St Johns win when it matters most as Bulls end season on top

Posted on - Latest News, Featured, Division 4 Men's

Billy Bolch

The first match of the round saw Box Hill North take on St Johns. Although the Demons had already secured their double chance, the JOCs had to win just to have a chance at securing their top 4 spot. The Demons started on the right foot as they got off to a great start with a 5-goal to 1 opening quarter to take a 22-point lead into the first break. In the second quarter, the Demons put together a good quarter but the JOCs truly began to turn on their boosters as they put together a huge 8-goal quarter. This massive quarter saw the JOCs bring the game back on even terms as they now held a 3-point lead as both teams went into the rooms for halftime.

The third quarter was a quality 30 minutes of football, as both sides were able to hit the scoreboard. The Demons were able to add on 4 goals in the quarter, the JOCs however, were able to put on 5 goals to their tally to extend their lead to 12 points, putting themselves in a great position to find their way into the finals. The final quarter saw both teams battle it out with tough and hard-fought football. The Demons were able to find their way back into the game and even took a 4-point lead at one point, the JOCs however, were able to hit the scoreboard when it mattered most with an all-important goal to take back the lead. Following that goal, the JOCs were able to hold off the Demons and secure a 2-point win, doing all they could to have a chance at making finals.

The leading goal scorer for the Demons was Blake Williams who had 7 goals. Other multiple-goal kickers for the Demons were Jack Dullard (2), Samuel Roberts (2) and Thomas Cheslett (2). For the JOCs, Benjamin Ayache played his best game of the season when it mattered most with 7 goals. Corey Ely and Kailum Newland were also able to hit the scoreboard with 2 goals each. In the best for the Demons were Thomas Rickard, Ethan Hocking and Blake Williams. In the best for the JOCs were Michael Horton, Benjamin Ayache and Daniel Cattolico. The Demons will now face North Brunswick in a qualifying final in what looks to be a major matchup. The JOCs will now look to capitalise on their finals opportunity with a win against the Falcons, a side they do hold a win against this season.

The second match of the round saw opposite ends of the ladder meet as the first-placed North Brunswick faced the 6th-placed Eley Park. The Bulls came out with a point to prove as they took control of the first quarter with a 9-goal to 3 term that saw the Bulls head into the first break with a commanding 40-point lead. The Bulls would then once again take control of the game with a dominant 9-goal quarter extending their lead all the way out to 94 points, as the Bulls looked to make a statement to the rest of the division.

The third quarter saw the Bulls replicate their second-quarter efforts over the Sharks as they dominated from start to finish with a 10-goal to 1 quarter which saw the Bulls hold a 155-point lead as the siren for third quarter time sounded. The last quarter of the 2023 season for the Sharks saw them end their season bravely as they never gave up and even added a goal to their tally. The final quarter, however, was ultimately the Bulls’ show as with an extra 8 goals added to their tally, the Bulls were able to run out winners by 202 points, with the biggest winning margin this season in addition to the highest score in the division this season (240).

Aaron Williams had 2 goals for the Sharks, other goal-kickers included Kane Scanlon, Bailey Bowyer, Ben Field and Mitchell Ross. For the Bulls, Andrew Ramzy dominated the day with 10 goals, and has jumped into pole position for the competition’s leading goal kicker. Mitchell Hicks and Jareth Ombiga were on fire with 5 goals each whilst Christopher Sanders and Luke Russell were also major contributors for the Bulls with 4 goals each. In the best for the Sharks were Aaron Williams, Jonathan Tennent and Callum Farquhar. In the best for the Bulls were Zac Dicianni, Simon Woodward and Mitchell Hicks. The Sharks will now look to make another jump in 2024 as they have a lot of players with plenty of upside and room to grow. The 2023 chapter of the Bulls would be titled ‘undefeated’, and they will hope to keep it this way as they face Box Hill North in a qualifying final. 

The final match of the home and away season saw Albert Park take on Masala. A win for the Tigers would see them secure their spot in the finals but a loss would make them rely on a Box Hill North win. The Tigers got off to a great start with a 5-goal quarter whilst managing to keep the Falcons to only 3 goals which saw the Tigers take a 19-point lead into quarter time. The second quarter saw the Falcons begin to take charge with a dominant display all over the ground. Although the Tigers did manage to score 6 goals of their own, the Falcons made the quarter theirs as they were able to pile on 11 goals, completely changing the game in the process. As the siren sounded to end the first half, it was the Falcons that went into the rooms with an 18-point lead.

The third quarter was one where it was all about the contested game. The majority of the ball was spent in the middle, and when it wasn’t there it was going end to end with both sides standing strong in defense. Both teams, however, were able to kick 2 goals for the quarter, keeping the Falcons with a slight lead of 17 points. Despite the Tigers giving their best in the fourth quarter and going in all-out attack mode, the Falcons were able to take control of the quarter with 4 goals, extending their lead to 30 points. With a few minutes left on the clock, word was getting around the oval about the St. Johns win. Masala gave it all they had in these final minutes, but it wasn’t enough to change the result. As the siren sounded, it was the Falcons who ran out winners by 30 points.

Jack Lee dominated up forward for the Falcons with 8 goals. Reece French-Lightfoot and Sam Lee also combined for 5 goals for the Falcons. For the Tigers, Dave Velardo played his best game of the season with 5 goals. Tiger duo Luke Broomhall and Luke Decarne kicked 2 goals each. In the best for the Falcons were Sam Lee, Alexander Evans and Drew Pearman. In the best for the Tigers were David Velardo, Karan Singh and Luke Broomhall. Albert Park will now face off against St Johns, a side that they defeated twice earlier in the season in an elimination final whilst the Tigers will reflect on what could’ve been in 2023 after winning 5 of their first 6, they would then go on to lose 7 of their last 8.