RED ‘N’ BLACKS CRASH HARD
Old Xaverians ended their season in disappointing fashion when the Reserves fell to Old Melburnians in the Grand Final at Elsternwick today.
Xavs began with some promise but could not convert early opportunities. When OMs got going, they proved more accurate. While the X-Men had more of the ball in the first term, their inaccuracy and errors proved disastrous.
The Red ‘n’ Blacks contained their opponents in the second term, with Luke Barry and Joe Tobin stout in defence. But again, the minor gains made were wiped out by poor disposal. The margin was 28 points at the half, but there was confidence that a comeback was on the cards.
But with the exception of Matt Peric, Xavs lacked a target up front who posed a real threat. Xavs kept the OMs goalless in the third, but with forays forward regularly breaking down, the margin was still nearly three goals at the lemons.
The last quarter began with hope in Xaverian hearts, but OMs raced away to boot the first four of the term, ending all chances of a miracle. The Dark Blues evened the season ledger at 2 and 2, but won the game that counted. Again, and it has happened often the team that lost the Reserves second-semi won the big one.
Still, history lessons will do little to ease the pain of coaches James Woods and Nick Pepperell, and indeed, their team, who were well below their best today.
Left-leggers Tom Gilbert and Jimmy “The Dancer” Midgley were prominent and Hamish Morris ran hard and tried desperately to get something going, but there were too many players who inexplicably struggled when heroics were needed.
Tristan Parker, playing his 150th, copping an early injury but playing on regardless, deserved so much more. Redemption, as always, is 12 months away.
Old Xaverians 0.5-5 2.5-17 4.7-31 6.8-44
Old Melburnians 5.0-30 7.3-45 7.6-48 12.7-79
Goal Kickers: M. Peric 4, N. Nunan, T. Beaton
Best Players: L. Barry, T. Gilbert, J. Midgley, M. Peric, H. Morris, J. Tobin
And these great pics from Sarah Hess.