The Easter hiatus had few adverse effects as The Red ‘n’ Blacks posted another seven wins. The WOX Blacks were desperately unlucky not to make it eight, while the Crocs are in a wholly unfamiliar situation - winless after three.
SENIORS: VINTAGE MERLO AS XAVS BLEND WELL
For just the third time in eight tries, Old Xaverians conquered the Daley Oval, pounding last year’s preliminary finalist Old Trinity by 54 points.
The visitors made four changes - all forced on them - but approached the clash with some confidence after their strong opening fortnight.
The Greenbacks, struggling at 0-2, appeared anything but relaxed. Twice in the opening term, Xavs’ trainers had to attend players caught in over-zealous tackles. Undaunted, the X-Men slipped away to an early lead, fired by a slick quarter from the returning Matt Margin, who not only won several telling contests, but also booted three goals.
It was the Ts, however, who looked the better team for much of the second term. Kicking towards the northern end, they combined well and looked more like the Hedgeburners we have seen in recent years. Xavs tried hard to wrest control back, but their supply lines appeared broken. Courtesy of some excellent ball movement, the Trimmers were within a goal after they booted three in the first eleven minutes of the stanza. However, the next eleven minutes saw the Claret and Stout turn the screws and the home team could score no more. Into time on, Xavs booted two further majors to push the gap back out to 18 points at the half.
The second half featured plenty of niggle and individual clashes, but the Red ‘n’ Blacks re-asserted its mastery across the ground. The third frame saw the visitors boot another four goals, while the Ts didn’t trouble the scorer at all. That dominance extended into the final term, as Xavs added another four, making it ten goals without reply from the home team. Trinity booted the final two of the game, though a shot after the siren might have seen the Blood and Tars match their 101 point tally achieved on this lawn in 2012.
Still, it was a solid effort from the visitors. The average score for visiting teams on the Daley since 2011 is just 60, while the T’s average 68. On these numbers, it was a comprehensive win at both ends, and also in the middle of the park, where Matt Merlo and Cauley Beetham starred.
Tom Gilbert and Hamish Cullity were reliable link men and the mercurial Matt Margin celebrated his senior return with five great goals. Hayden Troiani showed dash and was important up forward with his pressure.
Ben Banting and Jordy Kelly proved the strongest of an inexperienced back six, while the twin towers Jason Holmes and Chris Prowse won two-thirds of the taps to give their smaller allies plenty of opportunities.
The season is yet young, but Xavs have already reversed three results from 2018 and their promise of more to come. Next week, DLS returns to Toorak Park, where it has won three times in eight seasons. The man who coached the last two of those is now in the other dugout.
Old Trinity 1.1-7 4.2-26 4.2-26 6.5-41
Old Xaverians 5.1-31 7.2-44 11.4-70 15.5-95
Goal Kickers: M. Margin 5, M. Handley 3, C. Beetham, H. Troiani, R. Bewick, M. Stavrou, C. Prowse, T. Gilbert, D. Stanford
Best Players: M. Merlo, M. Margin, T. Gilbert, B. Banting, C. Beetham, J. Kelly
Around the grounds:
St Bernard’s accounted for DLS at the Snakepit, while Uni Blues torched Old Melburnians at HQ. Collegians won their first, beating Carey at the Trott, while the big surprise was the winless Old Brighton toppling St Kevin’s at the King.
P Team W L PF PA Perc PP
1 St Bernards 3 0 274 145 188.97 12
2 Uni Blues 3 0 356 215 165.58 12
3 Old Xavs 3 0 321 207 155.07 12
4 St Kevins 1 2 272 261 104.21 4
5 Old Brighton 1 2 278 275 101.09 4
6 De La Salle 1 2 244 290 84.14 4
7 Collegians 1 2 224 276 81.16 4
8 Old Carey 1 2 237 296 80.07 4
9 Old Melb 1 2 221 339 65.19 4
10 Old Trinity 0 3 186 309 60.19 0
Old Brighton vs Collegians
Old Carey vs Old Melburnians
Old Trinity vs St Kevins
University Blues vs St Bernards
Old Xaverians vs De La Salle
RESERVES: CLASS EMERGES IN SECOND HALF
Joe Tobin and Nick Prowse made their season debuts, and Mitch Parker found the sticks, as Nick Pepperell’s team put away Trinity in the second half.
Xavs’ early inaccuracy kept the Greens on pace, but Xavs showed too much run and poise after the long break , running out easy winners in the end. Seasoned campaigners Louis Denton, Matt Douglas and Tom Anderson were all prominent as the Xavs added ten goals to four after the long break.
