We are now 6 weeks in to the 2023 VAFA season. The Holmesglen Under 19 Premier Men’s section has begun to settle as illustrated by some predictable results last Saturday. We’re yet to see St Bernards clench a victory whilst St Kevins sit firmly atop the ladder. St Bedes/Mentone are sitting slightly on the outskirts in fifth position.
Old Scotch def by. Old Xaverians by 13 points.
In a tight contest, the Xavs once again displayed their composure and exceptional disposal efficiency, demonstrating why they are the reigning premier. Throughout the game, Scotch put up a fierce fight, staying on Xavs’ tail, although ultimately failing to snatch the lead. Despite their defeat, Scotch’s regulars exhibited outstanding individual performances.
The spearhead of Old Scotch, H. Robenstone, continued to impress with three superb goals, solidifying his position as the leading goal kicker in the division. Despite their strong performances thus far, Scotch finds themselves in 8th place on the ladder. To climb higher and start accumulating victories, they’ll need to focus on converting every opportunity that comes their way.
Amongst the standout players for Scotch were J. Harker, S. Norman, L. Harker, O. Iser, P. Johnson, and W. Townsend, who gave their all the entire afternoon.
Looking ahead, Old Scotch will face a tough challenge in Round 7 as they take on the top-placed St. Kevins. It will be a test of their mettle as they strive to secure a victory against a formidable opponent. On the other hand, the Xavs will be travelling to Brighton, ready to continue their winning momentum and maintain their dominant form.
Caulfield Grammarians def. St. Bedes/Mentone Tigers by 9 points.
In a highly anticipated clash, Caulfield maintained their lead throughout the afternoon despite Mentone’s determined efforts to counteract. Both teams had been in excellent form leading up to this matchup, and this contest only reaffirmed their strong performances.
The young Tigers started the match slowly, but gradually found their rhythm and worked their way into the game. Surpassing expectations, they have delivered five spirited performances so far this season. Once again, the youthful F. Groves stood strong as one of the best players on the field, contributing two goals to the team’s tally. Additionally, H. Gleeson played his part by kicking three majors, showcasing his skill in front of goal.
Right from the outset, Caulfield’s composure was evident. They displayed a seamless blend of attacking prowess and superb defensive skills, converting goals while defending resolutely from their half-back line. Their consistent performances have earned them a spot inside the top four, reflecting the quality of their season thus far. Among the standout players for Caulfield were S. Haffenden, J. Pinder, H. Mcinerney, T. Warner, O. Sail, and J. Flavien, who showcased their skills and played pivotal roles in the team’s victory.
Looking ahead to Round 7, Caulfield will have the advantage of playing at home as they host Uni Blues. It promises to be an exciting matchup, with both teams aiming to secure a victory and maintain their spot in the four. On the other hand, SBMT will be facing De La Salle in the primetime slot at Brindisi Street.
De La Salle def. Old Brighton by 12 points.
In a tightly contested match, De La Salle finally secured another victory, marking a hopeful turning point for the hard-working side. They managed to maintain their lead throughout the entire contest, thanks in part to some brilliant individual performances. S. Filipovic has been putting together a terrific season and scored a major in this crucial win for his team.
On the other hand, Brighton have struggled to replicate their strong performance from the previous year. They failed to take the lead after a lacklustre first quarter. Despite their efforts, the goal-scoring responsibilities were spread across different players, highlighting the cohesive team effort.
Looking ahead, Brighton faces a cross-town rival in Old Xavier in their upcoming match. It will be an exciting encounter as Brighton will aim to secure a victory and gain some momentum. Meanwhile, De La Salle will be traveling to Mentone to take on SBMT. This matchup presents another opportunity for De La Salle to continue their winning streak and further solidify their position in the competition. Mentone, on the other hand, will be eager to bounce back and put up a strong fight on their home ground.
University Blues def. Williamstown CYMS by 51 points.
In a dominant display, Uni Blues pushed Williamstown down to ninth place on the ladder. Utilizing their home ground advantage to the maximum, Uni Blues showcased superior ball movement and skill efficiency. They managed an impressive 30 scoring shots throughout the game, capitalizing on 16 of those opportunities. A standout player for Uni Blues was A. Dowsley, who had a mammoth game, contributing half of his team’s goals.
On the other hand, Williamstown will be disappointed with their current position at this point of the season, struggling to maintain steady and consistent form. In the match against Uni Blues, they were completely outclassed and unable to match their opponent’s level of play. The team will need to regroup and urgently reassess their performance to improve their standings.
Looking ahead to Round 7, Uni Blues will face a competitive Caufield side. It promises to be an intense matchup between two strong teams vying for victory. On the other hand, Williamstown will aim to bounce back and secure a win against St. Bernards, hoping to regain their form and climb up the ladder. Both teams will be eager to make a statement and put themselves back on track this season.
St Bernards def by. St Kevins by 72 points.
St Bernards find themselves in crisis mode as their U19 team struggles to replicate the success of their seniors and reserves in the 2023 season. Despite their best efforts, they were outclassed by SKOB in this match. The team’s performance highlights their determination and effort, but they have been unable to translate it into positive results on the scoreboard.
Meanwhile, SKOB continued their dominance, comfortably sitting atop the ladder due to their strong performances and a successful pre-season. In the contest against St Bernards, H. James stood out with a brilliant outing, contributing three goals to SKOB’s victory.
Looking ahead, St Bernards will face the CYs in a game they have a good chance of winning. It presents an opportunity for them to regroup, refocus, and secure a much-needed victory to boost their confidence. On the other hand, SKOB will be facing a formidable opponent in Old Scotch. It promises to be a challenging match where SKOB will look to maintain their winning streak and continue their dominant form.
St. Bernards will be eager to address the issues faced by their U19 team and find ways to improve their performance moving forward. It is crucial for them to find a balance across all levels and align success throughout their club.
Photo: Rod Hathway