A cold and wet weekend swept across Melbourne for the first round of the Victorian Amateur Football Association for season 2021. In the Division 1 ranks, a mix of results included tight matches, blowouts, and a significant milestone for a club legend. But despite the cold conditions giving players a wake-up call, it was a great way for all clubs involved to get its first competitive match in the bank in over 18 months.
Old Camberwell Grammarians got their season off to a great start over the weekend, easily accounting for Brunswick with a 68-point victory at Gordon Barnard Reserve. A slow start for both sides, with only one goal kicked during the first quarter, was not enough to deter the Wellers from putting their foot down and running away with the win. Josh Holding was the best goal scorer on the ground, with three majors for the match, with Luke Hayward and Ben Hart also getting amongst it with two each. Their superb start to the 2021 season enabled them to finish Round 1 on top of the ladder and they will be looking to carry that momentum with them against Oakleigh this weekend. Brunswick’s poor scoring and inability to run out a match means they will be out for redemption this weekend as they take on Kew.
Therry Penola OB fought out a close one against Oakleigh but were good enough to come away with the victory by 13 points at John Pascoe Reserve. In a low scoring match, Rory Macgregor, Jacob Atley, Kane O’Halloran, and Finn Dolan were some of the players who starred for the Lions. They will face off against Old Peninsula at their home ground, with a win on their hallowed turf crucial to maintaining the momentum. Going down by just 13, Oakleigh will be looking for a quick turnaround in order to put away the despair of losing its Round 1 match but will have to come up against some tough opposition in Old Camberwell.
Old Peninsula were unable to celebrate Shaun Payze’s 400th match with a win over the weekend, losing by seven points to the PEGS. In another low scoring game, Ben Carr and Mikey McLellan were the only multiple goal scorers for the Pirates, as they attempt to make themselves better in their matchup against Therry Penola on Saturday afternoon. Managing to just get over the line against Peninsula, Adrian Romanyk proved to be a strong target in the forward line for the PEGS. Sitting in fourth on the ladder, they will take on Prahran Assumption at their home ground for round two.
The tightest match for Division 1 over the weekend saw Kew beat Whitefriars by just four points. Nathan Sambevski (3) and Mali Jacobs (2) were the leading goal scorers for the Bears, with five goals shared between them. Jack Delbridge, Max Waters, Lachlan Bown and Jeremy Hannan were the others to feature as their best players. Sitting in fifth on the ladder, they will now attempt to make it two from two in their clash against Brunswick on Saturday. With its Round 1 loss a tough pill to swallow, Whitefriars will be aiming to bounce back against St Mary’s Salesian this weekend at their home ground.
Despite being inaccurate in front of goal, Prahran Assumption still managed to come out on top over St Mary’s Salesian in a 19-point victory. Callum Wilson and Matthew Boland shared two goals each in the victory with Zac Podmore, Rory Brodie, Riley Hogan and Adam Collett some of the standout players for the Two Blues. Sitting in second on the ladder, they will now face off against the PEGS in their round two clash. A disappointing loss sees St Mary’s Salesian in second last on the ladder, with its clash against Whitefriars this weekend proving to be a crucial match-up as they try to drag themselves back up the ladder.