We reveal the team line-ups and preview the action for Saturday’s double-header of NAB League Boys Preliminary Finals at Ikon Park, with the Oakleigh Chargers, Sandringham Dragons, Eastern Ranges and Gippsland Power all aiming for a place in the 2019 Grand Final.
OAKLEIGH CHARGERS vs SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS
Saturday 11am @ Ikon Park
Rd 17 @ Avalon Airport Oval: Oakleigh Chargers 14.7 (91) d Sandringham Dragons 13.6 (84)
Oakleigh kicked the game’s last six goals after falling 29 points behind early in the final term. Matthew Rowell (34 disposals), Noah Anderson (24 and three goals) and Jamarra Ugle-Hagan (four goals) were among the match-winners for the Chargers.
Rd 12 @ Wilson Storage Trevor Barker Beach Oval: Oakleigh Chargers 8.10 (58) d Sandringham Dragons 4.16 (40)
A six-goal-to-one third quarter proved match-defining for Oakleigh in an otherwise slogging battle. Reef McInnes led the Chargers with 23 touches, while Jamarra Ugle-Hagan, Nicholas Stathopoulos and Thomas Lovell all kicked multiple majors.
Rd 3 @ Wilson Storage Trevor Barker Beach Oval: Sandringham Dragons 9.11 (65) d Oakleigh Chargers 8.7 (55)
The Dragons never trailed Oakleigh, holding an arm’s-length lead throughout the contest. Jack Mahony racked up 25 disposals for Sandringham, with Charlie Dean, Hugo Ralphsmith and Angus Hanrahan booting two goals apiece in the win.
The Chargers (12-4 overall record) are riding a six-match winning streak into this contest. Two of those victories came against this opponent, one against minor premiers the Ranges and one most recently against Gippsland in a qualifying final two weeks ago.
The up-and-down Dragons (11-7) haven’t won or lost consecutive games since back-to-back wins in Round 14 and 15. They’ve easily accounted for the Geelong Falcons and Calder Cannons in the post-season either side of a qualifying-final loss to Eastern.
Oakleigh’s playmakers controlled the bulk of possession in an eight-point qualifying-final triumph over the Power. Matthew Rowell, Noah Anderson and Will Phillips all recorded 29 disposals, skipper Trent Bianco had 24 and Nicholas Stathopoulos (four goals) and Jamarra Ugle-Hagan (three) did the damage on the scoreboard.
Sandringham held the Cannons to a score of just 1.12 (18) during a comprehensive 37-point victory in last week’s semi final. Finn Maginness (32 disposals and nine clearances), Ryan Byrnes (32 and 10 inside-50s) and Angus Hanrahan (32 and 11 marks) were the most prolific in the win, while Hugo Ralphsmith bagged three majors.
The Chargers look to have a settled side, with only Youseph Dib, Samuel Tucker and Giorgio Varagiannis added to their extended bench and no outs at this stage. Co-captain Dylan Williams is still absent with a back issue that has kept him sidelined since Round 14.
The Dragons see promising bottom-age tall Ollie Lord (ankle) depart their line-up, with Darby Hipwell, Josh Le Grice, Tyson Milne and Kyle Yorke all in contention to replace him having been added to an extended bench. Key top-agers Fischer McAsey (foot) and Jack Bell (ankle) remain on the sidelines for another week with injury concerns, while Jack Mahony (hand) has now been ruled out for the season.
EASTERN RANGES vs GIPPSLAND POWER
Saturday 1.30pm @ Ikon Park
Rd 6 @ Morwell Recreation Reserve: Gippsland Power 12.9 (81) d Eastern Ranges 11.5 (71)
Gippsland became one of just two teams to have beaten the Ranges in 2019, getting the best of Eastern in a see-sawing final stanza. The Power were best served by Brock Smith (team-high 27 disposals and nine rebound-50s), Riley Baldi (26 disposals) and Sam Flanders (25 and two goals), while Fraser Phillips booted three majors.
Since their Round 6 loss (see above), the Ranges (13-3 overall record) have won nine of 10 games – including seven by 22 points or fewer. Their only loss was to Oakleigh in Round 14 and they most recently accounted for Sandringham in a qualifying final.
The Power (12-5) began a run in which they’ve triumphed in six of eight games with a big win against the Chargers in Round 11. They rebounded from a loss to Oakleigh in their qualifying final with last week’s semi-final defeat of the Western Jets.
Eastern kept the Dragons at arm’s length throughout a 14-point qualifying-final win, steadying after a final-term Sandringham challenge. Jamieson Rossiter kicked four goals, while Zakery Pretty (equal-team-high 21 disposals and nine clearances), Mitch Mellis (21) and Lachlan Stapleton (18 and 10 tackles) starred in the midfield.
