By James Ried – @jamesried9
Fourth placed Old Haileyburians proved it wasn’t there to make up the numbers in Premier C’s finals as it progressed past top seed Marcellin to earn a grand final spot. Leading at every change, the Bloods knocked out the Eagles in straight sets to gain promotion back into B grade. And with an average losing margin of 68 points against Marcellin in the home-and-away season, it was a stellar feat for Haileybury, besting the team that comfortably had its measure all year. Old Haileybury now meets Monash Blues in the grand final at Trevor Barker Oval, Sandringham this Saturday.
Preliminary Final Review
To open the contest Marcellin won the toss and decided to kick against the three-goal wind advantage. And by quarter time the Bloods would’ve thought they were in trouble. While holding the Eagles to one point throughout the quarter Haileybury couldn’t damage the minor premiers with scoreboard pressure and take its chances kicking two goals eight. Old Haileybury weathered the storm in the second quarter in what was the Bloods’ most important quarter according to the coaching staff. While they couldn’t score a major themselves the pressure they put on the ball carrier kept the Bloods in front by three points at the major break. The reward for their effort came in the third quarter as the Bloods nailed five-goals-to-one. A 33-point buffer was established and Haileybury had to hold out against the wind to succeed. And they did just that as they out-fought and out-muscled Marcellin once again in the fourth quarter to register two majors against the breeze to trump the Eagles by 27 points. In the end the scoreboard didn’t illustrate the dominance of the Bloods as much as it could have. Old Haileybury had 30 scoring shots to 13 by game’s end with 21 of those coming as minor scores. But as the siren sounded, it was irrelevant, as the Bloods had run over Premier C’s best during the home-and-away season, after almost struggling to make the finals and now play in the grand final. Captain Peter Gleadhill led from the front through the midfield while Brett Voss also chipped in with two goals and plenty of possessions. Jordan Toy’s inside grunt is what finals footy are about as he continues to feed on the contested ball as help his team getting the result. Andrew Kay was Marcellin’s only multiple goal kicker with two in one of the most disappointing days for a club that has dominated the past three home and away seasons only to pull up short when it really matters in Premier C. Perhaps next year they can finally break the developing duck and win their way into Premier B. They certainly are due for a little bit of luck in that regard.
Grand Final Preview
Old Haileybury meet the well-rested Monash Blues who also ran through Marcellin to make the big dance. The Bloods match up better against the Blues than they did with the Eagles but still couldn’t top Monash during the regular season. In their first encounter in Round 10 Monash embarrassed Haileybury at Frearson Oval, Monash University by 91 points. Nicholas Petering booted five and Damien Hatch kicked four in the victory. Haileybury did regain some respect in the reverse game at Princes Park but still fell 28 points short of victory. Monash’s mids reigned supreme as Maddison Hardiman put three goals past Haileybury. Alfred Oppy has kicked five goals in two games against the Bloods.
Since there last meeting however Haileybury has lifted tenfold especially in the midfield which is where Monash was dominant. It may have been only a month ago but confidence does wonders and for a club that had been drowned for success for too long, it’s come back in spades. If Haileybury can produce the same pressure they did against Marcellin it’ll put them in good stead to claim the premiership. 10 per cent off their best and the Bloods could get outshone fairly comfortably as Monash have proven to have stars all across the ground. History says Monash will win with its 2-0 record against Haileybury but the Bloods’ underdog status has grown legs and is hard not to want to see come to fruition. Heart says Bloods but mind picks Blues. Here’s hoping the fairytale finish can prevail one more time.
2015 matches between Old Haileyburians and Monash Blues
Round 10: Monash Blues 18 18 126 defeated Old Haileyburians 5 5 35
Round 17: Old Haileyburians 7 15 57 defeated by Monash Blues 12 13 85
Old Haileyburians v Monash Blues