Finals places and relegations were confirmed in a number of sections of the VAFA. In fine conditions that gave a glimpse of what lies ahead in September, the clubs that will miss out can only dream of being in a better position this time next year.
Premier’s relegation mini ‘Grand Final’ was at De La Salle’s Dairy Bell, and after a promising start, Old Brighton ultimately succumbed to a relentless De La Salle by 35 points. The result sees the two sides swap places on the ladder, De La up to 8th and Old Brighton drop back to 9th with two games to go.
St Bedes/Mentone Tigers are not quite gone yet despite their 14 point loss at Old Xaverians. The Tigers threw everything at Xavs, but 1.8 from the home side was enough to see them win a seventh straight match and move up to 5th. The Tigers, still with a reasonable percentage can win their last two and rely on both De La Salle and Old Brighton losing both matches in order to stay up.
Another six goal haul from Shura Taft, plus four goals from Nick Corp saw Collegians move into the four after they ran away as 62 point winners over Beaumaris. In total 10 Lions were able to kick goals as they were able to build their percentage to hold fourth spot from Od Xaverians by 5%.
The big loser of the round was Old Trinity who suffered a fifth successive loss, this time falling to University Blacks by 28 points at Bulleen. The T’s slid from 4th to 6th with the loss and are now a game behind both Old Xaverians and Collegians in the bid to play finals.
Old Scotch had a very solid win over St Bernard’s at Camberwell, the Cardinals home by 42 points. After a great start by the home team, the Snowdogs fought their way back into the contest in the third before Old Scotch put the game out of reach with the first two goals of the final term. It was an old fashioned shoot out between two key forwards at the top of their game. Mark Passador and Chad Jones both kicked seven goals each for their respective sides. It was simply a delight to watch for the spectators, reviving memories of the old days when both sides kicked their goals through key forwards.
In Premier B you can shut the door on the finals places as all the incumbents locked up spots with important wins.
St Kevin’s exacted revenge on Mazenod with a stirring 32 point win at Central Reserve. The loss ends Mazenod’s hopes of making the four, but the Nodders can be proud of the way they have turned their season around and salvaged something from what at one stage looked to be a horrible post promotion year.
Old Ivanhoe are another side that can still salvage their season. The Hoes late bid to escape the drop took another step forward with a crushing 63 point win over Caulfield Grammarians. The Fields are the team the Hoes will look to replace as both sides head into the final round with the threat of relegation very much at the forefront of their minds. Joel Macdonald booted four goals for the Hoes as their percentage moved past that of Caulfield’s, albeit they are a game behind. The Fields face Uni Blues for survival, whilst Old Ivanhoe are primed for their trip to Old Haileybury.
Exactly what kind of Old Haileybury side the Hoes will run into will be interesting as the Haileyburians were officially relegated today. The Bloods no match for Old Carey who essentially booked in the double chance with a 45 point win. Old Carey skipper Cam Howat was outstanding in kicking a career best six goals for the Panthers.
University Blues withstood the early challenge of AJAX before running out 56 point winners on the Uni Main Oval. David Fayman kicked his 500th career VAFA goal, his first of four for the day was the milestone, but the Jackas couldn’t match the Blues for four quarters. AJAX could still make September, but they would need to win big next week and hope St Kevin’s lose by enough to overturn a 15% buffer.
Old Melburnians all but confirmed a finals ticket with a 41 point win over Fitzroy. Hywood’s four goals saw their percentage add another 3% to mean a slip up in Round 18 would have to be a monumental one.
Premier C is all locked up after 17 rounds. Finals places and relegation all confirmed with the only possible change if Hampton Rovers lose and Monash Blues win the two would swap places for the finals.
That scenario would appear unlikely as Rovers again showed today they are a team on a mission in their 43 point beating of Oakleigh at Scammell. Toouli kicked four for the Rovers, whist Aaron Cloke booted five goals in a losing Krushers side.
Parkdale Vultures shut the finals door on Oakleigh, PEGS and Peninsula with a monstering of Peninsula at Gerry Green by 150 points. The Vultures kept the Pirates to a solitary goal for the afternoon. Papatsanis booted five goals for the Vultures who will play in Premier C finals having been relegated back to this level only last year.
Marcellin sent Banyule packing with a 73 point win in the Bears last trip to Marcellin College. Bolger was the star for the Eagles with his six goals as the Eagles tuned up for the finals with a good allround performance.
Monash Blues defeated Ormond by 32 points and remain in the hunt for the double chance. The Blues would need to win next week and require the Rovers to slip up, nevertheless, four goals each to Petering and Cosgriff were good contributions.
The most entertaining game of the day was PEGS two point win over Old Camberwell. With both clubs out of contention for finals or being relegated it was great to see such a fantastic contest. Old Camberwell had Toma kick four whilst PEGS had Skurrie do likewise at the other end.