Mastro, Tonners work magic as Premier B produces big wins

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David Chalmers – DAChalmers81

It was another round of pretty clear-cut results in Premier B, with the newcomers once again struggling to get on the board.

Having had their three-quarter game against Peninsula ratified by the VAFA board during the week, Old Brighton hosted Mazenod in Round 2, who were looking for their first win after being belted by St Bernards in Round 1. The home side started brightly, but The Maestro, Michael Karayannis and Harry Hill all spared the Nodders by missing early chances, before Tom Garner’s superb fifty-metre drive into the wind nailed their first major. Brock Rawlinson and Alex Mastromanno both goaled into the breeze completing a solid opening that saw the Tonners turn first with a 13-point lead. Ben Jarick returned after concussion and the big fellow dominated the ruck all day. Tom Garner again scored from a distance when Pat Liston wisely handed off his chance as the youngster came galloping by. Gradually, the Tonners began to assert their authority as Ollie Cavallaro marked astutely then converted from close in. Mazenod had no answer as the Tonners wrapped up the match when Andy Dewar and Tom Larkworthy fired long balls at The Maestro and Cav and both goaled to increase the half-time lead to 57-points.

Mazenod coach Ben Phibbs said “We started well and if we had taken our opportunities the scoreboard would have been a lot closer. In the second quarter, Old Brighton stepped it up a notch, and while we managed to hold them at bay for a period of time, their relentless attack off half back created numerous chances for their forwards and they managed to take the game away from us. To the players’ credit, in the second half we managed to more than match it with our opponents. We created many chances, were hard at the contest and took the game on. Young players like Damian Byrne, Matt Sier and Kieren McKeogh were given roles and all showed signs they could develop into very good senior players. While the margin might not suggest so, it was a lot closer and we just lacked the necessary composure and polish to convert up forward. Better players on the day included Alex Urban, who played his first game for the club, Michael Rice, Simon Hall and Gus Patti.

It was a tale of two halves as Old Scotch knocked off Monash Blues at McQueen Financial Group Park on Saturday afternoon. Monash got the jump in the first as their immense pressure forced several turnovers. The Cardinals backmen were under the pump and were often caught off guard due to mistakes made up the ground. When big man Charlie Dixon went down with a knee injury midway through the first quarter, it was looking to be an ominous day for Old Scotch. The Blues had a three-goal lead at quarter time after kicking with the breeze. While the wind was steady throughout the second quarter, the home side didn’t use it to their advantage kicking just one goal to Monash’s three. At the main break, Monash had extended their lead out to five goals. The message from Coach Bower and Captain Bull was to learn from the previous two quarters and to adjust their play for the remaining two quarters, or face a similar outcome. The opening ten minutes of the third quarter were inspired as the ball movement and pressure resulted in the ground appearing bigger than it was, allowing the forwards space and time. A seven-goal-to-none term saw the momentum shift and the lead sway over to the Cardinals. With recruits Harry Larwill and Josh Halsall putting the icing on the cake and Port Melbourne regular Harvey Hooper impressing, the Cardinals ran out the game 24-point victors. On the back of their strong second half, the Old Scotch camp will be optimistic that the direction of the club is looking bright. (Thanks to Old Scotch’s Jack Furey)

After getting on the wrong end of a close one against Monash in Round 1, Ajax were looking to bounce back when they hosted Old Carey. The Jackas controlled the contest in the first half, before four goals to two brought the Panthers back within three points at three-quarter time. Both sides struggled to find the big sticks in the final term. Ajax had their chances and slowly increased their narrow lead, but four straight behinds were costly, as the Panthers took it straight down from a kick-in and Morgan Evans got on the end of a long bomb from Cameron Wallace, levelling the scores halfway through the quarter. David Fayman missed a tricky snap from the boundary and Josh Ludski failed to take advantage of some relentless Ajax forward pressure, before Fayman was legged in front of goal and finally kicked the Jackas first for the quarter at the 25-minute mark. The teams went goal-for-goal in the last ten minutes, with Evans taking advantage and getting the Panthers back within a point before Brandon Joel landed the quick reply. Cam Jones marked in front of goal and kicked truly but the game was over when Toby Lipton received a free off the ball in the dying seconds and milked the clock until the siren sounded, giving the Jackas their first win for the season.

Home games at Brunswick Street are always big occasions, and none more so than over Anzac Day weekend. Fitzroy always put on a good show, and this day was no exception as they hosted the Peninsula Pirates. Led by five goals from Nino Lazzaro, the Roys led all day and finished with a solid 44-point win, which would have been a relief for all involved after their three-point heart-stopper in Round 1.

St Bernard’s continued their excellent start to life in Premier B, with a crushing second half resulting in a 78-point win over Parkdale Vultures. The Snowdogs led by just one goal at halftime and the Vultures were well in the contest. However, nine goals in the third followed by a six goal final quarter ensured a huge win for the Bernies. The Vultures made five changes to their Round 1 side compared to just one change to the St Bernard’s side. Jack McNamara was outstanding for St Bernards with nine goals, while Mac O’Donnell, Jack Vorbach and Dan Moloney were again among the best for Parkdale.

Round 3 Tips

Old Brighton v Fitzroy
Old Scotch v Peninsula
OId Carey v St Bernards
Mazenod v Monash
Parkdale v Ajax