The second semi-final of Premier Reserve began well enough under bright skies, and the Old Xavs looked to have too much polish for the Dark Blues. But the rain came and Old Melburnians adapted more quickly and were able to seize the initiative.

The OMs were stronger in the air, as the Red ‘n’ Blacks grassed several chances within scoring range late in the piece. Matt Douglas had booted two first half goals and showed the way before the long break.

Melburnians’ third quarter saw them hit the front. A Nick Prowse goal in the final term kept Xavs alive and a grand pass from Hewitt to Goss saw the scores level. But thereafter, OMs controlled the play and scrambled a couple of behinds to win the game.

Josh Anderson was impassable in defence, while Harry Batten was his usual dogged self.

Coach Pepperell concentrated on the positives post-match, knowing full-well that winning the second semi-final and earning the week off has proven no guarantee of a premiership in recent years. Next up, a rematch with St Kevin’s, who tipped out Uni Blues in drier weather yesterday.

Old Xaverians 2.2-14 3.4-22 4.5-29 5.6-36

Old Melburnians 0.4-4 1.6-12 4.10-34 4.14-38

Goal Kickers: M. Douglas 2, L. Denton, N. Prowse, B. Goss

Best Players: J. Anderson, L. Denton, J. Hewitt, M. Douglas, N. Prowse, H. Batten