Round one of the 2022 season has come and gone, with more of the same for last season’s top side. But round one will be remembered fondly by Preston Bullants as they registered their first victory in Premier C a long twelve months after entering the division.
Hampton Rovers kicked off their 2022 campaign in fine style with a stirring eight-goal victory over Marcellin at Boss James Reserve. Rovers finished the first term slightly in the ascendency after a tight opening, and continued in the same vein in the second quarter to lead by 16 points at the main break. It is in the third quarter that Rovers broke the game open, kicking six unanswered goals to lead by 53 points turning for home. The opening goal of the last term extended the margin to 59, and although Marcellin added some respectability to the scoreline by kicking five goals in the final quarter, it was too little, too late. Sam Clements and Ryan Fogarty led the way for Hampton, with Ben Marron keeping the scorers busy with four goals. Zac Tolley and Daniel di Paola worked hard for Marcellin, who will take the confidence from the final stanza into next week.
Mazenod made the journey to EE Gunn Reserve looking to make a statement that they were there to be a real threat in 2022, but their hosts Ormond were way too good on the day. The Nodders started well enough kicking to the scoring end, but only two goals from seven shots to the scoring end meant only a five-point advantage at quarter time. Their poor accuracy extended into the second term whilst Ormond banged on six goals at the other end to lead by four goals at the half. Mazenod kicked three goals to two in the third term to be within striking distance at the final change, but Ormond were clinical, kicking six goals in the last quarter without reply to score by 54 points. The difference was Tom Buckley, finishing with seven goals for the victors, with Zach Benson and Joseph Nowell amongst their best. Nick Pascuzzi, with three goals, and Simon Hall were good for Mazenod.
The goalkicking coach at Old Ivanhoe might be in for a bit of work through the week after the round one clash at Keysborough. For whilst they were never seriously challenged by Old Mentonians after quarter time, they may not get away with such profligacy next time. The home side kicked three of the four goals in the first quarter, but Old Ivanhoe recovered to the point that they took the lead heading into half time. The Ivanhoe boys dominated the second half, but four goals 12 to three goals straight meant that Old Mentonians stayed at arm’s length. Old Ivanhoe will be happy with their performance around-the-ground, and will take that forward to next week. Sam Wilcox and Harrison Reid stood out for the victors, while Stuart Harris and Keiffer Smith-Cameron were the best for Old Mentonians.
Preston Bullants spent 11 winless matches looking for victory in 2021, but it only took them one week this year as they prevailed in a fourth quarter wrestle over UHS-VU by a single point – marking the first win for Preston in 931 days. It looked so rosy for the Preston boys as they went to the long break 31 points to the good, but they had not seen the back of the UHS-VU boys. They dominated the third quarter, but a return of four goals nine meant the difference between a commanding three-quarter time lead and an even scoreline. The game could have gone either way, but with each side kicking three goals in the last quarter, it was the Bullants that came away victors by the barest possible margin. They had Ethan Lowe as an effective spearhead with five goals, and winners in Sean Battistello and Hugo Byron on the day. The University boys were best served by Pat Brookes (four goals), and Harrison Rocke.
The two pre-eminent sides of 2021, Monash Blues and Old Geelong, squared off in the first meeting of 2022. And as with last year it was the Monash boys that prevailed, doubling Old Geelong’s score in a dominant display. After kicking three goals to two in the first quarter, Monash really began to assert their authority to lead by 26 points at the main break. Old Geelong kicked to the scoring end in the third quarter and kept Monash to three points, but unfortunately were only able to land a single goal themselves. Monash took a 20-point lead into the final term and were able to score five goals to two in the home straight to register a seven goal win, thereby marking themselves as the early premiership favourites. Joe Harrison opened his season with three goals, and Daniel Easson and Nick Argento were best for the victors. Connor Dixon kicked three for Old Geelong, with Jack Sheridan and Sam Hooper in their best.