Round Seven of the 32nd Annual Vawdon Cup was played at the Bankstown and Tempe venues on Friday 31 August 2007.The action in the Men’s and Women’s Premier League Divisions was fast and furious with a number of teams flexing their muscles and producing cohesive efforts that will stand them in good stead for the crunch split rounds ahead in the lead-up to the 2007 Vawdon Cup Finals series.Teams in the Men’s and Women’s Premier Division have now been split into two groups for the final three rounds of the ten-week regular season. The groups have been defined by finishing order after seven completed rounds. These groups consist of teams 1, 4, 5, and 8 in one pool, and teams 2, 3, 6, and 7 in the other pool.Teams played with the Pool groupings in the back of their minds, aware of the need to finish as high up on the ladder as possible to position themselves for their tilt at the finals.In Round seven action in the Men’s Premier Division, Wests Magpies put together their most convincing display of the season to dispose of a disappointing Penrith Pathers 7-3 at Bankstown at 7.50pm.Wests dominated proceedings from the outset not allowing Penrith a chance to find any rhythm with Jason “The postman” Stanton delivering on cue for the Magpies to race to a 4-1 lead at half time.Penrith Coach Dave Collins implored his troops to “believe” and the 2006 Vawdon Cup Premiers came out after the break more pumped than “Sony Bill’s” biceps to get back into the contest.The Panthers kept their supporters from heading for the turnstiles early by scoring first in the second stanza to bridge the gap to 4-2.Hopes of a Panthers revival however, were a bit like your grand ma, short and sweet, as the Magpies lifted a notch to post the next three touchdowns without a reply from the shell shocked Panthers who despite their best efforts to lift, found that when it rains it floods, and it was a night that was destined to be black and white.At 7-2 to the Magpies, and with the scoreboard attendant in need of an aspirin and a lie down after his hectic night at the office, Penrith grabbed a late consolation touchdown to finish 7-3 the poorer.West’s Young guns Cameron Nicholls and Ben Nercessian were standout performers and were well supported by the inform Robert Nakhla, Steve Takchi, and king pin Stanton, who ran the show with aplomb.Penrith’s Scott “Jack ”Buckley, veteran Chris ‘Rowdy” Benfield, and the skillful Dean Springfield were Penrith’s best in a defeat that has now plunged the Panthers into a desperate backs to the wall campaign to win two of their last three games to make the semi-final roster.At Tempe in the 7.50pm timeslot The Eastern Suburbs Roosters secured their first victory of the season in style with a 10-2 canning of a depleted Manly Sea Eagles who struggled with limited and wounded troops from the outset.The Roosters clicked into gear with the super consistent Christian Frost and Chris Jonson leading the way, with 2007 Australian World Cup Mixed 30s playmaker Manu Wakely and the ever-present scoring machine Elijah Van Der Kwast chiming in with solid performances that helped framework the confidence boosting victory for the Tri-colours.Manly fielded a 9 man team including coach Brett Gillard 53, who wound back the clock with an inspired performance in a battling effort to be one of his side’s best.At the opposite end of the age spectrum for Manly was Sam Brisby, who at just 15 years of age, performed admirably in the pressure cooker middle of the park exchanges.The Rooster victory is a timely tonic for the Bondi boys as they prepare for Friday night’s battle with West’s at Tempe.Manly will be hitting up Jerry Maguire and Bob Sugar to secure some late season signings for them to bolster numbers for Friday’s Mount Everest challenge against the Dogs.In the pajama party clash at 9.30pm at Bankstown, the Cronulla Sharks defeated Parramatta 5-3 to claim the vital 3 points and a spot in the four coming into the split group stage of the season.Both teams were hunting the win more eagerly than Sam and Frodo chased “The Ring,” and the intensity of the opening exchanges reflected the high stakes mentality of the encounter.The Sharkies got away best, racing to a 1-0 lead courtesy of a Steve Sopher special down the right hand edge.The Eels were fighting to secure a coveted berth in the top four, and showed they would dig in with a strong hit back touchdown to level the contest at 1-1.The rival camps went to the break all locked up at a touchdown apiece in an even money contest that was there for the taking for both teams.Sharkies came out more focused after half time and scored first then went back to back in the scoring stakes for a 3-1 advantage.Parramatta have been a thorn in all team’s sides in 2007, and were never going to go quietly into the cool Sydney night without leaving it all out on the park.Given their quality, it did not surprise anyone to see the Eels pull one back to trail just 3-2 mid way through the second stanza.Just as the contest looked like it was heading towards a ruck and defend slug fest, the game was turned on its head by a couple of inspired plays from one of the competition’s most potent attacking players.In the blink of an eye, 2007 Australian Mixed Open World Cup star Brad “BJ” Holden produced the magic on cue for the Shire boys.Holden weighed in with two slashing pieces of individual brilliance to take his team out to a 5-2 lead with little time left on the clock.Troy Malcolm, who never stopped trying for the Eels, got a late touchdown for Parramatta, but it was to no avail as the Sharkies took a huge bite out of the Eels semi-final