And just like that, we have our finalists

Posted on - Latest News, Featured, Division 2 Men's

What a season of football it has been in the Division 2 Men’s competition, with upsets, draws, multiple forwards booting 8+ goals in a game, and nail-biting victories; it really has had it all. And it’s not quite over for the top four, who perhaps face their toughest challenge yet as they battle it out for that illusive Premiership Cup.

The stakes were high on Saturday afternoon for Brunswick, as a win meant they would secure second position, which gifts them a second chance come finals. MHSOB were not going to bow out quietly and they made the Nobs really work hard for the win.

The boys from Melbourne High came out firing as they looked to finish the season strong, however just struggled to hold on for the full four quarters. Their 8 individual contributors on the scoreboard had them ahead by 1-point heading into the final term, when they were out-scored 4 goals to 1 in the last quarter with the Nobs coming away victorious by 19 points.

Will McKenzie found his best form again for the Nobs, while Tom Rendell was best on for the Unicorns for a second consecutive week.

Although there were no upsets this round, Old Paradians sure did come close to taking down the minor premiers in Parkside. A lesson sure to be learnt, that complacency is dangerous territory and Parkside will need to bring their best should they achieve their hopes come Grand Final day.

The contest was neck-and-neck throughout the match, with Old Paradians holding a small lead until the fourth and final quarter. The finesse of Parkside shone in the final leg, with 5 straight goals securing them the win. Unfortunately, the pressure got the better of Parade with their 8 scoring shots converting on the scoreboard to 3.5, falling just short by a mere 3 points.

Kyle Mahony and Luke Brock led the charge all day for Parade, while Marcus Nolan impacted the scoreboard with 3 majors, and Michael Boundy and Blair Healy both added 2 goals.

At the other end, Jack Hamilton has continued his star-studded season for Parkside with a bag of 4 goals and a spot in the best, alongside the ever-consistent Benedict Douglas who was best on with a goal of his own.

Heading to Koonung Park for what was scheduled to be a 2:00pm match, didn’t really get going until 2:30pm with neither side hitting the scoreboard in the opening term. Once both sides awoke from their slumber, the Old Yarra Cobras and St Mary’s Salesian managed to hit the scoreboard with four each for the second quarter.

The awakening continued at the half, as the third term saw goals coming in from all over. A 9 goal to 2 quarter in favour of the Cobras gave them a handy 40-point lead. The Cobras kept their foot on the gas all the way to the final siren extending their lead to double the score of the Saints, victorious by 56 points.

Three was the number of the day for the Cobras, with Jack Hall, David Tokatliyan, Kyle Margaritis, and Luke Stacker all kicking a trifecta of goals.

The Saints can hold their heads high for a valiant effort throughout the season, persevering through some tough losses, and securing some impressive victories. Jason Rubidge and Michael Flora were impressive on the weekend and wrapped up the season with strong individual performances for their side.

With the South Melbourne Districts precariously holding onto fourth spot, and the Whitefriars biting at their heels, a win meant all or nothing when they faced Bulleen Templestowe on the weekend.

Both sides fared well in the first term with just a goal in it, while in the second quarter the Bullants got the upper hand and took an 11-point lead into the main break. With a spot in finals on the line, the Bloods dug deep in the second half to turn the tables in their favour with a 6-goal quarter to the Bullants single major. With the help of Sam Bradford and Jamie Brooker, both with 4 majors for the day, the Bloods turn an 11-point deficit into a 20-point advantage in the space of a quarter.

Tom Foley is impacting just at the right time and will be able to put his craft on display in the finals as South Melbourne Districts ran home with a 15-point victory to round out the home and away season in fourth on the ladder.

Whitefriars can hold their heads high after a hard-fought battle against Aquinas. Whilst they absolutely demolished their opposition by 74 points, it unfortunately didn’t bolster their percentage quite enough to steal that top 4 spot, finishing just shy of the fourth-placed South Melbourne Districts.

The Friars came out firing in a high-stakes match up to take a 29-point lead into the first huddle, that would only be extended at each subsequent break. Whilst Aquinas couldn’t halt the Whitefriars onslaught, they did bring their competitive spirit to register 29 of their own scoring shots of the day. It seemed that accuracy was their downfall with just the 10 majors.

Whitefriar’s Daniel Wood is an A-lister in the Division 2 competition and he left if all out there on Saturday afternoon. Having played all-bar-one match for the season, a career-best 11 goals against Aquinas has bolstered him to the leading goal kicker crown for 2023. Jaycob Baxter scored 4 for his side, supported by six other goal kickers.

Parkside, who takes home the minor premiership for the 2023 season, will come up against Brunswick in a Semi-Final this weekend to secure the first spot in the Grand Final. Whilst the losing side will go on to face the winner of Old Yarra Cobras v South Melbourne Districts.