Pulsating comebacks, heartbreaking upsets across all sections and 39-goal displays were all a part of VAFA football in Round 2. Let’s see what we learnt from this week’s action.
1. Mal Mitris is ice cold
In arguably the best Premier C match in recent years, Old Ivanhoe Grammarians skipper, Michael ‘Mal’ Mitris, proved he possesses the Kobe Bryant clutch gene when he kicked a goal after the siren to hand his side a stunning one-point victory against Kew. Leading by 21 points with one quarter to play, Old Ivanhoe allowed a five-goal turnaround and trailed the Bears by 11 points with three minutes remaining on the clock. A quick clearance and major to Michael Del Monte reduced the margin to five points, before an errant Richard Skok shot from 45m on the boundary was plucked by the inspirational skipper seconds before the final siren sounded. With ice cold blood running through his veins, Mitris made no mistake and proved he is clutch when it matters most.
2. Night footy is a VAFA spectacle
Old Xaverians and De La Salle partook in the first VAFA senior night match in 2016 and how good was it? A monster Toorak Park crowd witnessed two of the strongest William Buck Premier teams go head-to-head in a one-point classic, with the result decided in the dying minutes. Saturday night, under lights and in front of a sensational crowd; what more could you want?
3. Westbourne Grammarians will not make the same mistake in 2016
After going 14-2 and sitting alongside Canterbury as one of the two best sides throughout the home and away season last year, the Warriors were bundled out in the first week of finals at the hands of eventual grand finalist, Parkside. Will they make a similar mistake? It doesn’t look like it. The Warriors have destroyed Manningham Cobras and Chadstone in the first two rounds of 2016 by an average winning margin of 192 and sit comfortably at the top of the table with a percentage of 972.73. While last they relied on centurion, Dale Collins, for the bulk of their scoring, they already boast eight players with four or more majors to their name. With a star-studded midfield and Adelaide Crows-esque forward line, expect the Warriors to be causing havoc in Division 3 next year.