aspirations for 2007 with the 5-3 victory.The Sharks will take a lot of confidence from securing back to back victories in the competition and will now set their sights on a season defining clash with 2006 Vawdon Cup premiers Penrith who will be fighting for their life in Friday night’s intriguing battle.The Eels will front up to the Hornsby Lions at Bankstown on Friday night and will throw caution to the wind and go for broke against their more fancied opponents to keep their finals chances flickering in 2007.The Canterbury Bulldogs continued on their winning way with a 6-4 victory over a game Hornsby Lions at Tempe at 9.30pm.The Dogs produced another controlled performance to maintain their undefeated season in 2007. Canterbury’s effort to defeat the classy Lions was an impressive one, considering the absence of Australian Men’s Open World Cup star Joel Willoughby, the inform Matt Prowse, and the whole hearted Stuart Brierty.Canterbury scored first, but the Young Lions responded brilliantly by notching back-to-back touchdowns for a 2-1 lead.On the stroke of half time the Doggies conjured a touchdown to even the ledger at 2-2.The second half was a disjointed one for Hornsby, with three players being given periods of tine for various indiscretions, cruelling their chances of winning the game.The experience and guile of the Dogs made the Lions pay a heavy price for their ill discipline, when on every occasion a Lion was in the bin; the savvy Dogs exploited the extra man advantage for touchdowns.At 5-3 to the Dogs with two minutes to go the teams traded touchdowns to finish the game with a flurry.Hornsby struck first to peg the deficit back to 5-4.Not to be outdone, the Dogs gave their supporters a further reason to cheer when they scored to finish the Lions off with the full time hooter reverberating in the background for a 6-4 decision to the premiership favourites.For Hornsby, season superstar Dylan Hennessey kept the Dogs guessing all night with his superior footwork, and wonder twins John and Maurice Kennedy were at their scheming best. Heath Cooper and Charbel Maroun defended stoutly, and the talented Lions will be keen to get back in the winners circle against the Eels at Bankstown Friday night.2006 Boland Medallist Steve Roberts was again the star turn for Canterbury ably assisted by Daniel Walsh, and “Top Dog” Garry Sonda, who steered the blue and whites around the park admirably.In the 2007 Women’s Premier League division of the Vawdon Cup, Wests completed a 10-4 victory over the Penrith Panthers in the 7.00pm game at Bankstown.The “Pink Panthers” all wore Pink headbands to raise awareness and funds for the National Breast Cancer Initiative.The community conscious Panthers were in need of a little charity themselves when they found themselves down by 3 touchdowns after only 12 minutes of play.The Panthers stopped the rot through their Captain Vicky Wheatley to peg the score back to 3-1.The Wests machine, welcoming back Australian Women’s Open superstar Bo De la Cruz and the experienced Sara Hamilton, clicked into high gear snaffling another 2 touchdowns in smart time to register a 5-1 lead at the interval.The Panthers, inspired by the commitment to their cause that would see them collect more money for their charity with each touchdown they scored, came out full of running.The Pink Panthers were fuelled by the efforts of Katrina Howely and Mel Harrison, who managed to conjure 3second half touchdowns to raise spirits and funds for the battling club and the worthy cause.The Panthers never took a backward step against a tough West’s combination that added five second half touchdowns to their tally, and are starting to look a lot like the real deal in 2007.Newcomer Bojana Mali was a revelation in her first outing on the wing for Wests and looks to have a bright future at the Magpies. The game was played in great spirit and post match the Penrith girls sold headbands, collected donations, and proudly raised $2000 for the National Breast Cancer Initiative.In the 7.00pm game at Tempe, the Easts Roosters bounced back to top form with an emphatic 10-3 walloping of Manly.Easts are looking to build form into the finals and created some momentum Friday with four-touchdown hero Megan “Champo” Campbell leading the way.The exceptional ball playing of Australian World Cup legend Kristy Judd, and fellow Aussie Women’s team fixture and East’s Captain Melissa Pitfield, paved the way for a much more cohesive performance from the defending Vawdon Cup premiers.Manly tried hard and provided a few problems for the Roosters with some short kiwi style 5 metre attack on the scoreline, and drove aggressively for the duration. But the class of the Roosters prevailed, and coach Jason Hunt will now look to his troops to consolidate the momentum in the marquee clash with the white hot Western Suburbs who will provide a sterner test for the defending champions this Friday night.The Wollongong Devils cemented fourth spot on the competition ladder with a comfortable 6-3 defeat of Cronulla in the 8.40pm clash at Bankstown.The “Young Divas” welcomed back a number of injured stars including National Youth squad member Nicole “Captain Serro” Beck who made up for lost playing time in recent weeks to carve through the Cronulla defence to claim the early ascendancy 1-0.Fellow National 20 Years Women’s Youth Squad member Amy Regal gift-wrapped a touchdown with a pinpoint long ball for Rachel Beck to dot down for a 2-0 lead.Cronulla hit back to make the score 2-1 before Kylie Evans scored to take the Divas out to a 3-1 lead at half time.After the break, Wollongong