Photo: Bruce Tobin
Melbourne greeted us with a final blast of summer on Saturday afternoon as most VAFA grounds were bathed in sunshine and some battled the windy conditions.
It was high-octane footy, and with the knowledge of the Easter bye coming up this week our William Buck Premier teams left nothing in the tank.
All 5 games were well and truly alive going into the final quarter, 3 of which resulted in come from behind victories.
Out at Elsternwick Park, Caulfield Grammarians went into 3 quarter time in total control. Julian Dobosz had kicked 4 goals and the lead was 22 points. 10 minutes into the final quarter, looking like the Demons of the 2021 Grand Final, Old Melburnians had taken back the lead with 4 goals in quick succession. The Fields will rue missed opportunities in this one, finishing the day with 8.20.68.
Al Armstrong kicked 3 for the winners, Tom Baker named the OM’s best player for the day as well as Gus Borthwick. For the Fields, Isaac Morrisby and Declan Reilly again led the way.
At Camberwell Sports Park, Old Scotch fought valiantly against a much stronger, bigger bodied St Kevin’s outfit. 6 goals to 1 in the opening half, the Cardinals just couldn’t bridge the gap trailing by 28 points at 3 quarter time, they got the margin back to within 22 points early in the final term before 4 consecutive goals to St Kevin’s put the game beyond doubt.
Callum Jones and Paddy Kerr kicked 3 goals apiece as Skob moved to the top of the table after 2 rounds, Michael Pisker was named their best. For Old Scotch, 2 goals to Bryce Milford in his first senior game and youngster Tyson Sellers amongst the best, has had a handy start to his senior career.
University Blues had victory snatched away from them last weekend and weren’t going to let that happen again despite not having it all their own way against St Bernard’s at the Uni Main. An inaccurate 3.6 from the Snowdogs in the opening term kept the Blues within touching distance.
A 12 point margin at 3 quarter time in favour of the Blues extended to 25 by the time the final siren rang as they held St Bernard’s goalless in the last quarter. The AFL experience came to the fore as Sam Grimley found his way to another 5 goals to move his tally to 12 after 2 rounds. Alex Fasolo kicked 3 for the home side as Ayce Cordy and Marty Gleeson were both named in the best.
Charlie Vague, who many at St Bernard’s tipped as the pre-season best and fairest kicked 2 and was named their best performer.
It was a windswept Wesley College that saw Collegians come from behind against Old Trinity to claim their 2nd win of the season. Despite a scoreless third quarter and trailing by 19 points, they were assisted by the breeze in the final term to walk away 11 point winners.
Dave Mirra is relishing the captaincy and leadership he’s been given, finishing the day with 3 goals, 2 of which came in the 7 goal last quarter. Ed Greene also kicked 2 as part of the rush home. Old Trinity will live to fight another day and see themselves as a genuine chance when they face St Bernard’s in the Anzac round after the Easter break.
In what we flagged as the earliest of early Grand Final previews, Old Xaverians and Old Brighton didn’t disappoint. For the second week in a row, we were treated to a stellar display on RSN Carnival.
From the first bounce it was red hot with neither side giving an inch. A game-ending injury to Lachie Filipovic hurt the Tonners, but in his absence Petrus Olivier and Elliot Le Grice stepped up and challenged Ed Delaney and Grant Valles all afternoon.
Trailing by 14 points at 3 quarter time, Greg Hutchison had some words of wisdom for his troops, putting Anthony Zimmerman in the centre, Harry Hill deep in the goalsquare and through sheer Brighton grit and determination, they equalled the scores and then took the lead.
Despite the best efforts of Marcus Stavrou, 4 goals to Charlie MacIsaac and the goal of the day to Brad Olsson, Brighton held on by 3 points to record a famous victory.
We walk away from this game knowing that they’re going to be around at the mark at the pointy end of the season, and if it really was a Grand Final preview, 2022 is going to be something special.