Gippsland started slowly but gradually overwhelmed the Jets in a strong 35-point semi-final victory. Harrison Pepper (25 disposals and seven rebound-50s) was important in defence, with Caleb Serong (game-high 27 disposals and seven clearances), Riley Baldi (23 disposals) and Harvey Neocleous (19 and three goals) also keys in the win.
The Ranges have kept a settled line-up from two weeks ago, with only top-agers Mitchell Brown, Ben Hickleton and Kyle Phelan potentially coming in after being named on an extended bench.
The Power welcomes back captain Brock Smith from two weeks out with illness, while Mason Hawkins comes in as their 23rd player. In-form defenders Leo Connolly (hamstring) and Mitch Bentvelzen (hip flexor) are out alongside bottom-ager Tom Fitzpatrick (AC joint), with a further four players added to an extended bench and in line to break into the side.
See the full teams for the NAB League Boys Preliminary Finals below.
* CLICK HERE for printable PDF team lists.
OAKLEIGH CHARGERS v. SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS
Preliminary Final – 14/09/2019
Ikon Park – Carlton
B: 15. K. Schreiber, 36. R. Valentine, 34. V. Zagari
HB: 5. T. Bianco, 52. N. Guiney, 49. H. Mastras
C: 39. R. McInnes, 6. J. Lucas, 9. W. Phillips
HF: 27. J. May, 25. J. Ugle-Hagan, 61. C. Stone
F: 29. F. Macrae, 73. C. Sharman, 77. N. Stathopoulos
R: 4. N. Bryan, 8. N. Anderson, 11. M. Rowell
Int: 58. Y. Dib, 18. F. Elliot, 22. T. Graham, 12. L. Jenkins, 30. S. Tucker, 17. G. Varagiannis, 1. L. Westwood
23P: 2. B. Laurie
In: G. Varagiannis, S. Tucker, Y. Dib
B: 18. J. Lloyd, 33. C. Watts, 37. W. Mackay
HB: 13. L. Butler, 12. C. Dean, 7. J. Voss
C: 43. J. Bowey, 5. R. Byrnes, 15. A. Hanrahan
HF: 9. N. Burke, 26. J. Castan, 16. J. Mifsud
F: 36. O. Lewis, 6. M. Bergman, 11. H. Ralphsmith
R: 30. A. Courtney, 2. D. Chirgwin, 4. F. Maginness
Int: 3. G. Grey, 51. D. Hipwell, 10. J. Le Grice , 74. H. Loughnan, 17. T. Milne, 39. B. O’Leary, 14. K. Yorke
23P: 35. C. Chesser
In: T. Milne, D. Hipwell, K. Yorke, J. Le Grice
Out: O. Lord
EASTERN RANGES v. GIPPSLAND POWER
Preliminary Final – 14/09/2019
Ikon Park – Carlton
B: 10. C. Black, 39. J. Nathan, 40. J. Hourihan
HB: 4. J. Clarke, 21. J. Ross, 19. W. Parker
C: 20. C. Downie, 7. L. Stapleton, 30. T. Edwards
HF: 11. M. Mellis, 18. B. McCormack, 52. T. Sonsie
F: 9. J. Duffy, 13. J. Rossiter, 27. J. Jaworski
R: 49. R. Smith, 23. Z. Pretty, 16. T. Garner
Int: 6. M. Brown, 14. L. Gawel, 36. B. Hickleton, 26. C. Norris, 41. K. Phelan, 59. B. Tennant, 45. M. Zalac
23P: 44. H. Keeling
In: K. Phelan, M. Brown, B. Hickleton
B: 24. B. Maslen, 14. T. Hourigan, 35. J. van der Pligt
HB: 37. H. Pepper, 22. Z. Reid, 12. B. Smith
C: 1. R. Angwin, 4. S. Flanders, 15. R. Sparkes
HF: 21. M. McGarrity, 33. N. Prowd, 20. H. Neocleous
F: 7. S. Berry, 16. J. Smith, 19. F. Phillips
R: 17. C. Comben, 6. R. Baldi, 2. C. Serong
Int: 30. T. Baldi, 40. T. Mann, 8. B. McAuliffe, 25. J. McGrath, 9. W. Papley, 29. T. Rees, 32. L. Williams
23P: 39. M. Hawkins
In: J. McGrath, T. Mann, M. Hawkins, W. Papley, B. Smith, L. Williams
Out: T. Fitzpatrick, L. Connolly, M. Bentvelzen