A Century of the Red & Black



Week 3 wrap


Week 3 wrap

April 13, 2024


The return to Toorak Park provided an instant filip for the Claret and Stout, as the club celebrated nine wins on this near-perfect Saturday. Only the two slip-ups at the Snakepit prevented a perfect day. The faithful had a future glimpse of days to come, when the social club and grandstand are complete.

Premier football returned to Toorak Park for the first time since August 2022. Old Melburnians came in, minus their great leader Josh Freezer, while Xavs were similarly hampered with the absence of their skipper Marcus Stavrou. OX debutant Makuc Mahommed came in late for PJ Petrucci, who was to debut, but missed with food poisoning.

Under blue skies, Stirling Phipps-Parsons opened the scoring in the first minute, but the Dark Blues proved a stingy opponent into the light breeze while scoring two goals themselves for the rest of the term. Dropped marks and inaccurate goalkicking restricted scoring opportunities in the first term for the home team.

The visitors opened the second stanza with a goal from long range and added another mid-term. Momentum appeared to swing toward the X-Men later in the term but the only joy came from a Charlie MacIsaac mark and goal. Further opportunities amounted to little or nothing, and the teams hit the sheds with the Men of Harlech two goals to the good.

Four minutes into the third quarter, Dan Tuddenham found himself on the end of a Julian Soccio skimmer and ran into an open goal. A minute later, Delany marked and goaled. From the centre restart, MacIsaac had a chance, but his snap missed. But a minute later, he didn't, snapping a beauty from the scoreboard pocket, and the X-Men were a goal to the good. Phipps-Parsons slotted another on the run and at eight minutes, the home team had its biggest lead of the afternoon.

Half way in the premiership quarter, OMs hit back. After a couple of misses, OMs goaled and the margin was just five points. At 23 minutes, Oscar Duncan marked after a long link-up from deep in defence, but dragged his shot left. OMs dominated the closing minutes of the term, but the Xavs' defence held firm, applying great pressure. The X-Men broke clear, but the makeshift siren beat them. At the lemons, the X-Men led by just five points, and the crowd swarmed to the huddle to hear Donati's instructions.

Ben Bilston-McGillen marked strongly and slotted the first of the final term. At five minutes, Jeff Gobbels slotted one from the old scoreboard and then minutes later, got on the end of a nice running handball passage. He goaled again and the Xavs led by 22 points with eight minutes gone. Gobbels was in the action again again, diving to mark a wayward pass. He chipped to MacIsaac, whose arms were chopped. Lining up from fifty out, he was awarded a penalty of the same scope. Xavs by 26, with 18 minutes gone. OMs finally responded at the 26 minute mark, giving themselves an outside chance, but a forward swarm from the centre bounce by the home team saw Mahommed tap it to Phipps-Parsons, who snapped his third. Ed Delany marked and goaled to bang in the final nail.

Dan Donati should be happy enough with the second half, with his charges scoring ten goals to two. The Red 'n' Blacks, when going quickly, handled the ball well and caused the OM defenders plenty of problems with overlapping numbers.

Stand-in skipper Alex Trigar shone when the team was most under pressure in the first half. Alec Spralja again dominated the stoppages and provided plenty of opportunities for teammates. Up forward, Ed Delany and Jeff Gobbels were intrumental in establishing an aerial ascendancy. Stirling Phipps-Parsons played his best game to date, and booted three goals.

Next week, a trip to Brunswick Street to meet Fitzroy.

An intriguing Round 2, with close games being the order of the afternoon.

Uni Blues (93) beat St Bernard's (86) under the spires. The Snow Dogs goaled at 23 minutes to bring them within four points. They then missed three in a row before Blues kicked the sealer.

St Kevin's (73) finally won at Harry Trott, beating Collegians (54) spoiling the Lions flag raising and staying undefeated. The Purples led by a goal at half-time, but the Skevs were up at the lemons and then added two more without reply in the last.

Old Scotch (120) overcame an early deficit at Camberwell to beat Fitzroy (61). There were just nine points in at the lemons, but the Cardinals came home with the breeze, slotting nine goals in the last.

Old Brighton (60) had a fright from Uni Blacks (51) at BBO. Tied at the lemons, the Beachies added 2.3 to a goal in the last to remain unbeaten.

After a listless and inaccurate first half that resulted in a deficit at the long break, the Xaverians lifted their workrate ito run out comfortable winners. The home XVIII looked the better team from the first bounce, but appeared unwilling to prove it once tested. With Charlie Woodley in the coach's box, filling in for Dimitri Panotis, who was watching on from Dubai, the most impressive Xav on the ground for most of the opening two stanzas was Lucas Agnoletto, the team runner.

After the teams returned from their temporary change rooms, the Claret and Stout put up a better effort, showing plenty of endeavour and discipline. They reeled in the Dark Blues, and then methodically went about nailing down the victory.

The mighty WOX got home by a point over Old Haileybury. It was close all afternoon, with the scores tied with a stanza to play. The Bloods managed a behind, and the Red 'n' Blacks two, enough to nail down their first four points of the year. Veteran Amy Benifer led the way with a BOG performance. Claudi Lacey booted two and the Gangi sisters added one each.

The WOX Twos destroyed South Melbourne at Greythorn, winning by 79 points in a strong four quarter performance. Lucia La Rosa booted four and was best, a fitting performance on debut that followed her debut as a scribe on Thursday.

The U19s had the privilege of being the first Xavs team to play on the reshaped, resurfaced Toorak Park. After a tight tussle for three quarters, the X-Men pulled away in the last, adding six goals to one.

A nice win by the U19 Twos, who trailed narrowly for much of the contest. The final term proved the difference, with the Red 'n' Blacks pushing away from the Gyphons to win by 13 points.

Fired by a strong second term, St Benard's beat the Xavs by 20 points, making better use of their time with the wind.

St Bernard's proved too strong for the 23s at the Snakepit. Xavs looked the better team in the third term, but the Snow Dogs put them away in the last.

The Menages pounded Old Melburnians by nearly 30 goals at HQ, finishing full of run in the last with nine goals.


R2: Seniors v Old Melburnians