Every season, even those that end in success, has moments of despair. Saturday had many of these moments, none of them memorable. Elsewhere, however, the Lime Hose moved on to another Prelim Final, and the U19 Premier team secured the minor premiership.
Old Xaverians, secure in second spot, travelled to Beach Road to tackle finals aspirant Old Brighton. The Tonners needed a win to keep hopes alive but given their 86 point drubbing at the hands of these same Red ‘n’ Blacks in May, a tough afternoon was expected.
That didn’t eventuate. The home team won the toss, and surged forward with a vengeance. The visitors scrapped, made errors, failed to find opponents and let the Red Sox take thirteen shots.
There was a murmur from the Xavs in the second term, but a four goal return with the breeze was insufficient, especially as the Tonners rammed home another three into the gale.
The second half response from the Xavs was tardy at best. They conceded another thirteen shots and in response, could add only three behinds.
Finally, facing a 100 point defeat, the X Men found some rhythm and booted five goals to finish the game. Across the road, Kostka Hall had long since covered its collective eyes.
One round left in the home and away season. Plenty to play for next week, and a lot more beyond.
Old Brighton 8.5-53 11.8-74 18.14-122 18.16-124
Old Xaverians 0.2-2 4.4-28 4.7-31 9.10-64
Goal Kickers: M. Batten 3, A. Trigar, M. Handley, C. Johnston, H. Troiani, A. Browne, M. Margin
Best Players: A. Trigar, H. Cullity, M. Stavrou, M. Batten, M. Merlo, F. Pearce
TWOs STAY ON TRACK
Nick Pepperell’s team handled brutal northerlies and a tenacious Old Brighton to win at BBO on Saturday.
It was a solid hit-out for the Old Xavs, who are destined for another tilt at Old Melburnians in the second-semi final in a couple of weeks.
Hard-nuts Hamish Morris and Tom Anderson turned it on, as did big Chris Prowse, whose aerial efforts and goal-shooting were exceptional given the bluster.
Goal Kickers: C. Prowse 3, J. Anderson, H. Morris, M. Douglas, T. Anderson, L. Denton, T. Hart
Best Players: H. Morris, T. Anderson, C. Prowse, L. Denton, J. Dalbosco, J. Troiani
THE MATCH WE HAD TO HAVE
Bruce Wilson tells all:
Master Coach Healy echoed an infamous Australia Treasurer when he said post-game “That was the match we had to have!” Although Xavs ran out winners by 23 points, SKOB played the second half harder than did the X-Men and it seems the long season had finally caught up with a team that had been near its best every week of the season.
Undefeated and having secured the minor premiership, the Claret and Stout led by seven goals at half-time over third-placed SKOB, and that the cues were carefully and progressively racked thereafter can be forgiven.
Each week, Coach Healy and Assistant Coach Bergin set goals for the team and these were achieved more often than not. True to say we now go into next weeks final with Old Scotch as favourites but must remember the basics and play smart, inclusive and “accurate” footy to win. But one week at a time!
For Saturday’s game, Coach Healy left out Captain Wilson, Bueno, Fantasia and Bishop, while moving and shifting players around the ground to determine berths for the finals ahead. It was great to see ‘Sock” O’Brien had a BOG effort with one of the best “wind assisted” goals of the year, while Ben Scala kicked a lazy five and Carroll was deadly around the big sticks. Harry Kelly had another solid game and never fails to entertain with his great marks (just ask him). Rooch Brennan’s pace was lightning, as were Will Wilson’s quick hands. Smith and Berry dominated the ruck and Jack Unger kicked truly for a dead eye dick goal!
James Hess was brilliant and had the ball on a string, Will Honan was hard at it all day and showed real aggression, James Agius was “Back” with his old uncompromising hard at the ball style. Will Mantesso is coming back from a shoulder injury but his class is undeniable, Pat Nunan, “the golden fist”, was the terrific as was Ingham running out of the back line on a few occasions. Big Velks was strong and although it was not his usual big marking day, he had an excuse as the wind reduced aerial read.
