St Albans will run a gauntlet that will go a long way to indicating it is September-worthy in Western Region Football League division 1.
The final month of the Saints’ regular season will be daunting – they will face three of the top four sides in the last four games.
But coach Perry Meka believes that will be a perfect gauge of their standing.
“If we win those games, we’ll play finals in form,” Meka said. “If we don’t, there’s no use in playing finals because we’re not up to it.”
St Albans had to withstand a stern examination from the gallant Sunshine Kangaroos at a muddy Kinder Smith Reserve on Saturday to remain nestled in the top five.
The Saints were trailing by four points at three-quarter time before turning it on with a six-goal-to-two final quarter.
“These boys have got some character,” Meka said. “A few of the old committee men came up to me after the game and said the old St Albans would’ve lost that game.
“We were 12 points down at one point during the last quarter and then we ran over the top of them.”
David Kovacevic produced another best-on-ground performance in the ruck for
Kovacevic rucked one-out all game and had a major influence on the outcome.
Meka is adamant the man he calls “Kov” should be in the discussion surrounding the Priest Medal for best and fairest at season’s end.
“I’d be disappointed if he’s not at least in the top three because he’s had a sensational season for us,” he said.
Jarrod Tuppen was outstanding as a key defender for St Albans.
At the other end, Ben Said and Lachlan Calder jagged three goals each.
Youngster Mouhammed Chandab was asked to take on a lock-down role on Sunshine danger man Lachlan Smart and did a fine job.
“It was his first senior game for the year,” Meka said. “He just played a role, a lock-down role, and was sensational. He copped a couple of elbows that went astray, but he got up and kept going.”
St Albans will continue its push for the finals this Saturday when it hosts second-placed Spotswood at Kings Park Reserve.
Elsewhere in division 1, Deer Park has lost back-to-back games for the second time this season.
The Lions went down by 34 points to Hoppers Crossing in a disappointing game away at Hogan Road Reserve.
Caroline Springs made it three wins in four with a 64-point victory over Albion under lights at JR Parsons Reserve.
In division 3, Albanvale was merciless in its dismantling of cellar dweller North Sunshine, winning by 345 points at Robert Bruce Reserve.
The Cobras, who had 15 individual goal kickers, finished with a cricket score of 54.35 (359).
Kym Taylor led the way for the Cobras with 11 goals.
Sunshine Heights was upset by a spirited Wyndham Suns, losing by 15 points.