Showing no signs of sluggishness from a week off, the Menages burst into action this morning at Elsternwick Park. In the first term, they outplayed their opponent and looked likely to gallop away. Inaccurate kicking was the chief concern, but even that appeared cured when the minor premier added another goal to open the second.
After that, there was no plain sailing. OMs hit back and evened it up, while Xavs seemed set on attacking through the outer side (to where the wind was blowing) and pumping it long hoping for aerial dominance. It never came.
The OMs, attired in their bumblebee strip, kicked to space, hit moving targets and when their opportunities arose, converted. At the other end, they were quick to pounce on errant Xavs' entries.
At the lemons, with the wind slightly favouring the Glenhuntly Hotel end, OMs trailed narrowly, but seemed to be the favourite. Despite this, the X Men dominated possession, but needing scores to re-establish the ascendancy, managed only three behinds. At the scoreboard end, OMs wasted nothing, spearing through another three goals to earn a grand final berth.
It was a terrible ending to a September that had promised so much. Tom McClusky and his crew should be congratulated on their efforts. The team played always with resolve, but today things didn't go to plan and there will be no 9:20 am date on the big stage next Sunday. But that's footy.
Old Xaverians Black 3.4 6.6 8.9-57 8.12-60
Old Melburnians 1.1 5.1 8.2-50 11.3-69
Goal Kickers: F. Lane 2, S. Berengo, J. Bergin, T. Reed, S. Grigg, J. Smarrelli, M. Cain
Best Players: J. Hanger, S. Grigg, A. Sorrenti, S. Berengo, M. Cain, H. Sleeman