David Chalmers – DAChalmers81
I should have known that as soon as I made a definitive statement about the Premier B season and the direction it would take, the ‘footy gods’ would conspire against me. In saying that, I’m glad they have, because the season is now wide open and the next few weeks will make for fascinating viewing. Scotch, Brighton and St Bernards all passed 100 goals for the season, while there is only one game between places fifth to ninth on the ladder.
St Bernard’s and Old Scotch met in the match of the round, with Old Scotch still undefeated and the Snowdogs licking their wounds after a couple of losses in a row. The margin at three-quarter time was under three goals, setting up a grandstand finish. Luke Di Lizio got the first of the quarter before Tom Kerr took a contested mark and replied for the Scotchies. The Snowdogs then went on a run and hit the front, with Shaun Clarke, Simon Caven and Edyn Sibbald kicking goals in the space of eight minutes, before Harvey Hooper landed a long one from outside 50 that bounced through to stem the tide. Chris Spinella had the chance to get the lead back for St Bernards but hit the post, before Charlie Vague retrieved the ball from the Old Scotch kick-in and put the Snowdogs back in front. Jordan Clarke snatched the lead back for Old Scotch, then both teams traded behinds as the game neared its climax. With thirty seconds remaining there was a throw-in on the Old Scotch half forward line. St Bernards cleared the ball and rushed it down to their goal square where there was a two-on-two aerial contest. Simon Caven found himself on the goal line with the ball in his hands and managed to put it through, giving St Bernard’s the lead with literally seconds remaining. Jack Bull cleared the ball from the centre bounce but the siren sounded as the ball was in the air, signaling Old Scotch’s first defeat of season 2017.
Mazenod celebrated its 50th Founders Day last week, and this week it was Ajax’s turn to celebrate, as the two teams Round 7 match-up coincided with Ajax’s 60th anniversary. Both sides entered the match at 3-3, so there was a lot at stake. There were notable omissions from both camps, with Ajax missing Evgeni Routman, Toby Lipton and Brad Caplan, while Mazenod were without Stephen Welsford and Rees Thomas. The Nodders got the better start with a four goal opening term, and neither side could make an impression in the second, with Mazenod scoreless and Ajax managing 1.6. The Jackas got their kicking boots on after the long break, four goals giving them a handy advantage at the final change. Neither side got on the board in the first six minutes of the last quarter, then Jacob Murdock finally broke the drought for the Nodders with a mark and successful set shot. Another ten minutes went by before Dov Paltiel and Asher Burstin replied for the Jackas, then Liam Welsford got one back for Mazenod. Nick Lewis and Daniel Goodman added goals, ensuring their anniversary celebrations would be topped off with a victory on the field.
Monash (2-4) and Fitzroy (3-3) met at Brunswick Street for a classic ‘eight point’ encounter, having both come off losses the previous week. It was a tight contest all day, with the margin in single digits at every break. Joe Harrison got the visitors final term off to a great start, while Luke Baker and Nino Lazzaro both took strong contested marks for the Roys but neither could convert successfully. Monash took control of the game and kicked four goals in the next ten minutes. Maddison Hardiman roved a throw-in and snapped a clever goal, Nick Woodland dobbed one on the run from 50, Nick Petering took advantage of a Fitzroy defensive error in the goal square, and then Nick Argento crumbed a pack and kicked truly. Emile Pavlich finally got one for the Roys after good work from Lazzaro and Baker before Monash kicked another three courtesy of Argento, Harrison and Woodland. Nathan Ligris got a late one back for the home side before Maddison Hardiman found himself with the ball as the siren sounded and capped a great quarter for the Blues with a goal. The result leaves both sides at 3-4 and one game outside the top four.
Winless Peninsula had what they probably considered to be their best chance of grabbing their first win of the season when they visited the Vultures’ Nest to take on Parkdale, who were in ninth spot with one win. Luke Clark got the Vultures off to a great start with a goal inside the first couple of minutes. A Peninsula defensive switch to the goal square was intercepted by Zac Straker, who made no mistake with a set shot, then followed up with another soon after. Ryan O’Leary received a free then a 25m penalty taking him to the goal line, then Matt Wetering chipped in with a couple. Stuart Grigg kicked the Pirates only score for the quarter when he hit the post after being rewarded for a great tackle in the forward 50. Straker converted a set shot from a free kick, then just before the quarter time siren a Pirates kick-in was marked and sent straight back through the big sticks, giving the Vultures a 7.5 to 0.1 quarter time lead. Things didn’t get much better for the Pirates through the middle stages of the game, with inaccuracy costing them dearly. They won the last quarter (with 3.7), but are now two games clear on the bottom of the ladder.
Old Brighton Grammarians remains the only unbeaten Premier B side after another powerful finish burnt off a determined Old Carey, who midway through the final term, challenged and drew level with the competition leaders. Celebrating Josh Dickerson’s 300th game, the Tonners led all day after booting five goals in the first quarter, but the Panthers kept coming. Patty Liston and Tom King got early goals for the visitors, while at the other end Carey’s young forwards squandered their first chances. The second term saw both sides running hard, the entertaining game often producing extended contests without any of the regular stoppages that plagued earlier games. Carey looked good and maintained pressure on the Tonners, who couldn’t establish the superiority that has regularly parcelled up games by the long break. Michael Dewar got an early one for Old Brighton, but the Panthers crept closer and it took a fine mark and goal by the young Maestro to keep them at bay. The game was wide open at three-quarter time and the Panthers drew level during a pulsating final term. Just as the Panthers appeared to have the momentum to win, they ran smack into the collective resolve of a Tonner outfit that has finished hard in every match, whose ability to find targets with accurate passing eventually cracked Carey’s defence wide open. Late goals to Nick Coroneos and Michael Karayannis led to a 26-point win.