Round 18 of the Premier C Men’s competition drew the regular season to a thrilling close, with finals positions solidified, after the goal siren drama and more!
The spotlight was firmly fixed on the PEGS Sporting Fields on Saturday, where an epic showdown between Old Ivanhoe and PEGS was set to determine who would secure a coveted top-two position.
Old Ivanhoe started the game with a commanding opening quarter, establishing a 25-point lead at the first break. PEGS, however, responded with a six-goal second quarter, narrowing the gap to just eight points by halftime. The third quarter was tightly contested, with Old Ivanhoe managing to extend their lead to 17 points, setting the stage for an epic final quarter.
Amidst the high stakes, the last quarter turned into a one-sided affair, with Old Ivanhoe booting six goals to PEGS’ one, resulting in a 48-point victory. Nicholas Reeves-Smyth, Luke Scuderi, Harrison Frazer, and Lucas Agrotis all played crucial roles, each contributing three goals for Old Ivanhoe.
With their momentum peaking at the right time, Old Ivanhoe will now prepare to face Old Camberwell on Saturday for a spot in the Grand Final.
PEGS, on the other hand, will be bitterly disappointed at missing out on a double chance in the finals. They had been the clear frontrunners early in the season, holding the top spot on the ladder for more than half the season.
While they have experienced a recent dip in form, their early-season wins still offer a glimmer of hope as they look to rediscover their stride and cause some chaos in the finals, starting with their elimination clash against Parkdale on Saturday.
Meanwhile, the clash between Old Camberwell and Parkdale Vultures may have provided a sneak peek into this year’s Premier C Men’s finals series, and it promises to be nothing short of exhilarating.
Despite neither team being able to alter their ladder position, the battle went down to the wire. These two top-four teams fought tooth and nail until the final siren. Parkdale, despite trailing at the previous two breaks, managed to hold a three-point lead heading into the final quarter. Old Camberwell however, displayed their top of the table credentials and wrestled back the lead, holding onto it late in the game.
With less than five minutes on the clock, Parkdale found themselves two goals behind. Then, the footy was launched into Parkdale’s forward 50, and Lloyd Bailey found himself in the perfect position to snap a goal, bringing it back to a one-goal game.
Old Camberwell attempted to slow the game down as they awaited the final siren, but before they could, Parkdale made one last-ditch effort ending with a huge mark from Ryan Macdermid 50 meters out from goal.
As he lined up for a potential game-winning goal, the siren sounded. Despite already having kicked three on the day, Macdermid couldn’t slot another as his kick faded late and missed to the right, handing Old Camberwell a three-point victory.
Old Camberwell showcased their strength, with goal-kickers spread throughout the team, as ten of their twenty-two players notched at least one major.
Both teams will now shift their focus to the upcoming finals, with Parkdale facing elimination against PEGS and Old Camberwell vying for a grand final spot against Old Ivanhoe.
It came down to the final day to see if Marcellin or Ormond would be relegated to Division 1 for 2024. Marcellin, who played Old Carey in an early kick-off, left the door ajar for Ormond, after they went down by three goals.
Marcellin entered the final quarter with a one-point lead, however Old Carey found another gear in the last quarter to end their season in winning fashion. Marc Lock contributed with three goals for Old Carey.
This win allows Old Carey to finish the season on a positive note, concluding the year in 7th place as they will look to climb the Premier C ladder in 2024, while Marcellin will be looking to rebuild after a disappointing campaign.
Ormond needed a win to avoid relegation but couldn’t overcome arch-rivals Hampton Rovers in a classic encounter at E.E. Gunn Reserve. The Rovers were dominant early on, as they got out to a 45-point lead during the second term. The home side mounted a comeback however, seizing the lead by a goal at three-quarter time.
Unfortunately for Ormond, the Rovers proved too strong and were more accurate on the scoreboard in the final term, kicking seven goals to secure a 13-point victory and send Ormond down to Division 1 for the 2024 season. Benjamin Crothers played a pivotal role for Hampton, kicking four goals, while Will Crawford and Clinton Young each kicked three. While for Ormond, Sam Mason kicked three.
Hampton, after a mostly disappointing campaign, finished the season strong to end the year in 5th position on the ladder and will aim to regroup and make a strong comeback under a new coach in Premier C next year.
All eyes are now eagerly fixed on next week’s Premier C semi finals, with the excitement set to build as the week progresses.