ROWVILLE claimed a major scalp in beating Mooroolbark on Saturday, but it came at the cost of star midfielder Matt Stanley.
Hawks coach Paul Mynott said Stanley suffered a grade 3 hamstring tear which could force him to miss the rest of the Eastern Football League division 2 season.
Stanley is expected to miss four to six weeks - the division 2 grand final is scheduled for the weekend of September 8-9.
The Hawks battled manfully in heavy conditions at Mooroolbark and despite kicking just four behinds after half-time held on for an 11-point win and a one-game lead at the top of the ladder with three games to go in the season.
The loss of Stanley will hurt the team if he can't return. "Matt is a shattered man right now," Mynott said. "He is a massive loss for us but it gives the opportunity for a young bloke to step in and take his place and give our side something different for the next few weeks.
"We can't dwell on it. Matt is everyone's mate and an important leader at our club, everyone is shattered for him but we all have to be positive and hopefully things will fall into place for him."
While time may escape Stanley, Mynott said he hoped his star would give him a difficult decision on the eve of a Hawks' finals match.
"There would only be three or four players I would take a risk on leading into a preliminary or a grand final after an injury and he would be one of them," Mynott said.
"He will do everything he can to get himself over the line and I'd rather have to make that call than not get the chance to play him at all."
Mynott said the win over the Mustangs had also given his side a lot of satisfaction by not only beating a fellow premiership contender but to do so in the most trying of conditions.
"It was bordering on one of the worst playing conditions you could think of," he said. "But to the boys' credit they embraced it and rose to the challenge.
"So it was a pretty satisfying win. It was a bizarre sort of game because I never thought we would win a game when he kicked only four points after half-time."
Mynott said the rest of his players had got through without injury and now looked forward to the final three rounds in which the Hawks play Donvale, Doncaster East and Mulgrave.
EFL division 2 ladder: Rowville 52 points, 166.52 per cent; Montrose 48, 171.71; Mooroolbark 48, 134.20; Donvale 34, 107.50; Bayswater 32, 117.42; Upper Ferntree Gully 24, 78.94; Doncaster East 22, 77.95; Waverley Blues 16, 71.18; Mulgrave 12, 72.66; Doncaster 12, 69.35.
Dandenong Stingrays 14.18 (102) d Eastern Ranges 8.6 (54).
Eastern Football League:
Division 1: Noble Park 15.7 (97) d South Croydon 5.6 (36); East Burwood 11.15 (81) d Balwyn 12.7 (79); Knox 11.8 (74) d East Ringwood 8.7 (55); Lilydale 8.15 (63) d Croydon 6.11 (47); Vermont 16.18 (114) d Blackburn 3.13 (31); Norwood 5.7 (37) d Scoresby 1.5 (11).
Division 2: Bayswater 8.9 (57) d Donvale 7.8 (50); Rowville 5.9 (39) d Mooroolbark 4.4 (28); Mulgrave 11.11 (77) d Waverley Blues 6.8 (44); Doncaster 12.6 (78) d Upper Ferntree Gully 9.9 (63); Montrose 12.15 (87) d Doncaster East 2.8 (20).
Division 3: Mitcham 10.9 (69) d Coldstream 7.13 (55); Ringwood 6.10 (46) d Wantirna South 4.5 (29); Templestowe 10.12 (72) d Chirnside Park 2.8 (20); Boronia 9.9 (63) d North Ringwood 7.6 (48);Heathmont 19.13 (127) d Warrandyte 9.6 (60);Glen Waverley Hawks 11.12 (78) d Whitehorse Pioneers 3.7 (25).
Division 4: The Basin 19.14 (128) d Canterbury 4.9 (33); South Belgrave 18.10 (118) d Ferntree Gully 7.18 (60); Silvan 14.8 (92) d Park Orchards 7.7 (49); Nunawading 7.13 (55) d Forest Hill 3.5 (23); Kilsyth 8.13 (61) d Eastern Lions 7.10 (52); Surrey Hills, bye.
Yarra Valley Mountain District Football League:
Division 1: Mount Evelyn 8.2 (50) d Monbulk 6.9 (45); Upwey Tecoma 8.10 (58) d Emerald 7.2 (44); Gembrook Cockatoo 19.12 (126) d Wandin 11.13 (79); Warburton Millgrove 8.12 (60) d Woori Yallock 5.15 (45); Olinda Ferny Creek v Healesville score not provided.
Division 2: Seville 7.6 (48) d Kinglake 6.6 (42); Alexandra 10.14 (74) d Yea 5.7 (37); Powelltown 12.10 (82) d Yarra Junction 11.11 (77); Belgrave 13.25 (103) d Yarra Glen 12.18 (90).
For full results, click on Knox Latest Sport Results link at upper right.
Eastern Ranges v Gippsland Power, Box Hill City Oval Sunday 1pm.
Eastern Football League:
Division 1: Balwyn v Knox, Balwyn Park 2.10pm; South Croydon v East Ringwood, Cheong Park 2.10pm; Croydon v Noble Park, Hughes Park 2.10pm; Lilydale v Blackburn, Lilydale Sports Oval 2.10pm; Norwood v East Burwood, Mullum Reserve 2.10pm; Vermont v Scoresby, Vermont Recreation Reserve 2.10pm.
Division 2: Bayswater v Mulgrave, Bayswater Oval 2.10pm; Upper Ferntree Gully v Doncaster East, Kings Park 2.10pm; Waverley Blues v Montrose, Mt Waverley Reserve 2.10pm; Doncaster v Mooroolbark, Schramms Reserve 2.10pm; Rowville v Donvale, Seebeck Oval 2.10pm.
Division 3: Heathmont v Chirnside Park, HE Parker Reserve 2.10pm; Templestowe v Ringwood, Templestowe Reserve 2.10pm; Mitcham v Warrandyte, Walker Park 2.10pm; Wantirna South v Coldstream, Walker Reserve 2.10pm; Whitehorse Pioneers v North Ringwood, Whitehorse Reserve 2.10pm; Glen Waverley Hawks v Boronia, Capital Reserve 2.30pm.
Division 4: Park Orchards v Surrey Park, Domeney Reserve 2.10pm; Ferntree Gully v The Basin, Ferntree Gully Reserve 2.10pm; Nunawading v Kilsyth, Koonung Reserve 2.10pm; Eastern Lions v Forest Hill, Lewis Park 2.10pm; Silvan v Canterbury, Silvan Recreation Reserve 2.10pm; South Belgrave, bye.
Yarra Valley Mountain District FL:
Division 1: Warburton Millgrove v Gembrook Cockatoo, Mac Sparke Oval 2.15pm; Mount Evelyn v Upwey Tecoma, Mt Evelyn 2.15pm; Wandin v Olinda Ferny Creek, Wandin 2.15pm; Woori Yallock v Emerald, Woori Yallock, 2.15pm.
Division 2: Alexandra v Seville, Alexandra 2.15pm; Kinglake v Belgrave, Kinglake 2.15pm; Powelltown v Yea, Powelltown 2.15pm; Yarra Glen v Yarra Junction, Yarra Glen 2.15pm.
All games on Saturday unless otherwise stated.