A Century of the Red & Black



Bowen glowin' as Red 'n' Blacks rule the roost.


Bowen glowin' as Red 'n' Blacks rule the roost.

September 18, 2022

The VAFA moved yesterday afternoon to transfer today's grand finals from a sodden and sloppy Elsternwick Park.

It was a stroke of fortune that the Stonnington Council acquiesced to two more games on the Toorak Park turf before it is dug up. Not that conditions at Armadale were much better, with the summer grass long since dead. Nonetheless, one never says no to a home final.

Dan Rush's team had won every game bar one. It lost to Old Brighton, as it had done in the COVID-shortened 2021 campaign. The muddy centre promised a close contest, no matter which team gained an ascendancy.

It was the Brighton team that looked better in the first term, despite some nice work from Jude Sassi around the sticks that had the Claret and Stout in front. Xavs had the better of the second stanza, erasing the deficit without inflicting too much scoreboard pain. That came in the third term, when the X-Men dominated the contests and finally kicked away. The Tonners looked unlikely to breach the gap in the final term. When they did threaten a revival, the Red 'n Blacks snuffed it out.

Xavs won their 12th U19 title, and gave club elders something to smile about when contemplating the future. The most prominent player on the ground was Will Bowen. Touted as being a doubtful starter a week ago, the latest version of the timber magnate's family to don the #12 carved up the Beach Boys with his ball getting and excellent use of the ball.

Hayden Woodhouse and Dec Fitzgerald were the pick of the forwards, while Oscar Duncan and Ruairie Calvert were sound around the stoppages.

The victory puts another feather in U19 Football Director Brendan O'Sullivan's cap. Bos, as he is known worldwide, is one of the rocks on which this club is built.

Plenty of priceless pics from Ari Hatzis here and here

Goal Kickers: D. Fitzgerald 2, H. Woodhouse 2, J. Sassi, E. Kennedy, W. Bowen, W. Stevens

Best Players: W. Bowen, O. Duncan, L. Moore, D. Fitzgerald, R. Calvert, J. Sassi


GF: U19 Premier v Old Brighton 1