Blacks leave St Kevin’s in the dark in a sensational Sunday slog

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Round 11 of the VAFA season again showed that whatever is expected to happen never goes to plan. 

From the early minutes of the four contests on Saturday afternoon, right through until the final moments of Sunday afternoon. William Buck Premier continues to leave us all guessing. 

University Blacks had a gameplan against St Kevin’s and Dale Bower’s men stuck to their guns right throughout the afternoon. While SKOB were wasteful in front of goal with 0.5 in the opening term, it was the twin-towers of the Blacks forward line – Matt Grocott and Nick Hey both kicked truly to open up a nine point advantage. 

The second term was a similar scrap which played into the hands of Uni Blacks, holding the reigning premiers to one goal for the first half. Kicking four of their own. The goal kickers in the second term, Bede Mahon, came back from the wilderness of retirement and on the bell of half-time, the captain Josh Steadman from long-range. 

Much of third term was played at the St Kevin’s end of the ground, but unable to capitalise in front of goal. In the final seconds of the term, Blacks, against the odds, put the margin back out to nine points. 

A frenetic final 30 minutes followed, again St Kevin’s missed chances in front of goal, before the slog turned into somewhat of a shootout. A goal of the year contender from Nick Hey, then Matt Grocott put the margin out to 25 points. 

St Kevin’s threw everything into the final seven minutes and nearly pulled off the remarkable closing to within seven points before Louis Vescio took the matchwinning mark on the siren to stop the run. 

Campbell Moorfield has just about locked himself into Greg Hutchison’s Big V squad after his performance across half-back, Josh Steadman was enormous in the ruck against Will Coates, and Louis Vescio willed himself to every contest. Two wins in a row for Uni Blacks, they’ll head to Xavier College next week with every intention of making it three. 

St Kevin’s leave empty handed, Old Brighton await at Brighton Beach Oval this weekend. A must-win clash for both sides. 

 

Collegians played with exceptional class against the University Blues on Saturday. A sight to behold. From the opening minutes of the contest, until the very end, they didn’t let up. 

94 point victory to the home side, saw their percentage climb another 15% while the Blues took a 15% hit and slid out of the top two. Dave Mirra (four goals) got hold of the Blues defence early, while Ed Greene worked his way to four goals. 

Will Mayhood is thriving with Ben Woodfull back in the side at full fitness. The confidence Mayhood has garnered being the number one ruckman through the first half of the year is paying dividends, as he went to centre half forward and made himself known. 

Blues without Eddie Ziebath, Charlie Furphy and Jeremy Goddard in the midfield looked undersized and understrength against Kenny Ong, Jim Bazzani and captain Sam Hibbins. 

Sam Sofrinidis and Luke McCleary used the footy well from half back all day and clamped the influence of Tom Young and Sam Grimley in the forward line. For the second week in a row the Lions have kept the opposition to four goals. There is now well-discussed evidence they’re the front-runners for 2023, the Lions leading the pack. Expect the form to continue against Caulfield this weekend, the Blues head home and move to assignment number #2 of finals in July: Old Scotch. 

Old Scotch set up their victory against Old Melburnians with a five goal head-start in the opening term. It’s the third weekend in a row the OM’s haven’t been able to kick a goal in the first quarter. 

A worrying sign for Paul Satterley’s troops who then had to do a lot of chasing. The second term didn’t get much better as the margin blew out to 48 points. 

Noblet, Galvin and Jack Brown were solid across the half back flanks for the Cardinals, providing great drive to the midfield. Stand-in skipper for the day Brodie Easton did his Big V aspirations no harm around the stoppages. 

Cooper Harvey had the tough task of curtailing the influence of Ben Harding through the midfield. And, James Tarrant returned to his best form with four goals, all in the first half. 

While the Lions are the front runners, the Cardinals are clipping at their heels. On the back of Blues and St Kevin’s losing this weekend they’re a game clear in second spot, and could make it two games when they face the Blues this weekend. 

Old Melburnians face Old Haileybury at Elsternwick Park. Last time they met, it was a shootout, will we get the same turnout on this occasion? 

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Old Xaverians responded from last week’s loss to St Kevin’s with an emphatic 95 point win over Caulfield Grammarians.

A 23 point lead at half-time blew out after the main change with the red and black mafia slamming home 13 goals to two. Caulfield depleted on the field, to the point of the reserves being forced to forfeit their game. 

Harrison Bell stepped up in the forward line with six majors. Jack Hewitt followed suit with four of his own. Alec Sprajla has become the first choice ruckman for James Byrne and is performing at an elite level. 

A silver-lining for the Fields, the return to the senior side of their captain Joe McClelland, Joey has had a tough time off the field in 2023 but full credit to him, getting himself right and into a space that he’s able to lead the side on the field again. A moment he will cherish, and a moment that’s worth highlighting. That in itself is a win bigger than footy. 

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Old Brighton are back on the winners list, coming from behind to beat Old Haileybury by 10 points. 

Daniel Ward’s troops are certainly not an “easy-kill” in 2023. That’s been proven across the first 10 weeks of the season, and in their 11th outing on Saturday, sitting 30 points ahead of last year’s Grand Finalists, another turn-up result for the weekend was brewing. 

Earlier this year, Old Brighton were able to use the premiership quarter to their benefit, and they recaptured that form on Saturday. Seven goals to 1 to level the scores at the final change, and then using that momentum through the final term. 

James Magner on debut for the Bloods was part of the best, but it was the likes of Harry Hill, Tom Fisher, Harry Hynes that got the game on the Tonners terms. 

Ben Pryor finished with four goals, and Kai Dimattina put in his best performance of the year in his debut season. 

Can they make it two in a row against St Kevin’s this weekend? A win would equal them up with last year’s premiers. 

Old Haileybury now falls a game behind University Blacks in the battle of relegation.