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For three and a half quarters, Scotch did everything right. They were hard, disciplined and in full control. If you were to nitpick, you could say that they should have been further in front at the first break but they really did look the goods. Adam Houlihan was in menacing touch up forward (he finished with 7 and they were all crackers) and the Xavs were chasing tails. Peter Banfield’s band of no-frills youngsters were not overawed by their opponents or the occasion.  But footy is a strange game and you can never quite stamp your ticket when it comes to playing this side. 31 points down with just over 15 minutes to play, you still got the sense that they fancied their chances.
With some forward magic by Damien Lynch, Josh Douglas and Jon Mercuri and some inspiring midfield work by Josh Agius and Luke Howard, suddenly it was game on. Adam Chatfield, who grows a leg at this ground, pumped the ball forward relentlessly. The goals were coming thick and fast and Scotch had fallen in a heap. Denied space all day, suddenly the red and blacks found acres of it. Scotch got a late goal but it was too late – Xavs were winners by a goal and the Cardinals had blown it big time. Given that Xavier now have a week off and the likes of Justin Arnold and Tim Fleming are set to slot back in, Collegians and St Bedes have plenty to worry about. At the ten minute mark of the last term, only the most diehard of Xaverian fans would have believed it possible.