Under 19 Festival To Remember

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In celebration and recognition of the VAFA Holmesglen Under 19 program, the Footy Festival returned for the second year after the success of its debut in 2021. This year, Under 19 Division 1 Men’s took centre stage at Elsternwick Park and on Holmes/Todd Oval on Sunday. 

Matt Collister, VAFA Football Operations Manager told VAFA Media after the event on Sunday evening “Whilst we were not blessed with the beautiful weather like in 2021, this year’s second edition of the VAFA Holmesglen Under 19 Men’s Division 1 Footy Festival was equally successful.”

“All Under 19 Men’s players across the eight teams involved were treated to a full set of umpires, a live stream broadcast and an opportunity to check out how all their opponents are shaping up for the second half of the season.” 

“Club volunteers and supporters were even commenting about how enjoyable it was to cross paths with supporters and old friends from other clubs too, so the enjoyment was experienced on both sides of the fence.” said Collister

Our reporters Josh Heriot and Ethan Mills filed these reports as part of the day:

Hampton Rovers entered the game edging clear as favourites, but the first half of football saw a lot of fight from Old Haileybury. Wet conditions impacted the game significantly and it was an old-fashioned grudge match style of play from both sides in the first half. 

Haileybury kept themselves in the game with two goals to Ben Bishop-Schoff while Mitchell Kirkwood-Scott battled hard through the midfield, but when it came to the pressing moments, Hampton stood up to the task and responded. 

The Rovers got away in the last quarter and three goals to William Crawford and also Daniel Hall sealed the game. Thomas Ellinghaus was enormous for Hampton with rucking duties and overall, it was a solid performance from Hampton who remained in fourth spot. Josh Heriot

Hampton Rovers 4.2, 7.4, 9.6, 13.8 (86)
Old Haileybury 0.4, 2.5, 4.6, 6.9 (45)

Hampton Rovers Goals: W. Crawford 3, D. Hall 3, T. Ellinghaus 2, O. Fyfe 2, K. Carrigan, H. Lay, W. Kervin
Old Haileybury Goals : B. Bishop-Schoff 2, H. Grenda, C. Becker-Valles, D. Zhang, B. Gordon

Hampton Rovers Best: B. Crothers, A. Barton, K. Hikima, W. Crawford, O. Fyfe, K. Carrigan
Old Haileybury Best:  M. Kirkwood-Scott, M. Walstab, N. Higgins, J. Gillon, J. Adams, N. Giustiniano

The second game on Oval one saw ladder leaders in St Bedes/Mentone Tigers take on Old Trinity. It was always going to be a tough ask for Trinity to stop the division one leaders and once again St Bedes/Mentone showed that they’ll be hard to beat at finals time.

 Caleb Lewis was the star of the day with seven goals for the afternoon. Despite the rain, it didn’t stop him from taking two strong contested marks in the first half and converting in front of goal.

His dominance down forward was insurmountable for Trinity to stop, and Lewis was helped by Jack Behnk and Nathan Taylor who hit the scoreboard and found plenty of the football. 

Trinity showed some fight through Lachy Wong and Andrew Hain who kicked their only goal of the day in the first quarter but in the end, it was St Bedes/Mentone who finished off with a complete performance. Josh Heriot

SBMT 3.2, 10.7, 13.10, 17.12 (114)
Old Trinity 1.1, 1.1, 1.1, 1.2 (8)

SBMT Goals: C. Lewis 7, J. Behnk 2, N. Taylor 2, J. Harding 2, B. Murphy, E. Hale, J. Groves, D. Goodman
Old Trinity Goals: A. Hain

SBMT Best: J. Groves, J. Ryder, N. Taylor, E. Hale, M. Giannakis, C. Lewis
Old Trinity Best: G. McClure, M. Quinn, M. Deayton, H. Osmond, C. Woodward, K. Lennon

In the first game on Holmes/Todd Oval, Mazenod defeated Old Xavarians and won by 43 points. Old Xaverians were just behind Mazenod for most of the first half and continued to hold out against aggressive tactics. Mazenod then came into the second half with a devastating display and slowly put Old Xaverians to bed. 