Sean Stanley is like a “bull” at the ball and anyone in his way will go flying as with Captain for the day “Fridge” Forrest, who is straight ahead and takes no prisoners! Off the wing and half back came Silky and what a luxury to have in our team as he can deliver the ball to the waiting forwards where the likes of Ed Ralph can take one of his pearlers or leave it to Nick Lefebvre to run off the ball and get the ball delivered closer to the goals! Speaking of drivers, we have the incredible Dan O’Loughlin who scored an unusual double goal from one incursion and did not disappoint as well as Matt Lowe the engine room from the back to forward line and take no prisoners style with the ultimate in hard ball gets and a great half of football from Callum O’Reilly.
To the support staff and firstly I want to thank Will Honan and Jack Carroll, who without asking, set up the goal post pads and this says a great deal about our team, players and culture!! Thank you to Anastasia our Physio star, Ani who assist, Damien Berry for Goals along with Paul Lefebvre (4th qtr. goals), Julien Smith as time keeper, Peter Beaton on water, Billy Curtis for his unusual style of boundary umpiring (lets call it reserving ones energy style), Georgia Wilson on scoreboard, Bridget on photography, James “the accurate one” Samartzis on running and a stressed out Chuck Wilson on the board.
Old Xaverians 5.5-35 9.9-63 12.12-84 14.12-96
St Kevins 0.1-1 3.3-21 6.4-40 11.7-73
Goal Kickers: B. Scala 5, D. O'Loughlin 2, J. Carroll 2, T. O'Brien, J. Agius, H. Brennan, E. Ralph, J. Unger
Best Players: T. O''Brien, O. Silk, J. Agius, B. Scala, W. Honan, L. Berry
Pics from Bridget Wilson. Click to enlarge.
MENAGES START FAST, THEN EASE UP
A star-studded Menages dominated proceedings early at their home-away-from-home Crawford Oval, but had to work hard to survive a spirited comeback from Uni Blacks.
The top-of-the-table Menages go to the final round well clear and prime for the finals with a clash with fourth-placed Old Scotch.
University Blacks 1.1-7 6.5-41 8.7-55 10.8-68
Old Xaverians 5.3-33 7.5-47 10.6-66 11.9-75
Goal Kickers: C. Kennedy 3, P. Phillips 3, M. Tempone 2, J. Morrison, M. Owen, J. Preece
Best Players: M. Peric, P. Phillips, D. Nash, M. Tempone, J. Morrison, S. Vanderkley
THIRDS DIV 2
DILES DO THE BUSINESS AND HEAD TO PRELIM
The Crocs had a big win at Como late on Saturday afternoon and secured a place in next week’s Preliminary Final against PEGS.
Josh Lyon booted five and was best afield in the victory.
MORE DETAILS AS THEY COME TO HAND.
DECS WIN MINOR PREMIERSHIP
A win over Parkdale Vultures at Gerry Green saw the Old Xavs win the minor premiership as the home and away season closed on Saturday.
Tom Simmons and Big Al Spralja were the stars for the Red ‘n’ Blacks, each producing three goals in a sustained power effort up front.
Parkdale Vultures 1.1-7 4.3-27 5.4-34 8.4-52
Old Xaverians 3.7-25 4.7-31 9.13-67 12.14-86
Goal Kickers: T. Simmons 3, A. Spralja 3, C. Whitehead 2, C. MacIsaac, Z. Hart, P. Bourke, O. Fraser
Best Players: T. Simmons, A. Spralja, O. Power, T. McKay, J. Ayton-Delaney, T. Paul
O’SHAN’S 18 AGAIN BRAVE, BUT MISS THE POINTS
Friday Night Lights for the U19 Reserves, as they completed their season with an 18 point loss to PEGS on the Runway.
The Essendonians got away early, and managed to build a gap that could not be bridged. Still, another fine effort from the Xavs, who battled hard all year, coping with unavailability and rival clubs choosing their best U19 boys to take them on.
PEGS 3.3-21 3.4-22 7.7-49 7.7-49
Old Xaverians 0.1-1 2.2-14 2.3-15 4.7-31
Goal Kickers: Z. Connor 2, N. Harries, C. Carey
Best Players: T. Davine, C. Dunne, F. McCombe, H. Hosking, L. MacKinnon