthers and Blues.
This game could shape the ladder by day’s end.
Last time they met – Round 12, 2023. Werribee Centrals 10.13 (73) defeated Bannockburn 4.8 (32).

Anakie vs. Bell Post Hill
Both sides faced defeat last week and will be hoping to respond in what will be a closer contest than most will think. Anakie president Heath Menhennet revealed this week that he followed the advice of broadcaster Richard ‘Grubby’ Cations and made recruiting his priority. Fast forward to Round 5 and the Roos have rectified their season-opening 36-point defeat to Bannockburn with wins over Werribee and Geelong West and tight defeats to premiership contenders Belmont Lions and North Geelong. This is the Roos’ ultimate chance to end a 16-year drought over the Panthers which was never a reality for stalwarts Mason Rhodes and Jordan Kavanagh in years’ past. 
You can never get ahead of yourself when you’re facing Bell Post Hill though, that was evident against East Geelong in Round 1. The Panthers have been ravaged by injury and had to squeeze out players due to the current points’ system. Nevertheless Jack Yates comes in for the visitors while Anakie will be without Sam Lloyd who wracked up 55 disposals for Anakie last week.
Defender Daniel Banister will also be a very handy inclusion, aiming to nullify Anakie’s key forwards from start to finish. This will be a close one.
Last time they met – Round 12, 2023. Anakie 2.5 (17) defeated by Bell Post Hill 17.23 (125).

Corio vs. Inverleigh
Corio’s 1-4 start does not do the side justice when they’ve closed the gap on countless opponents in recent years. Joel Bennett and Matthew James finished with 40 and 38 disposals respectively last week, an impressive feat against a quality East Geelong midfield. However both admit that fellow midfielders such as Jack Hall and Matthew Jelenic also prove to be just as valuable.
We tend to forget that the Hawks rectified a 1-3 record last year when claiming the senior premiership thanks to a terrific second half of the season. Currently sitting tenth with a 1-4 record, the reigning premier has scored less points than the 11th placed Devils to make this clash interesting. While the absences of captain Jack Fiolet, Toby Manganelli and former Devil Ryan Robertson are not ideal the Hawks will welcome ball winner Matt Tyquin, son of Corio’s only senior premiership coach Wayne, to strengthen its midfield.
Congratulations to Daniel Grozdanovski who lines up for his 200th senior game.
Last time they met – Round 12, 2023. Corio 8.11 (59) defeated by Inverleigh 14.15 (99).

Thomson vs. North Geelong
The Thomson Tigers were only just able to hold off the Magpies ahead of their 2023 finals assault in Round 12 last year. It has been a re-occurring result between these two sides for the past decade but this year Peter Riccardi’s youthful Magpie line-up appears to be in the box seat for its first win over Thomson since Round 17, 2015.
Up forward, Blake Miller and Mitchell Habib have stood tall while down back former North Shore star Paddy Cleary has continued to direct traffic.
Thomson premiership hero Dan Freeman headlines his side’s four inclusions. He will compliment Billie Smedts after the former Cat found 30 disposals and a goal in his side’s memorable seven-point win over the Hawks.

Did you know? This will be the first time former Geelong Cats teammates Paul Lynch and Peter Riccardi are coaching against eachother since Colac defeated North Shore at Windsor Park in Round 11, 2013.
Last time they met – Round 12, 2023. North Geelong 8.4 (52) defeated by Thomson 9.9 (63).


Winchelsea vs. Belmont Lions
Many have predicted Belmont Lions vs. Bannockburn as the top of the table clash for Round 7 however the undefeated Lions, who were very impressive against Anakie last week, will be missing playing coach Andy Wallsgott in their second away game for the season.
The Blues will be strengthened by the inclusions of prominent goal-kicker Leigh Ellis and returning ball winner Bailey Kahle. Don’t write off the Blues in season 2024. Their four defeats have only been by a combined margin of 40 points.
Last time they met – Round 12, 2023. Belmont Lions 5.8 (50) defeated by Winchelsea 11.10 (76).

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