Crash tackling Cranny

By Mark Gullick
THE next challenge for the giant-killing Hampton Park comes this week when it faces the undefeated Cranbourne.
“While we’ve beaten Narre and Berwick, we know those two sides are still going to be up there,” Redback coach Clint Evans said.
“We’ve just got to keep competing and get some respect around the competition. Our intent this year has been fantastic and we’re keen to create a contest and have another big week.”
Narre Warren scored four of the first five goals last week, but the game changed in the blink of an eye.
A three-goal burst before half-time secured a four-point Hampton Park lead before the Redbacks converted their momentum in the third term.
Although under siege from the advancing Narre Warren, Hampton Park held out in the final term to record another impressive win over a finals contender.
“In the last quarter, they kept coming at us, but our backline was superb,” Evans said.
Leigh Morse was Hampton Park’s best player, along with Jack Besley and Kevin McLean (three goals).


DESPITE having only one player on the bench for half the game, a savage Cranbourne destroyed a hapless Beaconsfield by 100 points at Casey Fields.
In the battle of the Eagles, the home side began strongly, albeit wastefully, and never relented as it eased out to a percentage-boosting win.
“We went out there with a really strong defensive mindset and it worked out well for us,” Cranbourne coach Doug Koop said. “We shut them down while making them pay on the scoreboard. It’s an area that, in the two real contests we had, we’ve struggled. It’s something that we’re trying to get into our game as habitually, rather then when it suits us. Our whole back six played very, very well and collectively held Beacy to three goals, which is not going to be a winning score.”
Debutante Michael Theodoridis kicked four goals while spending time through the midfield.
Cranbourne dominated the midfield with the bigger bodies of Ray George, Leigh Holt and Curtis Barker winning a plethora of clearances.
Now Koop is eyeing the Redbacks.
“They smashed us down there a few years ago and a lot of those players are still playing there,” Koop said. “We’re expecting a really tough encounter. Their form has been very good – they’ve knocked over Narre and Berwick.”


DEVON Meadows were thrashed by Pakenham to the tune of 74 points.
The Lions led by 38 points at the first change and were never headed.
The only redeeming feature for Devon Meadows was its second half, with the Panthers being outscored by 9.8 to 8.4 as the game tightened around the park and on the scoreboard.
It was another tough day at the office for Devon Meadows, who has been cruelled by injury.
It was the usual names that filled Devon Meadows’ best players, led by the reliable Patrick Harmes, young gun Steve McInnes, midfielder Chris Campbell, and the impressive Brandon Wapshott.
David Verlado (three goals) and Michael Bain have provided staunch resistance to date and again played well against great odds.
Devon Meadows hosts Keysborough with the Panthers a realistic chance of winning its first game of the year.