De La Salle was behind for much of the afternoon at Dairy Bell yesterday, yet maintained a pursuit that ultimately saw them snatch the game against Old Xaverians. Not only that, the Blue and Golds replaced the Red 'n' Blacks in the four.
Xavs had enjoyed the better of the first quarter, though some sloppy skills prevented them from building the lead they deserved. De La Salle continued to apply the pressure, and well they did, because their own arsenal looked outmatched early.
Xavs finally saw some reward late in the first quarter, when Noonan and Matt Margin goaled, and early in the second, when Tom Williams and Brendan Goss did likewise. Here was the reminder of the Xavs' proficiency to score quickly. Four goals in as many minutes opened up a lead of the same magnitude, but it was De La that controlled the rest of the second term, booting 3.6, while the Claret and Stout did not trouble the scorers further.
Xavs' again threatened to break the game open in the third, but they couldn't do it. Lemon time arrived and the visitors led by just nine points, a deficit De La erased quickly in the last with two goals.
At ten minutes, Xavs were back in front when Denis Symeopoulos slotted one after receiving a nice handpass from Dan Harangozo, but from then it proved one way traffic. De La edged its way back in front with missed opportunities and then finally goaled.
Xavs had some trouble linking with each other and turned the ball over, missing targets and kicking to the wrong contests, and time eventually expire without further threat from the visitors.
The bye next weeks will be welcomed by the Red 'n Blacks, who have played three of the four teams now above them on the ladder since the Queen's Birthday break. After the week off, they will meet the other team above them, Uni Blues, who are in top form. It is up to the Red 'n' Blacks to rediscover their best.
De La Salle 1.1-7 4.7-31 7.7-49 10.13-73
Old Xaverians 3.3-21 5.3-33 9.4-58 10.5-65
Goal Kickers: B. Goss 3, M. Margin 2, D. Noonan, D. Symeopoulos, C. Johnston, T. Williams, C. Margin
Best Players: N. Wynne, M. Ambrose, T. Williams, L. Tiernan, B. Goss, B. Kennedy