By James Ried – @jamesried9
It took Old Haileyburians until the final round of the home-and-away season but the Bloods finally locked up fourth place. Peninsula did all it could to steal the remaining finals spot with its victory over top-spot Marcellin, but Haileybury extinguished the Pirates’ chances beating Old Camberwell. Elsewhere, PEGS completed its season in Premier C with a win over Therry Penola. Both will be playing in Division 1 in 2016. Therry Penola’s fall from grace after two supreme seasons is a warning of the steep jump from the Divisions to the Premier Sections. Williamstown CYMS’ strong second half of the year continued as they defeated finalist Old Ivanhoe at home and Monash kept its good run into finals going and topped Oakleigh at Frearson Oval.
Old Haileybury were forced to put in a four-quarter effort in the clash against Old Camberwell, however they emerged with the four points required to solidify its finals place. The Bloods had the edge at each change and it wasn’t until the fourth quarter where Old Haileybury could earn a match-winning lead. Four goals to one in the last term pushed the Bloods out to a 36-point advantage at the final siren. Nathan Waite led all comers with six goals for the Bloods and proved the difference in a best on ground performance.
If Peninsula were to be any hope of stealing a finals spot it had to claim victory over Premier C’s best Marcellin. The Pirates were on song, keeping the Eagles to one goal in the first half, while they booted six of their own. One more goal for Marcellin in the third quarter and the game was wrapped and the margin too great. Peninsula fell short of a finals place due to external results but finished the season in stellar form with a 57-point victory over the minor premiers. Stefan Barbour kicked four goals for the winners and James Moignard was best on ground for his efforts. Whether Marcellin rested players or had just marked the game off as meaningless will be discovered in the first final.
Only pride was on the line in the meeting between relegation bound sides PEGS and Therry Penola in Round 18. Both couldn’t climb out of the zone but as the Bombers proved they had more fight left. Therry took a one-goal advantage in the first quarter but its control dissipated from there. PEGS nailed five goals in the second quarter to take the lead and kicked on in the next two terms to win by 25 points. Corey Bannister finished with a game-high six goals while Sahand Ghasimzadeh claimed best-on honours for PEGS.
Williamstown CYMS had a tough time adjusting to Premier C football early this season, but strung it together in the back half of the year. Willy raced out to an outstanding start against Old Ivanhoe, despite an inaccurate start, bagging 2.9-21 and Ivanhoe was goal-less. The CY’s made up for it though in the second half, and didn’t let the lead slip even with the inaccurate goal kicking until the siren sounded Williamstown 20-points the good. Jack Gray starred for the CY’s with three goals.
Monash ended the streak of upset losses for finalist contenders as they eased past Oakleigh at home. A five-goal first quarter showed the Blues’ intent and another eight goals in the second quarter finished the contest. The margin grew throughout the match until the siren cut Oakleigh’s woes at 89-points. Zacchary Ledin popped through five goals and was Monash’s best afield.
Semi Final 2 Preview
Marcellin and Monash Blues will square off for the opportunity to grab a Grand Final place on Saturday at Casey Fields. The two share an even ledger at 1-1, with both winning away from home. Monash won the first contest at Marcellin College in Round 2 and the Eagles got their revenge at Frearson Oval. Despite Marcellin finishing on top, Monash come into the game strongly placed to win with a better run as of late. It will be a close contest in the double-chance final, but the Blues’ form suggests it’ll claim the first spot in the Premier C Grand Final.
Semi Final 1 Preview
Old Ivanhoe and Old Haileyburians will play on the Sunday at Casey Fields for the opportunity to play the loser of Semi Final 2. Haileybury has one both previous meetings against Ivanhoe and seemingly match up well against the ‘Hoes. Ivanhoe has potentially played in more deafening victories, but Old Haileybury have had closer contests and will be somewhat used to the pressure that comes with finals football. Along with this, and the Bloods’ record against Old Ivanhoe, my tip sways in Haileybury’s favour to win the elimination Semi Final in a finger-bitingly close contest.
Marcellin v Monash Blues
Old Ivanhoe v Old Haileyburians