On a day when things never came easily, the Red 'n Blacks took it to league leader St Kevin's for three quarters, giving themselves a chance to emerge with the points. But it was the visitors who started the final term with a bang and blew the game open during a critical ten minute mental lapse by the home team.
Late goals to the home team reduced the final margin to 15 points, but Kevins further enhanced their reputation by shutting down the Xaverian forward line for much of the afternoon. Tim Golds booted three, but otherwise, the avenues to goal were narrow and difficult to find.
The Xavs had some strong contributors. Denis Symeopoulos, Ben Kennedy, John Shaw and Tomi Johnston were handy on-ballers. Dan Noonan was resolute in defence, playing a strong captain's game, but it was surprising how many of his teammates had games to forget.
The loss means that a victory at De La Salle next week is mandatory. The Waverley Park ground has been somewhat of a happy hunting ground in recent years, but the Red 'n' Blacks will need to be good to beat De La Salle.
Old Xaverians 3.1-19 4.5-29 7.8-50 10.12-72
St Kevins 4.2-26 6.5-41 7.11-53 12.15-87
Goal Kickers: T. Golds 3, M. Handley 2, B. Goss, C. Johnston, C. Margin, B. Kennedy, C. Woodley
Best Players: D. Symeopoulos, J. Shaw, D. Noonan, T. Golds, T. Johnston, T. Williams