For two of our three teams, great news. The U19s won a great contest at Box Hill, defeating Beaumaris in the Grand Final, while the U23s won their preliminary final immediately prior. The bad news was was that the latter beat the Xavs' Menages team.
U19 GRAND PREMIER FINAL:
Well, how about that, eh? The September sunshine provided plenty of warmth, but the real heat came from the players, whose efforts kept the crowd on collective seat edges all afternoon.
On a day when momentum came and went quickly, the Red ‘n’ Blacks persevered the longer and struck late to seize the premiership from the Sharks’ jaws.
The Blue and Gold started the smoother, perhaps an early indication that the week off is of questionable benefit. I’m not sure anyone believed that at the finish. Batten opened Xavs’ account and the second semi-final winners looked back in business, grabbing the ascendancy everywhere but on the scoreboard.
During the second term, the Xavs got right on top, but still the scoreboard attendants were not as busy as they might have been. Beauy were knocked down, but landed a few of their own punches to get back in it. The X Men led by five at the half.
In the locker room, coach Sam Shaw assessed the situation and became one of a select few not to implore his charges to work harder. “Work smarter,” he told them.
Things looked promising in the third, but Beauy hung on and fought back. At the lemons, somehow, the Sharks were back in front. Six minutes into the last, Tom Williamson put the first harpoon in the big fish and sent his team to the front. The advantage would not last, however, and the big man had to repeat the dose, which he did at 22 minutes.
And while the Sharks fought hard to grab the lead again, it was left to the youngest player on the field, Lucas Socchio, to finish it. At 25 minutes, he did, booting his fourth and sending the predators to Davy Jones’ Locker.
It was an epic contest, with players standing up to very strong pressure all afternoon. Full marks to the team and to the coaching staff on the win.
Old Xaverians 3.3-21 7.8-50 11.10-76 15.14-104
Beaumaris 4.3-27 6.9-45 11.14-80 13.16-94
Best Players: Alex Trigar, Sean Stanley, Michael Batten, James Dalbosco, Mike McKay, James Hart
Goal Kickers: Lucas Socchio 4, Tom Williamson 2, Ben Scala 2, Pat Phillips 2, Sam Ralph, Michael Batten, Billy Kennedy, Tiernan O’Brien, Harrison Vanderkley.