The night Cherbakof came to our apartment – Div 1

Posted on - Latest News, Featured, Division 1 Men's

William Balme


I don’t know about you but the most satisfying feeling in football (and life in general) minus the incomparable mountain of emotions that come with winning a flag (having a kid or getting married would be, y’know, somewhere up there as well I ‘spose), is unquestionably the art of turning expectation on its head and rising above the notion of a ‘sure thing’. I for one was one of the doubters who thought that Bulleen Templestowe was on a hiding to nothing when they hosted St Mary’s Salesian at Ted Ajani Reserve. Instead they responded to the naysayers in the best way possible; returning to basics, having faith in your team to beat any other side on the day and playing hard, tough footy. The result? Well, it doesn’t take a genius to figure this one out. Bulleen put the young and exuberant St Mary’s Salesian boys back in their place and proved just how competitive Division 1 is going to be this year. More on this game later in the column.

I thought I would start my article by addressing something. This something is the way the clubs in their division handled ANZAC Day. As a spectator for the Kew-Yarra Valley game, I was hugely impressed with how Yarra Valley managed their ANZAC commemoration before the game. Second-hand, I was also very proud to swipe through the pictures of each of the other 4 home teams and their opponents within Division 1 as they honoured the fallen, before proceeding to compete in a round of terrific contests in front of sizable crowds.

The undefeated Kew took to Doncaster Reserve against the struggling Yarra Valley Bushrangers and put the Bushrangers to the sword in a confident 76-point win. Andrew Brazzale, the reluctant King of Kew, kicked 8 goals in a telling performance, but it was the delivery into the forward line that should have opponents marking Kew down as a genuine threat. Yarra Valley looked heavy and out of sorts. Damien Pagan took risks in the backline and succeeded on many occasions but he could not spark any resistance in the midfield, smashed by the likes of the hardnosed Ed Clinch and ‘Quadzilla’ Darcy Spencer. The tireless James Amos was excellent in the ruck for Yarra Valley but Kew marched on for their 3rd straight victory.

Their undefeated cross-town rival Ormond remain the premiership favourites, with a score line in a very similar vein to Kew’s, beating NOBS/St Pats by 78 points. Ormond was far too strong, keeping NOBS/St Pats to three measly goals up until the 4th quarter. The worrying situation at NOBSPC is summed up in the following statistic. From halftime during their game at St Mary’s to halftime in the clash with Ormond, they have been outscored 23.20 to 4.6. It was turnover city for NOBSPC as the pressure from Ormond got to the ailing Old Boys with 6 goals coming directly from turnovers in the first half. For Ormond, veterans Rob Chisholm and Matt Martinov were too strong up forward, whilst youngster Marcus Le Greca and Simon Keleher toweled their opponents up in the midfield.

Returning to the sojourn at Ajani (my favourite ground in the VAFA for purely sentimental reasons), Bulleen bombarded the young St Mary’s midfield in the wet, dominating clearances and bullying the undermanned SMS who were missing a few stars. However, make no bones about it, Bulleen was on like a tortoise coming after a lackadaisical hare with Kristian Cherbakof kicking 9. He left smoke rings radiating from the forward 50 even with the rain pelting down for much of the day. He was ably supported by Joseph Moio and Ed Robsall (Rob Edsall) who were excellent in the middle. Max Holmes, brother of that handsome devil Louis, was a huge positive for SMS whilst Nick Baum, not my brother but still handsome, patrolled the backline with aplomb. However, this was Bulleen’s day and let’s hope for the sake of District footy clubs across Melbourne that they continue producing strong performances like this one.

In an excellent game at Turner Road Reserve, a frenzied Old Mentonians stole what looked like becoming Prahran Assumption’s first win for the year in a 1-point thriller. In what looked like an academic result when Matthew Chilton kicked truly for Prahran as the clock ticked into time on, the OMs showed great resolve, kicking two late goals and rushing forward the decisive point to pull off an ANZAC Day miracle. Whether Prahran’s issue is their depth or just a case of not being able to finish off sides, they would be deeply concerned about falling to 0-3, losing to sides they would have expected to beat prior to the season. Josh Hogarth continued his hot streak, kicking 6 for the losing side with John Robbins kicking 5 despite being sent off in the second quarter. At the opposite end, Dustan Mills kicked 5 for the OMs and Tristan ‘Stranger Danger’ Strange had a ripping afternoon in the clinches.

Old Geelong fought off a spirited Whitefriars outfit by 28 points to round out the proceedings of the ANZAC Day fixtures. Former La Trobe forward Jack McMeel did this column proud by stepping up to the plate and kicking 5 goals. Having personally played on McMeel previously, he is a very hard force to stop and will trouble sides with his height and football nous. When the game needed to be won, it was Callum Wood and the two O’Briens (Jordy and Colby – straight out of 90210 apparently) who battened down the hatches in wet conditions, allowing the run of Old Geelong to flourish. For Whitefriars, it was another one of those almost-performances. They’ve showed enough resolve but appear to be a year or two away from jumping into the upper echelons of Division 1. Mitchell Geilings was impressive with 2 goals and plenty of assists.

Willie Bee’s Clive Waterhouse MOTR

WB: Clive, any word on the clash of two great rivals, Prahran and Bulleen Templestowe, this weekend?

CW: Mate, please leave me alone or I’m calling the cops.

WB: There you have it; the great man is tipping a 10-point win by Prahran in what should be a spicy contest.



NOBS/St Pats v Whitefriars

Old Geelong v Yarra Valley

St Mary’s Salesian v Ormond

Prahran Assumption v Bulleen Templestowe

Kew v Old Mentonians

{Photo: Bulleen Templestowe Twitter @thebullants}

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