Old Xaverians created more history today with three more teams qualifying for grand finals. At Elsternwick, the mighty Crocodiles chewed up PEGS to win a place in the decider against the Hawthorn Spartans. At Box Hill, the Thirds U23 team put Scotch on the rocks, and the U19 Premier team defeated a gallant Bernies by four points in a hard-fought tussle. Ya gotta love it, don’t ya?
THIRDS SECTION 2
PEGS CAN’T HOLD LIME HOSE
The Diles, almost extinct just a week before the season began, today claimed another grand final berth when it defeated PEGS in the preliminary final at Elsternwick.
The Bombers had first use of the breeze, but it was the Lime Hose that sprang into action, booting the first four goals of the game. PEGS hit back to even things up by the first change.
When they went to the sheds at the half, the Diles had re-asserted their claim, leading by three goals. The third term would decide the contest and this Xaverian team of veterans and youngsters put their heads down and held sway in the third. At the lemons, the Reptiles still led by a goal.
A couple of bombs from Al Wood and other brilliant passages in the final term saw the underdogs win by 34 points.
Next week, the Spartans will go in as favourites, but there is yet another chapter to be written about these comeback kings, the Diles who just won’t die. It might yet be the Crocs’ finest hour, and they’ve had plenty of them in their storied history.
Old Xaverians 14.16.100
Goals: J. Lyon 4, A. Wood 2, L. Cotchett 2, M.Perrett, J. Smith, H. Reed, J. Kentish, H. Aikman, H. McNamara
Best: A. Wood, L. Cotchett, J. Lyon, L. Bosnar, H. Reed
BUENO BRILLIANT, CARROLL ON SONG AS HEALERS EXECUTE CARDINALS
Old Scotch kicked the first goal of the game, and the first of the second term too. When they resumed after the long break, they banged through the first two of the third stanza. Other than that, the X-Men did all the scoring, completely blanketing the Red Men and sending them to next week’s repechage final.
Team Maneger Bruce Wilson reports:
Healy’s Heroes smashed their way into the 2019 U23 Grand Final with a dominant display over Old Scotch in today’s Second Semi Final at Box Hill.
Old Scotch came out fighting and hunting in packs to create a dominant physicality over us and it worked . But not for long.
Once the Xavs found their rhythm, there was no stopping them and they handed out a sensational 107 point drubbing to the Cardinals, who had finished second on the ladder.
It was a great team effort and congratulations to all. Special mentions to Silk, Bueno, Will Wilson, Le Febvre, Ungar, Kelly, Carroll, Scala, Rooch and Ralph who provided great grunt across the ground.
Add Bishop and Agius, who with Berry and Smithy, were the fonts of dominance.
Thank you to all our wonderful support teams and volunteers. Without them, the team would struggle to get on the park. To Terry Landrigan for setting up the rooms, providing drinks, equipment and his wonderful guidance, thank you. To Tom Bergin as the best Assistant Coach going around, Rob Bergin on interchange, Chris Samartzis on Umpire Escort, James Samartzis as super runner, Jacqueline Shields on scoreboard, Simon Massey on time, Matt Forrest on stats, Callum on water, Anastasia and Miles Bergin our star trainers, Sam Turner on water and a big thanks to Will Honan, who multi tasked as a water boy then as boundary umpire.
Old Xaverians 4.3-27 11.7-73 13.10-88 21.11-137
Old Scotch 1.0-6 2.3-15 4.5-29 4.6-30
Goal Kickers: J. Carroll 5, H. Kelly 4, E. Ralph 3, J. Unger 2, C. Bishop, D. O''Loughlin, T. O''Brien, W. Wilson, H. Brennan, W. Mantesso, O. Silk
Best Players: J. Bueno, D. O''Loughlin, O. Silk, W. Wilson, N. Lefebvre, J. Unger
Finally – a message from the coach saying well done to the troops on getting to the grand final – now the pressure comes on to play well in the cauldron and win it … and thanks to Big Bad Bruce for his excellent match reports this year – to which this time, I’ve done my own addition to ensure BBB receives his rightful “pat on the back” – DESERVED!
GO XAVS and good luck to all teams this weekend - Crocs in their GF and 1’s, 2’s and Menages in their 2nd semis.
TRIUMPH OF THE WILLING
Old Xaverians staked their claim for a third successive U19 premiership when they defeated St Bernard’s in a spine-tingling second semi-final at Box Hill City Oval today.
For three quarters, the large crowd witnessed a skilful display of punch and counter-punch, but when the rain came, the crowd took shelter. This comfort was not available to the players, who slogged it out in sheeting rain on slippery turf with a ball that quickly became a veritable cake of soap.
The Red ‘n’ Blacks looked slick as they worked their way through the breeze in the first term and would have been happy with halving the quarter. Likewise, the Snowdogs battled hard in the second and prevented the minor premier from taking a solid lead.
The third stanza would prove decisive. Xavs were in everything early and looked solid at the back. Bernies kicked just one for the term, while the X-Men managed two, setting up a seven point lead as they went to the lemons.
As VAFA staff scurried to find the lights, coach Pittonet issued his final instructions. With rain tumbling, the wind advantage was gone.
The last stanza was not one for the faint-hearted. Marking, catching and holding the ball was a treacherous experience. St Bernard’s somehow strung together a passage of play and scored a goal. Xavs put it through the uprights twice, but both kicks were ruled touched - one of the boot, and the other on the line - but even the Pitter fans who saw the latter call thought it an erroneous call.
The siren went to end the torture for all, and the camps again divided into the delighted and the disappointed. One senses that another meeting is on the cards within the fortnight.
Old Xaverians 3.2-20 7.5-47 9.7-61 9.11-65
St Bernards 3.2-20 7.3-45 8.6-54 9.7-61
Goal Kickers: J. Ayton-Delaney 2, C. Holmes 2, T. Simmons, S. Stynes, S. Asdagi, A. Spralja, L. Danielis-Morley
Best Players: J. Ayton-Delaney, A. Sheedy, T. McKay, C. Holmes, L. Danielis-Morley, O. Fraser