Broadcasting the game with high hopes of seeing some future champions, we were impressed by a variety of players from both sides. The most eye-catching player of the first game was Sam Loiacono from Mazenod. Loiacono easily crushed his opponents with three incredible tackles and three outstanding goals. 

Another breathtaking performance from Mazenod was Matthew Albrecht. Albrecht scored four goals and was unbelievably fierce, scoring the most goals for his side and covering the field from the backline to the forward line with ease. It was a privilege to watch and I’m looking forward to seeing his future games.

Although Old Xaverians came home empty handed, they were not short of some terrific individual plays. A noticeable player was Nick Kennedy, he played ruck for most of the game and always showed grit in the face of his opposition. Kennedy continued to win tap outs each stoppage after another, while never giving up despite the scoreboard and treacherous weather. Old Xaverians have got another promising player by the name of Benjamin Sherman. Sherman had great resilience and took a tremendous mark just inside the forward 50 which gave him and his teammates confidence to keep their heads up high and finish the game strongly. Ethan Mills

Old Xaverians 0.3, 1.8, 4.11, 6.11 (47)
Mazenod 1.3, 5.3, 7.6, 14.10 (94)

Old Xaverians Goals: Not listed
Mazenod Goals: M. Albrecht 4, S. Loiacono 3, M. Pascuzzi 2, J. Mucha 2, D. Mastos, L. Stewart, A. Saliba

Old Xaverians Best: Not listed
Mazenod Best: D. O”Driscoll, J. Boyle, M. Albrecht, H. Boxshall, S. Loiacono, J. Mucha

Beaumaris were comprehensive in their 80-point win over University Blacks. The game seemed within reach for Uni Blacks before the end of the first half. However, Once the Sharks got rolling, they started to edge away from their competition. 

Beaumaris played a formidable game with multiple players providing an entertaining representation of skill and execution. William Lambert was best afield. “Lambo” kicked three exceptional goals from seemingly impossible angles and was always in the firing line around the forward 50. The skipper, Jayden Rodwell showed his class throughout the game and was cool, calm, and collected when lining up for goal. Rodwell was a remarkable representation for his team and kicked three goals. 

University Blacks carried out a 4-quarter game but were simply outmatched. Archie Donohoe was an obvious stand out, he had great positioning and put himself in every possible chance to score goals, which he did on three occasions. Finn McMahon a favourite player on the ground, could be spotted from a mile away, he was one of the smallest players but also one of the toughest players on the field. McMahon could fit himself in the biggest packs amongst the strongest players but always came out on top. Ethan Mills

Uni Blacks 1.1, 2.3, 4.3, 5.4 (34)
Beaumaris 2.7, 6.11, 10.14, 17.15 (117)

Uni Blacks Goals:  A. Donohoe 3, L. Smith, O. Bouchez
Beaumaris Goals: W. Lambert 3, J. Rodwell 3, L. Rundmann 3, S. Stewart 2, C. Bruce 2, M. Gori, N. Dear, A. Reark, G. Finnegan

Uni Blacks Best: F. McMahon, H. Attiwill, O. Bouchez, L. Smith, A. Donohoe, J. Connelly
Beaumaris Best: J. Rodwell, P. Pecer, A. Newman, M. O”Brien, G. Finnegan, C. Bruce

Given the attendance, the feedback and the enthusiasm from all participants, Collister is already marking down the date in the diary for next year “Given the positive feedback from the first two editions of the VAFA Holmesglen Under 19 Men’s Division 1 Footy Festival, the VAFA looks forward to holding the third edition in 2023.” he said.

The VAFA gives thanks to Holmeglen, the major partner and supporter of the Under 19 footy program.