Murray Browne's team returned to the dais with a fifteen point win over St Kevin's at Sandringham today.
It was a tight and tough affair all afternoon and it wasn't until well into the final term that the Red and Blacks shook their determined opponent.
Kicking into a strong breeze in the opening term, Xavs could manage just one minor score, but applied strong pressure all over the ground, forcing errors and hurried shots. SKOB went to the first break with a lead of just eleven points, convincing no-one that advantage would last.
It didn't. Xavs used their wind better and booted four goals in the second. Kevs replied with a handy one, but the polarity was nonetheless reversed. The third term seemed an all-or-nothing proposition for the Tricolours, but the X Men defended valiantly and dominated everywhere but the scoreboard.
It was a confident huddle at the lemons, with the Xavs' into the wind slog behind them. Kevs came again, however, and looked to be finishing full of run. Their risk-taking made them dangerous, but it didn't last. Xaverians hit a purple patch and suddenly, it was out to 21 points and the premiership was as good as won.
Kevs kicked a consolation goal, but the SKOB crowd murmured rather than cheered. It was the Red and Blacks making all the noise as the siren sounded. The Ressies won their 13th flag, and the club now has seventy-four in a collection that dates back to 1938.
Nick Nunan, tireless, in-and-under all afternoon, won the BOG medallion awarded by the men in lime, though the crowd's thinking was that the brilliant defence of Luke Barry was worthy of the award too. No matter, it was a solid team performance, with many players effective, some brilliant, and none lowering their colours.
Congratulations to Murray Browne, John Symeopoulos and Chris Santalucia on their great coaching effort and well done to all who suited up for the team during the season.
Old Xaverians 0.1-1 4.4-28 5.5-35 8.7-55
St Kevins 1.6-12 2.6-18 4.6-30 5.10-40
Goal Kickers: L. Denton 3, J. Forrest 2, L. Bisset, N. Nunan, R. Ralph
Best Players: L. Barry, N. Nunan, S. Lees, L. Bisset, J. Woods, L. Denton