Falcons stun East Malvern

Riley Pirotta, left, and John Rafferty, middle, had important late moments on Saturday. 399552 Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS.

By Jonty Ralphsmith

Endeavour Hills’ two clashes with East Malvern have produced the best and worst of the club on-field in 2024.

In round 5, the Falcons went down by 68 points in their most disappointing loss of the season, never able to control proceedings, smashed in the midfield and unable to stop gun goal kicker Isaac Morrisby.

In round 12, the Hills scrapped hard in a high-pressure first three quarters, before kicking away in the final stanza to come away with a 9.6 60 to 6.15 51 victory against a premiership contender.

In his first game back from a two-week stint in the reserves, Sam Delosa had a last quarter to remember.

For the third consecutive week, the Falcons entered the final stanza with the game up for grabs and replicated last week’s finish against Highett.

To that point, just eight goals had been scored in the game; the next six minutes would deliver another six goals.

It started with an East Malvern goal from the clearance to open the last quarter and give them the lead back.

From there, the Falcons had a sustained period of midfield ascendancy.

Luke Peters gave his team repeat entries early in the last which kickstarted Delosa’s run.

His first goal came via a holding the ball free kick and simple conversion at the three-minute mark.

Delosa then had a hand in the Falcons next goal a minute later, creating a soft drop as several players flew for a mark, leaving Riley Pirotta to snap truly on his wrong left side at ground level from 30 out.

East Malvern responded to cut the margin to just a kick, before Endeavour Hills went forward again, and extended the margin via a video-game style party trick from heaven as Ryan Johnson spiked it to John Rafferty who didn’t have to break stride, converting from 20.

East Malvern again cut the margin to a kick, before Delosa kicked the sealer, a goal from 30 while being tackled which proved the final score of the game.

East Malvern had three more golden opportunities to respond but wasted each one, emblematic of what proved to be the difference: both sides looked most potent going forward from stoppages, but the Falcons converted all five opportunities, while East Malvern kicked 3.4.

Josh Trezise took a big intercept mark and laid an important tackle as the hosts had late territory, while skipper Nathan Reid was also tough late in the game.

After losing seven games in a row through the middle of the season, the Falcons have the chance to close to within a game of fifth spot on Saturday, if they can overcome Hampton Park.

The Redbacks had a comfortable 15.12 102 to 3.7 25 victory over Skye on Saturday.

Hampton Park kicked 10 goals to two through the middle two quarters, giving the club a healthy percentage boost as it looks to push further up the ladder.

Nathan Langley kicked six goals and Declan Brunell four, while Jayden Weichard racked it up.

As well as East Malvern, Caulfield also lost, opening up a two-game buffer for Doveton in second position, with first spot not out of the question for a team just a game behind Murrumbeena after a clinical victory on Saturday.