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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 18 April 2015
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 18 APRIL 2015 29 SPORT Spartans hit ground running The Hawthorn Spartans are ready for their next match after thrashing their round 1 opponents It's not every day an amateur AFL team manages to claim a victory with such a big margin in the first match of the season. Last week, the Hawthorn Spartans tested their preseason training and came out 160 points ahead of old foes Prahran Assumption. With four new players in the mix, and ex-AFL stars Ang Christou and Ang Lekkas on side, the Spartans managed to claim an early lead, shooting 10 goals through in the first quarter. It was quite the group effort, The Spartans managed a 174-14 win against Prahran Assumption. PHOTO: KOSTAS DEVES. as nine different goal scorers boosted the team's standings. Team manager George Demetriou says the team "played a very good brand of football and had a decisive win" and hopes to build the momentum to cement the club on top of the Club XVIII (1) league. While a couple of injuries might restrict the team coming into their next match, they will have a lot of pathos thanks to the fact they're go- ing up against the team that stole the grand final win from them. Their round two match is up against the Old Xaverians away at Stradbroke Park in Kew today at 11.40 am. The club is hoping to bring with it a lot of supporters to cheer it on and finally grab the long-awaited win. The team's full fixture is available on the website www.hawthornspartans. com.au Western Bulldogs immovable for A-League final A potential Melbourne Victory A-League final has the Bulldogs barking mad Melbourne Victory is closer than ever to earning the right to host the A-League grand final, yet it seems the crucial parties are still miles away from a deal to play it in Melbourne. With Etihad Stadium the only ground deemed appropriate for the showpiece event in Victoria, time is running out before the May 17 decider to secure the venue. A month before the final, AFL club the Western Bulldogs is scheduled to play Fremantle at the Docklands stadium unless an unprecedented late fixture change can shift the match. Herein lies the conundrum. It isn't the AFL's problem and the Bulldogs are dead against a proposed shift to Geelong's Simonds Stadium. Bulldogs president Peter Gordon made as much clear on AAMI Park is considered too small and the MCG is out for hosting the final if Victory manages to get there. PHOTO: AAP/JOE CASTRO. Thursday: "We're not moving aside for soccer," Gordon told Melbourne radio station SEN. "It's a home game for us and it's already been fixtured - it's a done deal. That's where we want to play it and that's where it will be played." But Football Federation Australia (FFA) hasn't given up on a compromise brokered by the state government. Talks are ongoing and FFA believes the Daniel Andrews-led government could help smooth the path. "FFA continues to discuss the matter with the Victorian government, which has made it clear that Melbourne is a city that wants to host major events, such as the Hyundai A-League grand final," a FFA spokesperson said. "There are many complications to be overcome in finding the right solution." There is another possibil- ity, of course - that Victory doesn't finish top. Victory's 2-1 win over Brisbane on Wednesday night inched it closer to claiming the premiership, with a three-point lead at the top of the table with just two rounds remaining. AAMI Park has been deemed too small while the MCG has been ruled out of bounds, it's understood. Big names return in round 3 Jimmy Bartel, Andrew Walker, Sam Mitchell enter the mix Port Adelaide, Brisbane and Carlton have all made four changes as they seek to bank four points for the first time this AFL season. The Power have promoted debutant Brendon Ah Chee, Aaron Young, Kane Mitchell and Nathan Krakouer for Saturday's clash with North Melbourne, with hamstrung Jarman Impey, rested Kane Cornes and dropped duo Jake Neade and Jarrad Redden making way. The Lions, thumped by the Kangaroos last Sunday, have omitted Matthew Leuenberger, Ryan Lester and Zac O'Brien for Saturday night's home game against Richmond. Michael Close is out due to his season-ending knee injury, while Brent Staker is among four inclusions and will play his first game since 2013. The Blues welcome back veteran Andrew Walker, Ciaran Byrne, Patrick Cripps and Dennis Armfield for their MCG match on Saturday against rivals Essendon. Clem Smith and Jason Tutt are both axed, while Simon White (knee) and Troy Menzel (calf) are sidelined with injuries. Geelong and Gold Coast, the only other winless teams after two rounds, have also rung the changes for their meeting on Sunday. Jimmy Bartel, Steven Motlop and Jared Rivers are named in the Cats' 25-man squad. Jarrod Harbrow (shoulder), Mitch Hallahan (ribs), Alex Sexton (suspension) and Greg Broughton (achilles) join captain Gary Ablett (shoulder) in being enforced omissions for the Suns. Jimmy Bartel (L) returns for Geelong. PHOTO: AAP/JOE CASTRO. Josh Gibson and Sam Mitchell are back for Hawthorn's battle against the Western Bulldogs in Launceston on Sunday, when Brendan Whitecross could make a long-awaited return after two knee reconstructions. James Frawley (pectoral) and Jono O'Rourke are cut from the Hawks' team after their loss to Essendon in round two. West Coast's Simon Tunbridge (ankle), Fremantle small forward Hayden Ballantyne (suspension), Bulldogs midfielder Easton Wood (hamstring) and Geelong trio Dawson Simpson (omitted), Billie Smedts (suspension) and Andrew Mackie (quad) are the only other confirmed omissions among Sunday's games. Meanwhile, Sydney has confirmed Harry Cunningham will take Adam Goodes' place in their line-up for Saturday's cross-town derby against Greater Western Sydney. The Swans have named Ben McGlynn, who has recovered from a hamstring injury, as an emergency. Greater Western Sydney has promoted ruckman Andrew Phillips in place of injured forward Adam Tomlinson. The Kangaroos have called on Ryan Bastinac and Robbie Tarrant in place of Nick Dal Santo (hamstring) and Joel Tippett, while David Astbury is among three inclusions for the Tigers. Essendon has made one change after its thrilling win over Hawthorn, with veteran defender Dustin Fletcher back for James Gwilt. Undefeated Adelaide has added debutant Jake Kelly and decorated veteran Scott Thompson to its squad for Saturday's home game against Melbourne, which has selected Jay Kennedy-Harris in place of Jack Viney (leg). In-doubt captains Scott Pendlebury and Nick Riewoldt were named by Collingwood and St Kilda respectively for Friday night's fixture at the MCG.
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