After falling to Old Melburnians in R1, the Ressies have shown solid improvement and will once again be around the place when the whips start cracking. Next week, a clash with top-ranked and undefeated DLS.
Old Trinity 3.1-19 4.3-27 6.4-40 8.5-53
Old Xaverians 2.7-19 5.7-37 10.10-70 15.12-102
Goal Kickers: M. Parker 4, N. Prowse 2, M. Douglas 2, D. O'Loughlin 2, T. Anderson 2, J. Barrack, T. Beaton, B. Kennedy
Best Players: J. Tobin, E. Lachal, L. Denton, M. Parker, T. Anderson, C. Kennedy
WOX: BROWNIES LOSE A HEARTBREAKER
Despite dominating the first half, Old Xaverians dropped a close one at Glenhuntly Reserve yesterday. The Red ‘n’ Blacks looked winners early, but their failure to convert forward entries into six pointers saw their advantage minimised in the first and second terms.
With much of the play in Xavs’ forward arc, the area became too crowded for effective offense. The Fields scored their only first-half goal from a free-kick in the goal square and kept in the game as the first half closed.
It was the Fields’ turn, in the third stanza, as they turned a narrow deficit into a handy lead by the lemons. Xavs roared back in the final term, but were left frustrated by some strange decisions from the hometown umpires who had been forced into duty when the appointed VAFA arbiter failed to show.
Georgie Wilson shone for the Xavs, while Gabby Henderson showed plenty too. Lizzy Shanahan and Charlotte Powell-Wright were effective defenders, while Amy Benifer and Jen Barker gave plenty.
The result showed significant improvement for the WOX since their seven goal defeat last season, but one senses that the hard work of the coaches and the players will deliver better results as the season progresses.
Caulfield Grammarians 0.0-0 1.1-7 3.4-22 3.6-24
Old Xaverians 1.1-7 1.3-9 1.4-10 3.4-22
Goal Kickers: I. Ellis, C. Rooks, A. Keith
Best Players: G. Wilson, G. Henderson, E. Shanahan, A. Benifer, C. Powell Wright, J. Barker
WOX: FRANTASTICS WIN BIG
The WOX Reds dominated Caulfield Grammarians in their morning clash at Glenhuntly yesterday. From the outset, it appeared the Red ‘n’ Blacks would galllop away and indeed, given the strong performances all over the ground, the big win came as no surprise.
Tahryn Mant played her second-ever game and again won plaudits for her BOG performance. Abbie Ryan was in everything and Amy Smith chimed in with two vital goals.
The Tasmanian Tiger, Meg Purdon, gave plenty of drive from the midfield despite her wounded knee, while Demi McLaren and Tayla Weltner were among the better players in a great team performance.
PICTURED: Eliza Christie and Rianna Percy were strong in defence, slapping back any Caulfield offensives.
While scores remained relatively close in the first half, the Xavs picked up the pressure after the long break and careered away.
Post game, they gleefully belted out the victory song in fine style, causing one observer to remark :”I don’t think I’ve ever been THAT happy1”
With numbers at training more than sufficient to field two teams, the rotation policy can be tough. special kudos to those who missed a game themselves, but were there to cheer their team.
Caulfield Grammarians 0.0 1.0-6 1.0-6 2.1-13
Old Xaverians 1.3-9 2.3-15 5.8-38 5.8-38
Goal Kickers: A. Smith 2, N. Manthorpe, A. Ryan, S. Gucciardo
Best Players: T. Mant, A. Ryan, A. Smith, M. Purdon, D. McLaren, T. Weltner
THIRDS: 23s DRILL WELLERS.
Shane Healy’s boys put away Old Camberwell with a minimum of fuss at Gordon Barnard. The star-studded lineup had fourteen goal scorers, with Ollie Silk slotting four.
The Red ‘n’ Blacks are the competition’s only unbeaten team after three rounds.
Assistant Coach Tom Bergin reports:
The U23’s turned on a great team effort and had another convincing win against Old Camberwell at Gordon Barnard
The team selected included seven new players and was certainly one of the stronger sides we have seen over recent seasons.
Despite not being overly challenged on the scoreboard, the boys were committed to practising and consolidating good habits - fast ball movement, switching the play and fierce tackling - that will no doubt hold us in good stead at the end of the year.
From the outset, the boys worked well together and, on most occasions, set up unselfish plays allowing the mids and forwards to score. There were many passages of play where the ball was cleanly and swiftly transitioned out of the backline and converted into a goal within four or fewer kicks.
Our delivery into the forward line was especially strong, as was the presentation and use of space from our key forwards. Towards the end of the game, the boys began to lock the ball in our forward 50 at kick ins and applied more pressure, creating scoring opportunities.
