It came down to a long shot post-siren from Louis Tiernan. Up it went, long enough and on target, until it quailed on descent, just wide. But it wasn't this narrow miss that saw St Bede's/ Mentone Tigers win their first since Opening Day, but a Red 'n' Black capitulation in the third term that coach Hannebery described as 'unacceptable'.
The Xavs dominated the first half and had the Brindisians on the canvas at the long break. The coach warned that the home team, with their season on the line, would fight back in the third term. What he didn't anticipate was that his own charges would show so little resistance to the uprising.
A number of Red 'n' Blacks prominent in the game prior to the break dropped out of sight as the Tigers showed plenty of grit, winning the contested possessions. Rearguard efforts in the final term were insufficient to blunt the momentum. Xavs finally lost the lead and then regained it. There was a chance to seal it, but it was the Seasiders who took the opportunity to kick the winner late in time-on.
Jordans - Troiani, on debut and Kelly, on return - showed promise, but the river the Claret and Stout crossed was the Rubicon. No more thoughts of September, just an increased focus on the run to round 18. Performances in those seven games will determine the Red 'n Black's travel schedule for 2019.
St Bedes/Mentone Tigers 1.1-7 4.3-27 10.5-65 13.7-85
Old Xaverians 5.2-32 9.4-58 11.4-70 13.6-84
Goal Kickers: M. Handley 3, T. Gilbert 2, M. Margin 2, T. Johnston, L. Bisset, D. Stanford, L. Tiernan, J. Troiani, C. Margin
Best Players: D. Noonan, J. Holmes, J. Kelly, L. Tiernan, T. Gilbert, T. Anderson