The middle order of U19 Premier section is on a constant merry-go-round. The sixth placed De La Salle were able to topple the reigning premiers in Old Xavierians who are sitting in second. The top four sides now sit two matches clear of any other side, though two tumultuous rounds remain in which anything can happen.
Williamstown secured an important win and now sit in fifth, clinging on to a 2023 finals berth. De La Salle are on par with the former, each have accumulated eight wins, but the CYs possess a healthier and more superior percentage. They will meet in round 18 in which will be one of the fiercest matches of the season.
University Blues def by. Caulfield Grammarians by 19 points.
Caulfield travelled to Carlton North on Saturday and continued their stellar run of form. Their efficiency at both ends of the ground has been comprehensively evident throughout second half of the season. Uni have faced a somewhat opposite trajectory to Caulfield this season. They started relatively strong but have slightly declined. They now sit in seventh.
To their credit, Uni hang with the inform CGs for majority of the contest. They utilised Crawford Oval relatively well but were unable to halt the rampaging Grammarians. The consistent A. Dowsley slotted two majors and now sits second in the league for goal kicking.
Caulfield have solidified themselves as a legitimate premiership contender and now sit in fourth, tied with St Bedes. Their tremendous late season form was further exemplified in this matchup. J. Wallace, O. Fox, L. Duffy, O. Ruddock, O. Sail & T. Warner starred up the ground whilst M. Olynyk continued his superb individual form up forward.
Uni will host St Bernards at home this weekend. Caulfield takes on Williamstown at Glen Huntly Oval.
Williamtown CYMS def. Old Scotch by 10 points.
The CYs secured an important win after a slow start at Fearon Reserve last Saturday. They now sit in fifth and are gripping onto a final’s appearance this season. Scotch was again up to the level and very competitive, but unable to secure the end result.
Williamstown took a hold of the game after quarter time. Utilising their home ground to its full advantage. The notable inclusion of H. Miller was an undeniable gamechanger for the CYs. He hasn’t been sighted at U19 level since April after starring at senior level, he slotted in five a comprehensive best on ground performance. Miller was the Round 9 Anytime Fitness Men’s Rising Star and stood tall as the difference in Williamstown defeating Old Scotch last weekend.
Old Scotch will be disappointed to have let this potential victory through their grasp. Their season has had plenty of positive signs, but their inability to put together a four-quarter performance has been costly. The absence of power forward H. Robenstone due to suspension has proved costly at the pointy end of the season. R. Beckworth, S. Norman, M. Allen, H. Long, H. Byrne-Jones & C. Ferguson were best afield for Scotch in a tight loss.
Williamstown face the hot Caulfield Grammarians in round 17. Old Scotch will verse Old Brighton in an important match.
De La Salle def. Old Xaverians by 14 points.
The upset of the season at Waverly Oval! The tables have turned for the ever trying De La Salle. A well-orchestrated team performance from top to bottom was executed to knock off the ever-consistent Xavs. Xavier entered the second term scoreless and were unable to wrestle back control of the game.
De La looked primed from the outset and were able to nail the majority of their scoring shots, an issue that’s faltered them for much of the season. The inclusion of T. Filiopovic who usually features in De La’s senior side was instrumental. He and his brother S. Filipovic were judged best afield for the winning side. This win puts De La on the cuff of finals in 2023.
A deflating loss for the reigning premiers who would’ve been banking on this win heading into finals. They’ll look to reassess ahead of the next fortnight. D. Calvert, W. Exell, C. Bourne, M. Mahommed & H. Woodhouse were all admirable in a losing side.
De La Salle host SBMT this weekend at the Dairy Bell. Xavs have a tough task ahead, hosting SKOBs at home.
St Bedes / Mentone Tigers def. Old Brighton by 12 points.
The Tigers returned serve to their Beach Road rival on the weekend. After dishing out a poor performance against Old Brighton earlier this year, SBMT looked like a different side in this fierce win. Though the ninth placed Brighton competed with more flair than a team traditionally sitting second last.
St Bedes typical efficiency in front of goal stood strong for the first three quarters. Old Brighton chased down the Tigers in the last quarter, but they were able to hang on, securing an important win. SBMT have a real opportunity to achieve back-to-back premierships, which is no easy feat in Premier division. J. Turner was best afield for the winning side, his dominance through the midfield has been impressive all season.
Old Brighton is a team to watch in 2024. Tight losses like these will be used to motivate them heading into next season. K. Dimattina was best afield for Old Brighton upon his return from senior duties.
SBMT will play the curtain raiser at Waverly Oval this Saturday against De La Salle. Old Brighton will play Old Scotch at 9:20am at Brighton Beach.
St Kevin’s def by. St Bernards by 62 points.
St Kevin’s banked an important percentage boost against St Bernards in round 16. St Bernards forward line are capable of kicking sufficient scores but aren’t getting the consistent delivery they need. Unfortunately, the Snowdogs still remain winless in 2023.
St Kevin’s sit two wins clear of the pack and have their eyes firmly fixated on a grand final appearance this season. Games like this have illustrated their talent and athleticism across every line. G. Delimitrou was a clear best afield with 3 majors and plenty of quality possession.
Another loss for St Bernards but there are positives to take out of this contest. Their prowess up forward can’t be questioned. Their accuracy all year has been evident, but they just need to maximise the quantity of scores kicked. D. Gilham & S. Guida combined for five goals.
SKOB will play Xavs in the match of the round this week. St Bernards face University Blues.