By James Ried: @jamesried9
One more contender turned pretender in the Premier C premiership race as Old Ivanhoe dropped out. The Hoes were finished in emphatic fashion by Old Haileyburians, who kept them to three scores for the games entirety and progress to the preliminary final. It was a September score line that required a double look with Ivanhoe restrained to 13 points in a 95-point thrashing. The Bloods move onwards and upwards to tackle the minor premiers Marcellin, who were bested by Monash Blues in the second semi-final. Monash’s spirited first half led the way to the Blues securing promotion to Premier B in 2016 and a grand final place with a 36-point win. Both games played at Casey Fields could be considered upsets but proved what form and confidence can do for a team. Marcellin and Old Haileybury will meet at Casey Fields on Saturday to decipher the final spot alongside Monash Blues.
2nd Semi-Final Review
Old Ivanhoe had a five-goal breeze to start the first quarter but managed to lose the quarter comfortably with one scoring shot to Haileybury’s eight. And this was the tale of the elimination final on Sunday. The Bloods had the Hoes in a stranglehold when they faced the wind and blew them away with it. Ivanhoe kicked one goal in the first quarter with the advantage and one in the third on the second go. While Haileybury battered 12 of its 14 goals with the wind – capitalising on the favourable breeze. Haileybury had a match-winning 47-point lead at three quarter time before opening the floodgates in the fourth quarter with seven celebratory goals to extend the final margin to 95. Nathan Waite and Jordan Donnelly led Haileybury’s attack with three goals apiece while Chris Povey was the Bloods’ best-on-ground in his efforts down back. What happened to Old Ivanhoe could come down to a lacklusture second half of the season, where they lost four of their last eight, including being smashed by Old Haileyburians in Round 12 and pushed by the relegated Therry Penola in Round 14 and beaten by Williamstown in the final round of the year. They’ll be licking their wounds and searching for improvement to push them into contention for 2016.
1st Semi-Final Review
With a grand final spot on the line Monash Blues quickly laid claim to the position last Saturday. A 10-goal-to-three first half gave the Blues an inerasable 45-point advantage. Marcellin made a dent in Monash’s lead in the third quarter reducing it to 21-points. But another two goals and another goal-less quarter for the Eagles put the game to bed. Spearhead Nicholas Petering kicked two majors in the win, as did Gareth Taylor who claimed best-on-ground honours while Andrew Kay booted a game-high three goals in the loss. Monash’s 38-point win grants Premier B promotion and have a week off to rest up before playing for the C grade premiership. For Marcellin, the worrying sign is that they have now lost their last six finals fixtures. Another season in Premier C would be crushing for the club’s morale considering how close they have been in recent times.
Marcellin’s past six finals fixtures:
2012: Marcellin 10.9 (69) defeated by Mazenod 10.10 (70)
2013: Mazenod 24.11 (155) defeated Marcellin 9.12 (66)
Marcellin 5.9 (39) defeated by Old Ivanhoe 14.3 (87)
2014: Marcellin 10.12 (72) defeated by Hampton Rovers 16.10 (106)
Marcellin 7.10 (52) defeated by Parkdale Vultures 9.15 (69)
2015: Marcellin 6.8 (44) defeated by Monash Blues 12.10 (82)
Preliminary Final Preview
Old Haileyburians will be the heavy underdogs when they meet Marcellin on Saturday but unlike the Eagles, the Bloods have proven their worth in finals. Marcellin finished first with a 15-3 win-loss record. Old Haileybury squeezed into fourth place at 11-7. But with favouritism comes pressure and Haileybury knows how to apply a relentless amount as seen in last week’s affair with Old Ivanhoe. Outside the extra pressure of finals, when the two met in the home-and-away season, the Eagles won both outings convincingly by 72 and 65 points. So despite Marcellin’s finals form thus far they have the edge over Haileybury, and surely the minor premiers cannot just wash away and fall out of the finals in straight sets. Surely not! But who knows when the finals crunch gets on the attack. With all this said, I am predicting the Eagles to claw past the Bloods and into Premier B and set up the grand final for a rematch with Monash Blues.
Marcellin v Old Haileyburians in 2015
Round 5: Old Haileyburians 8.13 (61) defeated by Marcellin 20.13 (133)
Round 14: Marcellin 15.10 (100) defeated Old Haileyburians 5.5 (35)
Marcellin v Old Haileyburians