Beaumaris and St Bedes/Mentone Tigers played out the first tie of the year in William Buck Premier when the final siren sounded with both sides on 58 each. The 2016 Premier B Grand Final re-match lived up to all expectations as a tough, hard-fought affair at Banksia Reserve. The Tigers kicked five of the first eight goals and proved more accurate than the Sharks in the first half, taking a seven-point lead into the main break. However, and reminiscent to the dominant third term in last year’s grand final, the Sharks hit back hard with four unanswered goals in the third as Tim Cumming gave his midfielders first use of the ball from stoppages. Despite the Sharks holding a 16-point lead at the last break, the Tigers nailed the first three goals of the last quarter and regained the lead. Jordan Smith gathered 15m out from the Sharks’ goal and put his side back in front before George Rowlands kicked his second of the fourth and tied things up with five minutes remaining. Despite a barrage of inside 50s, the Sharks narrowly missed out on taking the lead late as the Tigers defence held strong. A shot from 55m out after the siren fell short, giving the Sharks their second split points decision this year. Scott Gower, Matt Petering and Nick Dickinson impressed for the Sharks, while Dean Porter stood strong in defence for the Tigers alongside Jarryd Robertson whose marking was a standout late in the fourth. James Tyquin strung together a best-on-ground performance for the Tigers.
A four-goal performance from Kieran Harper was not enough for University Blues as they fell to Collegians by 10 points at Uni Oval. Coming off their first loss of the year against De La Salle in Round 7, the Lions kicked nine goals to four in the first three quarters, taking a 34-point lead into the last break. The Blues, led by the William Buck Premier leading goal kicker Harper, kicked four unanswered in the fourth but the Lions managed to hold on thanks in large to dominant performances from Nick Dixon and Kyle Emley. Ashley McCorkell continued his stellar form for the Blues, who now fall outside the four and ino fifth spot on the ladder while the Lions retain top spot.
A free kick in the 25th minute of the fourth term handed St Kevin’s the winning goal as they defeated Old Melburnians by six points at TH King Oval. SKOB trailed at every break throughout the day but piled on four goals to one to escape with the four points. Sam Critchley was named best afield for the winning side and Thomas Jok (1) continued his outstanding season while Jay Schulz top-scored with three goals. Sam Gibbons was the best for OMs alongside perennial star, Tom Paule (2), and George Hurley-Wellington. The win was SKOB’s seventh for the year and they remain in second spot on the ladder, while OMs sit sixth.
Six goals to two in the third quarter proved the difference as Old Xaverians defeated University Blacks by 28 points at Toorak Park. The Xavs flew out of the blocks with 11 scoring shots to one in the first term and held a 25-point lead before the Blacks had a semi-revival and reduced the margin to eight points at the half. However, the Xavs stood up when under pressure for the second straight round as Brendan Goss led the charge with three goals. Dan Noonan was elite down back for the Xavs, while James Toohey was the best of the Blacks. Lochie Dornauf top-scored and continued his return to form with three goals. The Blacks sit ninth on the ladder with just one win for the season, six spots below the Xavs in third.
De La Salle made it two wins in a row and re-entered the top four with a solid 39-point win over Old Trinity in the first-ever Fight MND Cup at Daley Oval. Despite trailing by eight points at quarter time, De La piled on 11 goals to three for the remainder of the match; including, six goals to one in a dominant final term. Matt Cullinan was named best on ground for De La while Matt Fieldsend and Jake Williams (3) starred. Captain Brendan Iezzi led from the front for the T’s for the third straight week and Seb Nicolosi was their only multiple goal kicker with two. The T’s remain seventh on the ladder with three wins from the opening eight rounds.