The wait for September is over with and now we are down to four

Posted on - Latest News, Premier B Men's, Featured

Josh Heriot

The long wait is over, and spring is in the air. As the old saying goes, this is where the season truly begins. That couldn’t be truer for the remaining four sides in Premier B Men’s with week one of the finals set to be enormous.

As round 18 began, punters still didn’t know what the final ladder would look like. We had our expectations, but nothing was set in stone. In the end Old Geelong and St Bedes/Mentone couldn’t survive the task with Beaumaris holding on and De La Salle producing an outstanding performance right before the finals.

Let’s start with De La Salle. They recorded an important victory against the second placed Fitzroy by 49 points at Brunswick Street Oval. The visitors were inaccurate during the first half, the 16 scoring shots only being converted to six goals. The final change saw a margin of 26 points with the home side unable to keep up with the pace of De La Salle who skipped away in the final quarter with six goals and defensively only conceded seven goals for the match.

Nathan Scollo kicked four majors as Jake Williams also kicked three with Sam Williams named best for the visitors. While for the Roys, it was a shin day for the goal kickers as Anthony Johnson led the way with two majors and was named the Roys best.

Beaumaris were able to lock up fourth spot on the ladder with a comprehensive win over Old Trinity by 44 points. The Sharks flew out of the blocks early on, kicking five first quarter goals to Trinity’s one and built a handy 29-point lead at the first change. Trinity was able to slow their scoring but were ultimately out played as the Sharks ended with 24 scoring opportunities.

Five players had two or more goals as Kieren Dyer finished as the Sharks best player. Meanwhile, for the T’s Alex Polidoros put three on the board with Alex Emery finding plenty of the footy and named their best.

St Bedes/Mentone ended their season on a positive note despite missing out on finals on percentage. The Tigers recorded a 19-point win over Williamstown CYMS but were made to work hard with a tight tussle for much of the afternoon. Williamstown held a 7-point lead at the main break with the final change only two points and anyone’s game. The final quarter fell in the favour of the Tigers with five final quarter goals as they edged clear to win.

That attack was assisted by Caleb Lewis who kicked a bag of eight goals and was easily the best player for St Bedes/Mentone but also finishes the year as the leading goal kicker in Premier B with 49.  Meanwhile for Williamstown, 2023 is a season that they can build on. Their young list has been tested but have been competitive throughout the year. William Smyth continued to provide quality service down forward with another three goals on Saturday with 40 goals for the season.

St Bernards continue to set a cracking pace this season, finishing their home and away season with a 148-point win over Monash Blues. Luca Alessio finished with five goals and joined the long list of 11 individual goal kickers. Ethan Schumann was their best while for the Blues Harry Condon did his best to neutralise things as he was named the best for Monsh.

It’s been a tough year for Monash after claiming the Premier C premiership last season and jumping up. The Blues will be back down in Premier C in 2024 while for the Snowdogs, they press into September as the hot shots to take the title but also the team that others are chasing the most. Its sure to be an interesting watch as they embark on their finals campaign.

To conclude the 2023 season, Old Geelong finished with a 62-point win against AJAX. Unfortunately for the fifth placed side, they were edged out of the four on percentage, but it’s been a solid season after progressing from Premier C last year. AJAX began positively after leading at the first change by 8 points but after quarter time it was all Old Geelong as they kicked seven goals in the second quarter.

Will Stephenson led the goal kicking front with four majors with Harrison Kol also busy with three and Rupert Kemp named Old Geelong’s best. While for AJAX, Richie Simon put up a fight with four goals and Corey Zielinski likewise as he was named their best.

What will finals look like? Saturday is when Premier B finals will take centre stage with St Bernards to face Fitzroy. Despite the Snowdogs gaining the upper hand twice against Fitzroy this season, the Roys are still experienced campaigners and will throw everything towards this game knowing that there is a second chance if they are to be unsuccessful. Saturday will also feature third and fourth with De La Salle to face Beaumaris. These two sides have blossomed later in the season and I’m tipping this the be an extremely tight match. De La Salle will enter with confidence having beaten Fitzroy last weekend, but Beaumaris have continued to rise as the season has progressed and will draw upon last year’s heartbreak in the preliminary final for motivation.