Dry ground, dry ball, late winter sunshine and some pretty effective football from the Red ‘n Blacks. The Seniors clinched the double chance, the Crocs clinched a finals berth and the Ressies, Menages and U19 Premier team rolled on. The Thirds U23 received a forfeit.
THE BEAR, ONCE POKED, EMERGES FROM WINTER HIBERNATION.
The weather broke to sunshine and the smiles returned to the faces of the Toorak Park faithful as the Claret and Stout came out of their cave to feast on a hapless Old Trinity.
Shrugging off a lethargy that has seemed apparent on most Saturdays since the double bye, the Xavs shredded the Ts with their run and ball movement., enabling a functioning forward set-up to do its business. Big Matt Handley, with his sure hands and even surer right boot, Tom Gilbert with his stellar left shoe and Nick Prowse with his elevated dooks made life miserable for the Green Machine.
They didn’t want for opportunities, with midfield dynamos Campbell Lane and Marcus Stavrou relentless in the push forward, and Chris Margin and Hayden Troiani enjoying creative days out.
When the visitors threatened, Ben Banting and Brad Olsson were there to drive them out. Fraser Pearce was a superb link man, while Denis Symeopoulos kicked a couple of his specials in his hundredth outing for the X-Men.
Finding fault with a 108 point victory might be pernickety, but no doubt players and coaches will look at ways to hit targets on a more regular basis. Near enough is never good enough, especially against sides with more depth of talent than the Ts had at their disposal today.
With St Kevin’s falling to Old Melburnians, the Red ‘n’ Blacks secured a second-semi final berth. That can wait, as the immediate future features clashes with a tenacious Old Brighton before the home closer against Collegians.
Old Xaverians 3.2-20 7.4-46 13.10-88 18.16-124
Old Trinity 0.3-3 0.3-3 1.4-10 2.4-16
Goal Kickers: M. Handley 6, M. Margin 2, M. Stavrou 2, T. Gilbert 2, D. Symeopoulos 2, A. Browne, H. Troiani, N. Prowse, C. Lane
Best Players: M. Stavrou, M. Handley, C. Lane, F. Pearce, C. Margin, N. Prowse
PEPPS STAY RED HOT
Nick Pepperell’s Reserves outfit had another slashing win, carving up the Greens in a dominating display at Toorak Park.
The X Men opened brightly, with Clay Johnston dancing across the field, across the forward line, across the middle, occasionally in defence, and doing as he pleased with the Sherrin.
Harry Batten, back from senior duty, never saw a hard ball he didn’t want and again gave the opposition plenty to think about.
Jordan Troiani was again prominent. After a slow start to the year due to injury, he has found some real form. “Arzani” knows how to find the ball and he knows how to kick a goal.
Trinity has performed poorly in this competition in 2019, but Xavs showed its opponent plenty of respect and played with commitment and skill. Another win on the way to another second semi-final.
Old Xaverians 5.4-34 10.5-65 14.7-91 17.10-112
Old Trinity 0.3-3 0.4-4 1.6-12 1.9-15
Goal Kickers: M. Parker 3, B. Goss 2, J. Troiani 2, P. Phillips 2, M. Douglas, T. Hart, L. Tiernan, B. Kennedy, T. Golds, H. Morris, C. Johnston, T. Amad
Best Players: J. Troiani, H. Batten, M. Douglas, T. Parker, E. Lachal, C. Johnston
MENAGES MAUL BLUES
The Lane/Cain partnership was back in business, with the duo punching through nine goals between them as the Red ‘n’ Blacks hammered Uni Blues at Crawford.
The partnership has produced 61 goals between them thus far, with a promise of more to come over the next month.
Steve Berengo got the nod for BOG
Old Xaverians 5.6-36 12.10-82 16.15-111 23.20-158
University Blues 1.0-6 1.1-7 1.1-7 2.2-14
Goal Kickers: F. Lane 6, M. Cain 3, D. Nash 3, T. Beaton 3, M. Tempone 3, D. Benson, M. Owen, V. Crisafi, J. Morrison, J. Wilkinson
Best Players: S. Berengo, D. Nash, F. Lane, J. Blake, T. Beaton, M. Tempone
DECS DROP SCOTCHIES
Gus Sheedy got the votes, Lucas Soccio the goals and Old Xavs the points in a tight affair at Camberwell.
Old Scotch led early, but Xavs opened a winning gap in the third term and held on to win despite a strong effort from the Cards.
Old Scotch 2.3-15 3.5-23 5.8-38 7.8-50
Old Xaverians 0.2-2 4.6-30 8.9-57 9.9-63
Goal Kickers: L. Soccio 6, S. Stynes, C. Whitehead, C. Holmes
Best Players: A. Sheedy, L. Soccio, J. Langford, Z. Hart, A. Spralja, J. Ayton-Delaney
BLOODS TOO BIG, TOO STRONG
O’Shan’s 18 came crashing back to earth as they met a strong SMD line-up. The Red ‘n’ Blacks had few winners, but plenty of triers, despite being overmatched by the Lakesiders.
South Melbourne Districts 5.5-35 9.9-63 11.11-77 20.12-132
Old Xaverians 0.2-2 1.2-8 3.6-24 3.8-26
Goal Kickers: M. Amicucci, T. Bates, N. Harries
Best Players: N. Blackwood, A. Lamanna, L. MacKinnon, C. Kelly, J. Grant
DILES DUMP RAZORBACKS AND WILL PLAY FINALS
On to the first semi-final next week.
Swinburne Uni 1.2-8 2.3-15 2.4-16 3.6-24
Old Xaverians 3.5-23 5.7-37 10.7-67 13.7-85