continued on their merry way with Nicole Beck using her “Captain Sero” powers for good and not evil to dismantle the Sharkies defence at will, and in the process snare a hat trick of touchdowns to give her team the decisive edge.The gifted Jess Mc Call pulled the trigger on a humming long ball for Kylie Evans to dot down out wide to wrap up a double to complete a busy night at the office for the Young Divas, whose only real trouble for the night was the “ID” checks on route to the scoreline.Cronulla never stopped running and kept trying to get back into the game, despite lacking their usual cohesiveness.The absence of Brandi Elliot, Jenna Cell, Dom Maher, and Skye Rolley took its toll on a depleted Sharkies line-up, but the consistent Jess Howe and National 18 Years Youth Squad member Laura Chivers gave their all for the Sharks who will be keen to make amends this week against Penrith.National 20 Years squad member Steph Jackson showed her undeniable class, whilst Amy Regal and Nicole Beck were in everything for the Devils, who week by week are proving their mettle in the big time.Competition “Queen Bees” Canterbury produced the goods once more with an emphatic 6-1 triumph to sting an under strength Central Coast Dolphins combination at Tempe at 8.40pm.The Doggies were always in control of the contest and went to oranges 4-1 the better.Louise ‘Squeeze” Winchester was scoring more freely than Matthew Hayden against the Poms on a flat deck at the Gabba, nabbing four touchdowns in dynamic fashion to dominate the contest.Belinda Grech provided the defensive starch as the Dogs went right on with the job in the second stanza to wrap up a comfortable 6-1 victory and secure the number one position for the split rounds.The Dolphins missed Kylie Hilder and Liz Penny, but welcomed back newlywed Karina Haddin who made a great return to the game after an extended absence following a lengthy stint on the sidelines with a debilitating collarbone injury that foiled her World Cup Mixed Open campaign in November of last year.This weeks Round 8 Games will be played at Bankstown and Tempe as teams are split into the two pool playing groups.In the Men’s Premier League, Canterbury (1), Cronulla (4), Penrith (5), and Manly (8) are group 1, whilst Wests (2), Hornsby (3), Parramatta (6), and Easts (7) are in group two. In the Men’s Premier League Sharkies and Penrith clash at Bankstown at 7.00pm in a battle that will be pivotal to both team’s semi-final aspirations.The Hornsby Lions will take on a desperate Parramatta in the 8.40pm battle at Bankstown, whilst top seeds Canterbury will be looking to bring the hurt to a depleted Manly side that will need to dig deep in the 8.40pm clash at Tempe.Wests Magpies are warm favourites, but will face a rejuvenated Easts Roosters line-up in the late game at 9.30pm at Tempe to round out the Round Eight fixtures in the Men’s Premier League division.In the Women’s Premier League, playing group one consists of Canterbury (1), Wollongong (4), Cronulla (5), and Penrith (8), whilst Easts (2), Wests (3), Manly (6), and Central Coast (7) make up playing group two.In Round 8 of the Women’s Premier League, Touch Football fans will be spoilt with a sensational clash at Tempe at 7.00pm featuring 2006 State Cup finalists Wests Magpies and 2006 Vawdon Cup premiers Easts Roosters.The last time these two sides met there was no love lost and the passion and skill from both sides will ensure the high quality touch and spirited banter will framework a classic encounter for the crowd.The Sharks and Penrith will meet at 7.50pm at Bankstown, whilst Canterbury will need to be wary of an improving Wollongong Devils side in the 7.50pm clash at Tempe.In the “sleepy time” game at 9.30pm, Manly Sea Eagles will confront the Central Coast Dolphins in a contest that is an even money danger game for punters to complete Round 8 of the 2007 Vawdon Cup season.This week’s “Blackest Cat” award for the Player of the Round in the Men’s Premier Division goes to Manly Coach Brett “The Guardian” Gillard who strapped on the boots to help out his beloved Sea Eagles in their hour of need.With his team down on playing numbers Gillard 47, donned the red cape, well the Manly jersey, the tube socks, and the Westmont footy shorts to wind back the clock, patrol the wing, and save the day on numerous occasions for his team when he was most needed…The guardian made good on his promise to “not let go” and helped steer his team through a tough night at Tempe…This week’s “Go to Girl” award for the Player of the Round in the Women’s Premier division goes to Wollongong’s Amy “Tank Girl” Regal who was more involved than a season’s worth of “Lost” episodes, and threw several Zoolander style “ridiculously good looking” long balls to set up her team’s crucial victory over the Sharks.This week’s “That’s Mud” award goes to Wollongong’s National 20 Years Youth Squad member Ash Dobbins for her superior face planting skills. The “Dobbie,” throwing out seven different types of smoke with her air snaps against Cronulla on Friday night, managed to trip over her own feet with not a defender in sight and the scoreline beckoning.The associated laughter from her own team mates and the Cronulla defence who were on the ground in stitches created a gap that sadly, she was unable to hit, due to the severity of the face trip. She remains in doubt for Friday’s big clash with the Dog’s nursing a bruised ego.“That’s mud!”And that’s the Vawdon Cup wrap for this week…Many thanks to all players and coaches for their input in compiling this information.Good luck to all teams for Friday night.