This could be the defeat that does irreparable damage to Altona Vikings chances of a top-three finish in the Western Region Football League division 1.
Many expected the Vikings to emerge as a genuine premiership threat, but Saturday’s 50-point loss to Hoppers Crossing at Hogans Road Reserve was a massive kick in the guts to their double chance aspirations.
Not only are the Vikings virtually out of the top-three hunt, but they are suddenly two games outside the top five and in danger of missing the finals altogether.
With seven rounds to go, the Vikings have time to steady the ship, but they do not want to leave it too much longer to hit their peak.
The draw over the next month is not too kind, with the Vikings set to face second-placed Spotswood at home on Saturday, followed by trips to Werribee Districts and Albion.
Altona conceded seven of the eight goals in the first quarter against Hoppers Crossing and never recovered. In a head-scratching performance, the Vikings could only manage seven goals for the game, despite having the lion’s share of inside 50s.
Spotswood will also be searching for answers after a humiliating 76-point loss to Deer Park in a top-of-the-table clash at John McLeod Oval.
The Woodsmen were beaten by half-time after the Lions roared with 10 goals to one in the first half.
It did not cost second-placed Spotswood a spot on the ladder, but it remains to be seen how much psychological damage was inflicted on them by the four-peat premiers.
In division 2, Yarraville-Seddon reminded the competition of the threat it poses with a 53-point win over North Footscray at McLean Reserve.
Hard-nosed defence has been a trend for Yarraville-Seddon ever since they coughed up 22 goals to North Footscray.
Yarraville-Seddon is playing a finals brand of football now and has taken over from North Footscray at the top of the ladder on percentage.
It’s probably best to hold off anointing a premiership favourite until Yarraville-Seddon and North Footscray meet again in the penultimate round on August 12.
A second win of the year for Newport Power has it back in the finals hunt.
The Power knocked off fourth-placed Albanvale by 30 points at Robert Bruce Oval to move within a game of the top four.
Youssef El Hawli and Mitchell Taleb kicked five goals each for the Power.
West Footscray fell short by 15 points against third-placed Manor Lakes at Shorten Reserve.
In division 3, Parkside returned to the winners’ list with a 40-point victory over North Sunshine at Dempster Park.
Braybrook snapped a six-game losing streak with a 28-point win over Sanctuary Lakes at Featherbrook Reserve.
Playing co-coach Jamie Lane and Chris Sotiropoulos were on target for the Bombers with four goals each.
It was a weird old day for Laverton. The Magpies were on track to cause an upset, leading Tarneit by 16 points at half-time.
The Magpies were still in the hunt at three-quarter time, trailing by less than a kick.
But Laverton let the floodgates open as Tarneit piled on an incredible 10 goals to one in the final term to run out 58-point winners.