On top of the socks, ties and breakfasts served up to Xaverian dads this morning, there was the bonus of tickets to two Grand Finals next weekend, as the Premier Reserves and U19 Premier teams steamrolled their way to big victories.
RESSIES DOMINATE DARK BLUES
Old Xaverians defeated Old Melburnians in the Premier Reserves Second Semi-Final at Elsternwick today, seizing the early lead and maintaining a good distance all the way home between OMs and themselves.
The wind was a mere zephyr by Wick standards, and though the Red 'n' Blacks took a little time to move into their work, there was little doubt they seemed set on reversing the result of their Toorak Park clash six weeks ago.
While Milky Forrest opened up with a goal, the X Men had to wait a while for their next. Just into time on, Dan O'Loughlin kicked truly and then Mitch Parker followed suit. At the other end, the tough Xavs' defence kept OMs to 4 behinds.
The Dark Blues looked more efficient in the second stanza, but could only match further Xaverian majors. Eric Peric jagged his first, Mitch Parker his second, and then Ed Lachal punted through the Red 'n Blacks' sixth with a snap around the corner.
While the lead was just 4 goals even at the long break, it seemed a gargantuan task for the OMs. Even bigger when Peric, Parker, Forrest added to their tallies and Tommy "Never" Beaton kicked his first.
Melburnians outscored the victors in the final term, but Peric and Paddy Phillips kicked goals to assure the faithful that the game, and a spot in the GF, was already secure.
Collegians will battle Old Melburnians to determine which of them will wear the white shorts in 14 days' time.
Old Xaverians 3.2-20 6.4-40 10.6-66 12.7-79
Old Melburnians 0.4-4 2.4-16 2.6-18 6.8-44
Goal Kickers: M. Peric 3, M. Parker 3, J. Forrest 2, D. O'Loughlin, P. Phillips, T. Beaton, E. Lachal
Best Players: J. Tobin, L. Barry, J. Forrest, J. Midgley , M. Parker
Ari's snaps. As always, click to enlarge.
And thanks to Sarah Hess for these beauties . . .
SHAW THINGS DOUSE DE LA FIRE
Last week's narrow win over Caulfield Grammarians had delivered a return of confidence to the Red and Black striplings, and they took to the Box Hill field with poise and determination.
The Blue and Golds had first use of the light breeze, but the Red 'n' Blacks had almost exclusive use of the Sherrin. They attacked relentlessly and according to game plan, and when the Bellers did get their hands on it, they were tackled, pressured and made to earn every disposal.
Five goals came in the first, while De La tried valiantly to get on the board. The second stanza produced more of the same, though inaccurate kicking saved DLS from a ten goal half-time deficit.
De La, a spirited bunch who have have for twenty years been elite at this level, came out breathing fire. They continued their quick running and sprightly ball movement and put the Claret and Stout to the sword. In about 5 minutes, they added three goals and were on the hunt for more.
But the Xaverians quickly tired of this resistance, and shut it down. While DLS added another goal in the third term, the X Men responded with five to slam the door shut. The final term was again dominated by the Red 'n' Blacks, but as in the second stanza, several shots that might have split the uprights weren't on target.
Any preliminary finals' win is a good one, but the size of the margin against quality opposition underlines the ruthless and methodical approach taken by these young men. They are well coached, they know and understand the system and they are entirely capable of delivering.
Post-match, the song sung heartily, a few words from the coach, and then from the boom box the sounds of Dexy's Midnight Runners. Thoughts quickly turned to their GF opponent. If the Claret and Stout can play as they did today, next week's post-match cheer might last a little longer. But Scotch is a team full of talent and there will be no easy path to the premiership.
De La Salle 0.4-4 0.5-5 4.9-33 4.10-34
Old Xaverians 5.1-31 9.6-60 14.7-91 16.12-108
Goal Kickers: L. Soccio 5, T. Simmons 3, C. MacIsaac 2, L. Agnoletto 2, B. Scala, M. Batten, S. Turner, E. Ralph
Best Players: J. Power, S. Turner, B. Kennedy, T. Simmons, C. MacIsaac, T. Hart
PICS FROM SARAH HESS