Just five from nine this week, but some sizzling performances from the Red ‘n’ Blacks on Saturday and Sunday. A victory for quality over quantity. But let’s not get too comfortable, because it’s all on the line again next week.
ZEALOUS, ZIPPY XAVS STUN TONNERS
With five changes forced on them, the selectors juggled the magnets to find the perfect combination to take on a resurgent Old Brighton on the Roche. Fast starts have been the hallmark of the X-Men in the first month of the campaign, but the visitors managed the early going and provided stiff opposition.
Fraser Pearce had opened their account in the ninth minute, but the twin calicos didn’t flutter for the next fifteen minutes. Xavs route to goal was indirect , with their willingness to share the ball leading to wasted opportunities and stoppages in dead pockets. Mickey Batten snapped a beauty to break the drought, but the Tonners roared forward from the re-start for a quick reply.
Coach Satterley ordered adjustments at the first break and the Red ‘n’ Blacks responded with a fabulous fury in the second term, adding nine goals in a happy hurry that left the Redlegs reeling. With Jason Holmes controlling the airspace, Cauley Beetham and Marcus Stavrou ran riot in the middle, and Tom Gilbert and Matt Margin hit the scoreboard five times between them. At half-time, the gap was 55 points.
The Beach Boys fought hard in the third and due to some inaccuracy from the home team, nearly won the term. But time and again, the Xavs turned them away. Jordan Kelly and Nick Prowse were safe and solid, while the youthful trio of Tom Hart, James Dalbosco and Alex Trigar showed plenty of poise and run.
In the final stanza, The X-Men put the foot down again, relentlessly driving forward. A Jason Holmes lead and chest mark provided the big fellow with a goal chance, which he duly took. There had been plenty of candidates for goal of the day, but the twenty minute mark, Hamish Culiity took home the prize when he twice sold the pup at full pace and kicked truly from 20 metres.
Only the final siren ended the torture of the Tonners, who never gave in, but were nonetheless smashed to smithereens by a ruthless Xavs team that is still building.
The Claret and Stout are in rarified air, with a percentage not seen after five completed rounds in at least the last eight years.
Next week’s clash with Uni Blues under the spires will determine whether the temperature rises further or slips back to more realistic levels. The venue has seen the combatants split the last six contests, and Xavs’ winning margins have always been narrow.
Old Xaverians 2.1-13 11.5-71 14.10-94 22.10-142
Old Brighton 1.4-10 2.4-16 5.6-36 8.8-56
Goal Kickers: T. Gilbert 4, M. Margin 4, M. Batten 3, C. Beetham, J. Holmes, J. Barrack, M. Merlo, M. Stavrou, T. Anderson, F. Pearce, M. Handley, B. Goss, H. Troiani, H. Cullity
Best Players: T. Gilbert, M. Margin, M. Stavrou, M. Merlo, J. Holmes, A. Trigar
RED ‘N’ BLACKS RUN AWAY
After an even start on the lop-sided Plunkett Oval, the Xavs found their rhythm and put on a strong showing. The Red ‘n’ Blacks booted fourteen goals to six after the first change to move into second spot, just percentage behind St Kevin’s whom they beat convincingly in Round 2.
Hamish Morris showed plenty of his best, winning the hard ball and creating drive. Harry Batten was again a standout, while Dan O’Loughlin and Ben Scala again seized their opportunities with strong performances.
Next week, it’s on to Main Oval to renew acquaintances with traditional rival Uni Blues.
Old Xaverians 4.0-24 9.4-58 13.10-88 18.13-121
Old Brighton 3.3-21 3.4-22 5.7-37 9.14-68
Goal Kickers: M. Peric 3, M. Parker 2, D. O'Loughlin 2, P. Phillips 2, B. Scala 2, C. Kennedy, T. Beaton, A. Browne, B. Kennedy, J. Anderson, M. Douglas, H. Morris
Best Players: H. Morris, H. Batten, D. O'Loughlin, B. Scala, L. Barry, L. Bisset
WOX PREMIER B
BROWNIES COOL OFF COLLEGIANS
Former Melbourne Rebel Tangata Tupou was best afield and Alice Keith booted four goals as the WOX led from go to whoah against the Lions on the Chapel Oval.
Ebony Dwyer turned in one of her strongest-ever efforts as the Red ‘n’ Blacks jumped to an early lead and stepped up the pace again when threatened.
The Brownies are in third spot, one game behind the top team Monash Blues, whom they face next week.
Old Xaverians 2.3-15 4.6-30 6.6-42 7.13-55
Collegians 1.1-7 2.2-14 3.5-23 4.5-29
Goal Kickers: A. Keith 4, B. Robertson, I. Milford, C. Macumber
Best Players: T. Tupou, E. Dwyer , A. Keith, I. Milford, C. Clarke, T. Meyer
WOX PREMIER B RESERVES
FRANTASTICS FIRE AGAIN
Old Xaverians 4.2-26 5.4-34 6.7-43 6.7-43
Collegians 1.0-6 1.0-6 1.0-6 1.0-6
Goal Kickers: S. Ongarello 3, R. Cox , G. Purchase, G. Watkins
Best Players: A. Smith, G. Cleaver, T. Weltner, S. Eeles, S. Noonan, R. Cox
The Frantastics opened in fine style, booting four goals in the first time and shutting the gate on the visiting Lions.
Collegians closed the game down after quarter time, but could not trouble the Xavs, who were served well by some strong performances across the field.
Sitting in second spot, confidence and skill levels are rising by the week. Next week, a trip to Monash, where the Frantastics have another chance to push their claim against a strong Blues outfit.
