By Jarryd McGuane – @JMcGuane
St Johns OC guaranteed a grand final berth and Division 1 football in 2017 as they defeated West Brunswick by 41 points at Trevor Barker Oval. Despite kicking a goal into the wind to start the match, St Johns OC were overpowered by West Brunswick as three Magpie goals saw the margin push out to 14 points at the first change. The West Brunswick momentum wouldn’t last as the midfield of the JOCs took over to kick four goals with the wind and only a contentious free kick and goal at the on the siren allowed the Magpies to only trail by seven points at half time. The wind remained strong in the second half, but unlike the first quarter, West Brunswick could not wrestle back midfield control. St Johns OC kicked 3.2 into the breeze as 1.5 for West Brunswick as it looked a tough task to overhaul the 16 point three quarter time. St Johns OC forward line that had been held in check the first three quarters finally showed their potency and West Brunswick had no answer in the five goal to one final quarter.
The win for St Johns OC started from the backline as key backs John Ayama and Dylan Webb locked down the dangerous Magpie forward line and were rarely beaten and were named as the best two players. Aaron Thornton and Trent Edwards were both held in check for much of the game but added three goals each for the JOCs. The man who had held Aaron Thornton, Evan Lloyd was West Brunswick’s best with William Dylan kicking two goals as their only multiple goal kicker.
Preston Bullants shook off a slow start and inaccuracy to end Yarra Valley OB season with a 53-point victory at Whitefriars College Oval. There were ominous signs early from Preston as they controlled the first quarter in most assets of the game except on the scoreboard, kicking 0.7 to Yarra Valley’s 1.3 to trail by 2 points. The Bullants pattern of inaccuracy continued by adding five second quarter behinds, but added three goals to the Bushrangers one to turn the quarter time deficit into a 13-point lead. Needing to lift their scoring power after half time, Yarra Valley OB had their first multiple goal quarter adding two goals but conceded another 4.6 to trail by 30 points and have an uphill battle in the last quarter. The Bullants made sure that the game was outside of reach for the Bushrangers as they only allowed one goal and slammed on five goals for their own.
Andre Marcon was the Bullants best alongside dominant full back Reed Jepson, as Jake Powell continued his goal kicking form with four goals. The Bushrangers leading goal kicker Jordan Canham was the only multiple goal kicker with two, with Ryan Pollard adding another battling performance for Yarra Valley OB.
West Brunswick will play the Preston Bullants in next week’s preliminary final at Garvey Oval. The match up appears to be a very even one with the two fixtures between the two sides sitting at one win each. West Brunswick is the more rounded of the two sides known for their overall club depth, whereas Preston Bullants are very strong at the top end of their squad. It shapes up to be a very interesting Saturday afternoon in Bundoora.
West Brunswick vs Preston Bullants
Division 2 Team of the Year
|FB:||Brodie Mclaughlin (Bulleen/Templestowe)||Reed Jepson (Preston Bullants)||Andrew Villani (MHSOB)|
|HB:||Rex Gavan (MHSOB)||Evan Lloyd (West Brunswick)||Anthony Brannan (St Johns OC)|
|C:||Matt Holmes (West Brunswick)||Glenn Costas (St Johns OC)||Corey Ely (St Johns OC)|
|HF:||Damon Marcon (Preston Bullants)||Daniel Hill (Emmaus St Leos)||Paul Baranello (Emmaus St Leos)|
|FF:||Aaron Thornton (St Johns OC)||Ben Gill (Eltham Collegians)||Dylan Hamilton-Ho (MHSOB)|
|F:||Matthew Crooks (Eltham Collegians)||Dean Calcedo (Preston Bullants)||Lachie Dickson (Yarra Valley)|
|INT:||Dylan Webb (St Johns OC)||Ryan Pollard (Yarra Valley)||Benjamin Trend (Yarra Valley)|
|Joel Luis (Richmond Central)|
|COACH:||Angus Hamilton (West Brunswick)|
|CAPTAIN:||Glenn Costas (St Johns OC)|