A Century of the Red & Black



Week 11: a mixed bag


Week 11: a mixed bag

June 22, 2024


There was some nice work from some teams wearig Red 'n' Black, but things didn't go quite to plan when the Seniors fell to SKOB, the WOX were beaten by Aquinas, the U23s lowered their colours to Trinity, the U19 Threes missed out against Caulfield and the U19 Premier team was shellacked by Old Scotch. Other than that, all good, with the Reserves smashing second-placed SKOB, the WOX 2s winning well, the Menages and Crocs staying unbeaten, and solid wis by the U19 Twos and the U23 Twos.


St Kevin's improved to 8-2 as they defeated Old Xaverians (now 5-5) at Toorak Park. The margin, in the end, was a solitary goal, and if a few seconds more had been available to the timekeepers, the result might have been a draw.

Games are won on the scoreboard, and the Tricolours posted a winning, albeit smallish, score. They moved the ball better from defence, effected turnovers when Xavs tried to clear the ball out of defence, and combined better than the home team to provide chances for their forwards. They had several gettable shots from close range sail wide.

Xavs had their share of the ball, but did less with it. The service to the forwards wasn't on the same level as the Kevs', and its shots for goal came mainly from the arc of 45, too far out to have the percentages with them.

The Red 'n' Blacks looked determined from the start to atone for last week's capitulation, but scoring against St Kevin's wasn't easy. First quarter specialist Stirling Phipps-Parsons laid a magnificent tackle and kicked truly to get the Red 'n' Blacks on the board. Five minutes later, Oscar Duncan nailed one from set shot from just outside the arc and the X-Men led by 12 points. Further forays forward from both teams were stymied, until 24 minutes, when the visitors were freed, and then received a fifty. Sloppy play from the defence late in the term, sadly not for the first time this season.

Ben Bilston-McGillen kicked truly from 45 early in the second after Sam Fisher picked him out from a boundary clearance. At nine minutes, the Tricolors turned a Xavs turnover into their first goal of the quarter. Xavs by 5 points. Fisher snapped but missed. A dropped mark saw the visitors volley one home to tie the scores at 13 minutes.

A minute later, the hosts replied when Bobby Knott's tackle was rewarded. He calmly chipped it through from the arc. Holmes missed the same shot at 23 minutes, Kevs raced downfield but, happily for the home team, it was a minor score. Marcus Stavrou was met heavily and his shot to the southern end fell short and was rushed through. Again, Kevs sailed out of defence and another set shot went wide. But right on the siren, the visitors split the centre. At the half, the teams were knotted at 28 apiece.

At six minutes in the third, Fisher farmed another to Bilston-McGillen but his kick fell short and was rushed through. The Kevin's sprayed an opportunity that would have put them in front, but Xavs failed to clear and the ball came back in. Kerr marked for the Tricolors and hit his third. St Kevin's were up by five. At 14 minutes, they led by six after another miss. SKOB was noticeably on top in the air and looking dangerous. Xavs again conceded another unnecessary free kick in front of the sticks, but again the shot missed. And again the kick-in failed. The Kevs shot didn't and the visitors went to a 13 point lead. Late in term, Fisher missed a set shot, but moments later snapped a beauty from the scoreboard pocket to make it a one goal ball game. But again, Xavs' time-on nightmare reared its ugly head again. Right on the bell, a free kick, and after it, another six-pointer for the visitors. At the lemons, SKOB by 12 points.

Xavs had a let-off early in the last quarter, but the X-Men failed to capitalise. Ed Delany, swamped all afternoon, took his second big grab of the term at 6 mins and kicked truly. At 13 minutes, SKOB by eight points, but the home team was winning a bigger share of the ball. Unfortunately, that still wasn't translating to the scoreboard, and it was SKOB who kicked the next.

At 16 minutes, the margin matched the time elapsed. Wade Brusnahan kicked from 50, but it quailed for a rushed behind. At 21 minutes, however, he kicked truly. Bobby Knott marked but missed from the angle. Kevs, eyeing the clock, slowed things down. Delany marked again, but missed at 30 minutes. A goal in it. Xavs had another crack, but the siren beat them.

Next week, Xavs face a must-win game at Elsternwick against Old Melburnians. Finals football is still a strong possibility if the Red 'n' Blacks can find something closer to their best. This was their fourth loss at Toorak Park for the season. The good news is that happened last in 2016, a year that concluded with a premiership.