THIRDS DOMINATE SECOND HALF TO STAY SPOTLESS
Team Manager Bruce Wilson reports:
For the first time this year the U23’s were pressed hard from the first bounce, with Old Scotch exploding out of the gates with aggressive footy rattling the normally focused unit. Round 5 commenced with 16 regular players either advancing to the 2nd’s, injured or rostered off, resulting in the need to discover new on-field leaders. Matt Lowe was captain for the day and did a superb job leading by example, especially with a fine solo effort in the last quarter.
But the day was a tale of 2 halves, with scores level at half-time, and then a second half assault from our boys resulting in a doubling the Old Scotch score by the final siren.
Coach Healy’s message at half time was simple… “Old Scotch have come to play and have taken it up to us! They are charged and full of confidence so a real step up from all the boys was the order for the 2nd half. The boys delivered and kicked 9 goals 8 points to 2 straight. We fell back into a few bad habits in front of goal, but the message to the rest of the competition was clear. Beware.”
Ed Ralph continued on from last week with exceptional marking in front of goal and his conversion in front of goal can and will improve. Big Velks converted 5 with solid marking in front of goals, Jack Carroll s running into form with 3 great goals on the run.
Both Smith and Berry dominated the ruck and the opposition were no easy pushovers. They tapped rucked with perfection to Bishop, Amad, Stanley, Rooch and Taouk at every opportunity with Amad particularly smashing the packs with perfection from their taps.
Impala, who in his first season has shown continuous improvement, was again solid and contributed a timely first-quarter goal. Nick Lefebvre had his best game yet and was called out by the coach for his efforts. The back line was under more pressure than ever and with a few more senior players missing today, the back line gathered momentum to repel the advancing Scotch at every opportunity. The big bodies of Forrest and Beaton contested magnificently one on one bring the ball to ground for the likes of Silky, Nunan, Thomas, Ingham and Honan. Fantasia was particularly solid in the back line and with Smith and Berry doing much of the ruck work, he is left to weave his craft across the back. Socks O’Brien was let loose across the back and mid field and running into form well.
In the end, it was a wakeup call a great win. With 16 players missing, it should be a good season, but as we saw today, complacency will catch us out. A great team effort and a great bunch of guys.
Thanks again for all the support to the boys each week that ensures our success… to Coach Healy, Assistant Coach Tommy Bergin, Physio extraordinaire Anastasia , Rob Bergin Goal Umpire without Peer, Tony Fantasia and Paul Lefebvre for sharing the time keeping, Damián Berry ad Mr Ingham for sharing the scoreboard, Will Wilson (soon to come back to the team) for boundary Umpiring and Will Mantesso for a fine job for keeping the boys watered.
Old Xaverians 4.1-25 6.7-43 10.11-71 15.15-105
Old Scotch 4.3-27 6.4-40 6.4-40 8.4-52
Goal Kickers: W. Veljkovic 5, J. Carroll 3, E. Ralph 3, M. Lowe, B. Thomas, C. Impala, H. Brennan
Best Players: A. Taouk, M. Smith, N. Lefebvre, L. Berry, H. Brennan, C. Impala
Many thanks to Bridget Wilson for her great match pics.
WAYWARD MENAGES FALL TO RED MEN
The Menages managed just 2.7 in the second half and allowed Scotch to escape with an eight point victory at Camberwell. Harry Sleeman and Sam Franklyn were best afield, but it was a tough morning for forwards, including Josh “Tooka” Hanger, who remained stranded on 199 goals.
Despite the narrow loss, the Xavs remain on top of the table, with the Red Men close behind them by virtue of percentage.
Old Scotch 1.3-9 3.6-24 6.6-42 8.8-56
Old Xaverians 2.1-13 4.5-29 5.8-38 6.12-48
Goal Kickers: S. Franklyn, S. Berengo, F. Lane, N. Sharkey, N. Nunan, S. Vanderkley
Best Players: H. Sleeman, S. Franklyn, D. Prowse, S. Vanderkley, G. Haddan, J. Preece
Thanks to Eugene Smarrelli for the great pics.
19s FALL TO DE LA
The 19s dropped their first of the season, losing by a solitary point to old rival De La Salle. Neither team located the Plunkett sticks with any consistency and it was this failure that probably cost the Red ‘n’n Blacks the premiership points.
Old Xaverians 3.3-21 6.10-46 8.17-65 8.21-69
De La Salle 4.4-28 5.8-38 5.10-40 9.16-70
Goal Kickers: S. Stynes 3, B. Christopher, C. Connors, C. Holmes, D. Condon, L. Danielis-Morley
Best Players: J. Langford, P. Bourke, C. MacIsaac, C. Holmes, T. Paul, A. Sheedy
U19 DIV 2
HARD GOING FOR O’SHAN’s 18
Xavs were scoreless in the first term and never made real headway in their clash with Old Geelong. Their third term was the exception, but the OGs took over again in the last to run out easy winners.
Old Xaverians 0.0 1.5-11 5.5-35 6.7-43
Old Geelong 4.3-27 7.4-46 10.6-66 14.6-90
THIRDS DIV 2
The Reptiles failed to back up from last week’s victory, going down to Old Geelong by 53 points at Como Park. Xavs were right in it in the first term, but slipped behind in the second and there was no recovery.
Old Geelong 4.2-26 7.9-51 10.12-72 15.16-106
Old Xaverians 4.0-24 5.1-31 6.1-37 8.5-53
Goal Kickers: H. Reed 2, A. Keyhoe, J. McDonnell, B. Vaughan, L. Cotchett, J. Silk, N. Russ
Best Players: J. Jenkinson, H. Reed, J. Silk, A. Wood, J. McDonnell, N. Russ