In thrilling fashion, Old Geelong upsurged minor premier Williamstown CYMS by one point at Box Hill City Oval on Saturday to book the final spot in a premiership bout against Fitzroy FC.
With the Premier C finals series proving closer than ever, with both Week 1 finals matches decided by seven points or less, the Preliminary Final between first and third exceeded all expectations. CY started strong, kicking three goals to two in the opening term to lead by seven points at the first break. OG’s forward Samuel Anderson, who days earlier finished equal third in the Zachariah medal count, kicked the opening goal of the second term to bring the lead back within one point. CY soon ramped up their pressure and piled on the next three majors, but Old Geelong were able to put one more on the board with Tom Balcombe kicking his second of the day to bring it within two straight kicks heading into half time.
Returning for the third term, it was Old Geelong who found the advantage, slotting two goals to one to bring the margin within six point at the final break, before Christian Hatzis and Jonathan Read kicked the opening two goals of the final quarter to put OG in front. But CY weren’t going down without a fight, slotting the next two majors to edge two points in front. And in a nervous finish, it was ultimately minor scores that pushed OG in front and gifted them the trifecta; the win, a grand final berth and a promotion to Premier B next season. Balcombe was the OGs most prolific goal scorer with his two majors, while Ed Keach and Joshua Hutley were named Best on Ground for the winners. Joel Hogarth and Jack Gray each added two majors to CY’s final score, while Tom Johnstone and 2018 Zachariah Medalist Yuma Hemphill were best afield for the defeated.
Grand Final Preview
As the final two teams left standing, Fitzroy FC and Old Geelong will play off for the premiership cup at Trevor Barker Oval this Saturday.
Round 3 saw Fitzroy FC thrash Old Geelong 153-64 at Brunswick St Oval. Six unanswered goals in the opening term allowed the Roys take an early lead, while an additional 15 second half majors saw the margin ultimately stretch to 89 points. The Roys boasted 11 individual goal kickers to Old Geelong’s five, with Roys skipper Julian Turner leading the way with five majors, while Matthew Bird finished with four for the OGs. Ted Clayton was named Best on Ground for Fitzroy in the win, kicking three himself.
Meeting again at Como Park in Round 11, Fitzroy FC outlasted Old Geelong for a hard won four point victory. Old Geelong held a slight lead at both the first and second quarter breaks, before the Roys edged in front and built a 16-point buffer by three quarter time. In a tense final quarter, OG outscored the Roys in their quest to chase down the win, but fell four agonising points short by the final siren. OG’s Matthew Bird was again prolific with three goals, while midfielder Will Sloss also stood up for Old Geelong. Sam Baker top scored for the Roys with three majors, with teammate Tom Biscaro named Best on Ground in the win.
Form coming in
With Fitzroy FC losing their second-to-last game of the home and away season to Williamstown CYMS, it was sweet revenge when the Roys edged past CY by three points in their semi final match-up to advance straight into the grand final.
Old Geelong took the longer route to the grand final, eliminating Old Camberwell from the finals series with a seven-point win, before upsetting minor premiers’ CY by one point in the preliminary final last week. The OGs are currently sitting on a five-game winning streak at the moment, having lost their last game to Peninsula in Round 15 by a point.
Players to watch
Old Geelong: Will Sloss, Samuel Anderson, Christian Hatzis & John Simpson
Will Sloss is the club’s most prolific midfielder and featured in the side’s best on 12 occasions this season. Small forward Samuel Anderson produced a number of quality performances this year and bagged 23 goals, while Christian Hatzis has kicked 11 goals in his last four matches to be one of his side’s most in form players over the last month.
Fitzroy FC: Max Ellis, Roy Angiolella, Nathan Jumeau, Sam Baker, Bill Clayton, Ted Clayton
Defender Max Ellis and midfielder Rory Angiolella have been consistent performers this season, featuring in their team’s best on double digit occasions. Nathan Jumeau has led the Roys down forward with 34 goals for the year, closely followed by Sam Baker with 33 majors, while Clayton twins, Bill and Ted have also starred on a number of occasions.
Photo: Old Geelong