Ari Hatzis gallery

Once again, there was never a dull moment in Premier section. Three of the other games ended as everyoe predicted, while Bernards' win over Blues was no real surprise given the Varsity's record at the Snakepit.

- Old Melburnians (58) lost to Collegans (103) on the Trott

- Old Scotch (109) beat Fitzroy (51) at Brunswick Street

- Old Brighton (125) hammered Uni Blacks (56) under the spires; and

- Uni Blues (64) were clouted by St Bernard's (106) on the Snakepit.


Old Xaverians led all day as they disposed of second-placed St Kevin's at Toorak Park by 32 points. But for some understandable, but unnecessary, lairising late in the game, the margin would have been a deal larger. Matt Exell made a welcome return to the team, kicking three in the first term and finishing with five on the day in a BOG performance.

After a fast start, the Red 'n' Blacks did as they pleased until the final term, when the Skobbers finally found their rhythm and took advantage of some turnovers. Coach Panotis had to make plenty of changes. Such transformations might have adversely affected some teams, but not the X-Men, who are very much a plug and play unit.

Xavs are now 3 games plus 100+ percentage poits clear of Kevs, who sit second. Uni Blues had a shock loss to St Bernard's, leaving the fight for the four wide open.

Sixth-placed Old Melburnians will certainly challenge next week, and might again match the Xavs early. However, their test will come when they round Chicquita Lodge and the Red 'n' Blacks come off the rein and charge for the line.

Ari Hatzis gallery


Despite establishing an early lead, the WOX fell to Aquinas by five goals.

Claudia Lacy slotted two goals and Olivia Benston led a team that showed great spirit burt couldn't manage to keep pace with the Bloods. Amy Benifer was again in the best and she must be among the favourites for the Best and Fairest at this stage.


Fired by three goals from veteran Bess Shanahan, the WOX had a comfortbale win over the Bloods. Foundation player Charlotte Powell-Wright also performed well for the Red 'n' Blacks, while Monique Hedding was accorded BOG honours. At 7-3, the WOX sit third, equal on points with second-placed Westbourne and two games clear of fourth spot. Next week, they'll meet Williamstown, who are 5-5.


Xavs U19 Premier took a big hit at the hands of Old Scotch, conceding five goals in each of the second and final terms to go down by 60 points. It was the second loss in a row for the Xavs, ominous given that this was their first go-around with the Cardinals this season.

Harry Bird shone again, while rep squader Xavier Austin showed plenty.

Next week, a trip to meet struggling Williamstown at Fearon. It's always a tough assignment to win there, but the Red 'n' Blacks will be desperate for the points. After 11 games, they are in fourth spot, just small percentage ahead of St Bede's Mentone Tigers.


A solid team effort saw Old Xaverians beat Glen Eira/McKinnon U19s by 31 points. Xavs grabbed an early lead and maintained arms' length from their opponents all afternoon. The goals and best player honours were shared.

In fifth spot, the Xavs meet second-placed Haileybury next week. A win will provide a big boost for finals' chances.


Caulfield's second U19 team proved too strong for the Xavs at Glenhuntly, winning by 39 points.

The Fields had a great first half, and while the visitors chipped away after the long break, the result was never in doubt.

The X-Men are engaged in a big fight for the four.

Next Friday night, they play third-placed Beaumaris under lights.


Old Trinity edged Xavs by two points in a thriller on the Daley.

The visitors were 26 points down at the long break, but fought back after the break, restricting the Green Macine to just 1.2.

In the end, the siren beat them. Lachie Hecker was best in the loss.

Next week, top-placed Xavs meet second-placed SKOB.


The Menages had a solid win at Ramsden Street, defeating the Lions by 51 points to stay unbeaten.

Rory Calvert kicked seven to lead the goalscorers (and now has 31 from 5 games), while Nick Nunan, Will Mantesso and Billy Curtis were very effective players.

Savanna Villis gallery


Alex Lachowicz led the Crocs to a big victory over Kew to ensure the Xavs stayed unbeaten and top of the table. Josh Lyon booted five in the culling, and thirteen others wearing Emerald Hose hit the scoreboard.


The U23 Twos had another big win, outscoring Old Yarra by 62 points. Dan Collison booted three and Fraser Kenny got the nod for BOG in a nice team performance. The Xavs remain top of the table, a game and truckloads of percentage clear of Marcellin.


R10: Seniors v St Kevin's