Even though coach Shane Healy had offered to pay for our social gathering after the match if we were to kick 30 goals, the boys were somewhat inaccurate kicking 24.22. Clearly our kicking for goal will need to be a focus of improvement over the season!
It was great to see our Club President, Matty Cosgrave come down and support our players.
Special mentions to Ralphy who took 12 marks, Silky who kicked 4 goals and our ruckman Matty Smith and Lachy Berry who competed well all day. All around it was a solid effort from all.
We greatly appreciated the contributions from our volunteers and support staff including Anastasia, Bergs Snr., Tauoky, Tommy Fantasia, and Stanley, who provided support with a passion and a smile making the ability to get the team on the field that much easier.
Our social gathering after the game at a great AVC venue, the Auburn Hotel offered the boys the chance to reflect on the game with their teammates.
We look forward to next week’s challenge .
Old Camberwell 0.1-1 0.2-2 1.2-8 1.2-8
Old Xaverians 5.4-34 13.10-88 19.16-130 24.22-166
Goal Kickers: O. Silk 4, B. Scala 3, J. Agius 3, H. Kelly 2, M. Lowe 2, L. Agnoletto 2, G. Lachal, P. Phillips, W. Veljkovic, H. Brennan, B. Thomas, E. Barr, M. Speakman, E. Ralph
Best Players: E. Ralph, O. Silk, B. Scala, M. Smith, J. Agius, H. Brennan
MENAGES: FRASER LANE’S EIGHT SPURS BIG WIN
An eight goal, BOG performance from Fraser Lane fired the Menages to a big win over Uni Blues at Crawford yesterday.
Xavs seized the initiative early, racing away to a 40 point lead at the first break. Blues fought back, but their inaccurate kicking cost them any chance of recovery.
The Menages are unbeaten after three and sit in top spot.
Old Xaverians 6.6-42 8.8-56 12.11-83 15.16-106
University Blues 0.2-2 2.6-18 3.10-28 5.13-43
Goal Kickers: F. Lane 8, D. Nash 2, S. Berengo, J. Hanger, M. Cain, J. Smarrelli, J. Buffon
Best Players: F. Lane, D. Nash, G. Haddan, M. Cain, J. Smarrelli, J. Buffon
U19 PREMIER: STACKED DECS WALLOP FIELDS
Last time they met, Caulfield pushed Xavs to the brink of finals elimination, but there was no such nervousness as the Red and Blacks powered away to a big victory at Stradbroke Park yesterday.
It was a comprehensive victory, with big Oscar Power dominating and a slew of goal kickers to keep the board moving along.
The U19s remain unbeaten, along with Williamstown CYMS and De La Salle.
Old Xaverians 4.4-28 8.6-54 13.10-88 18.12-120
Caulfield Grammarians 1.1-7 1.3-9 4.4-28 7.5-47
Goal Kickers: T. Mantesso 3, S. Asdagi 3, C. Holmes 3, A. Lamanna 2, S. Stynes 2, C. MacIsaac, T. Simmons, L. Soccio, D. Condon, C. Connors
Best Players: O. Power, L. Danielis-Morley, E. Sauze, T. Simmons, S. Asdagi, D. Condon
U19 RESERVES: TRAGEAR TRAMPLES TRICOLORS
Declan Tragear turned it on as the Old Xavs smashed last season’s GF opponent by 82 points at Stradbroke Park yesterday.
It was a solid team performance from the Xavs, who overcame early inaccuracy to post a big score.
Next week, a big challenge, as O’Shan’s 18 meet Old McKinnon/Glen Eira, which is currently third on the ladder with a healthy percentage.
Old Xaverians 4.6-30 7.10-52 13.16-94 19.18-132
St Kevins OB 2.1-13 3.1-19 4.1-25 8.2-50
Goal Kickers: D. Tragear 6, O. Tehan 3, B. Christopher 2, C. Niall 2, Z. Connor 2, P. Goatcher, N. Brown, N. Jane, H. Sweeney
Best Players: C. O'Loughlin, D. Tragear, F. McCombe, H. Sweeney, Z. Connor
CROCS: GREEN HOSE DROP ANOTHER ONE
Old Xaverians 1.1-7 3.2-20 6.2-38 7.5-47
Marcellin OC 4.5-29 8.7-55 12.10-82 16.14-110
Goal Kickers: T. Lyon 3, N. Russ 2, H. McNamara, J. McDonnell
Best Players: H. Reed, J. McDonnell, J. Donohoe, J. Jenkinson, J. Kentish, M. McLean