Old Xaverians U23s had the better of the Old Xavs Blacks team in the derby match at Stradbroke Park. The Reds led at every change, and straight kicking helped them build their advantage.
Victorious coach Shane Healy commented:
The battles between the Reds and the Blacks in Premier Thirds always create a lot of interest inside and outside the club, and after the two teams played off in the 2016 Grand Final, the interest was great again for this Round Six battle at Stradbroke Park.
There were many new faces in both teams, but with the players knowing each other well, the game certainly took on an extra dimension.
U23 captain Fletch is still a couple of weeks away, so Sama took the reins and the lads certainly looked up for the battle after a disappointing effort last week on the same ground.
Our start was much better this week, and anyone who saw the first quarter would agree the intensity and speed of the game on a superb day belied the fact that this was Thirds football.
The tackling from both teams was amazing, and no player looked capable of taking the game by the scruff of the neck.
Reds had a one goal lead at quarter time and stretched it to four goals by the long break. The defence, led by the Prowse empire, along with Fantasia and Ongarato, were making scoring tough for the Blacks, whilst our forward entries were organised this week and providing better results with a nice mixture of pace and height making the Blacks’ job difficult.
Berry and Curtis were combining well with our inside runners in Bueno, Agius, Stanley and Samartzis at the stoppages, allowing us first use of the ball on many occasions.
We were confident our speed and run would be dangerous in this match but as it progressed, we also had the better of the inside battle, which saw the lead blow out to a decisive margin by the end of the game.
As always, there was huge pride on the line and while this was our day, we’re under no illusions that it could be a different result at Toorak Park in a few weeks.
The game was hard and brutal but exceedingly fair and played in great spirit.
Amato, Silk, Will Wilson and VanderKley all continued their noticeable improvement.
Bad luck to the Blacks, and well done to our boys – now it’s heads down to keep surging for a top four spot.
Crawford Oval beckons for the next two weeks – we’ll have to be really switched on !
Old Xaverians Red 4.1-25 9.2-56 15.4-94 20.6-126
Old Xaverians Black 3.1-19 5.2-32 6.4-40 9.6-60
OX RED (U23s)
Goal Kickers: S. Vanderkley 3, J. Samartzis 3, H. Kelly 3, C. O''Sullivan 2, M. Cain 2, C. Bishop, M. Stanley, J. Bueno, A. Amato, T. Beaton, O. Silk, T. Ingham
Best Players: M. Ongarato, A. Amato, T. Ingham, J. Bueno, J. Samartzis, L. Berry
OX BLACK (Menages)
Goal Kickers: F. Lane 3, J. Close 2, M. Skidmore, J. Hanger, A. Sorrenti, M. Owen
Best Players: S. Lees, F. Lane, D. Ryan, J. Hanger, J. Close, A. Sorrenti