ST BERNARD’S ENGRAVE OUR NAME ON THE GARY MCALLISTER SHIELD

03 August 2015

First do Gary McAllister proud and 3rds triumph over Xavs. Ressies rue a final quarter fade out.

St Bernard’s 14.15.99 defeated Old Xaverians 13.9.87

Goals: C.Jones 6, M.Hannan 3, A.Boyse 2, S.Caven, T.Gleeson, J.Bennie

Best: M.Hannan, N.Kazuro, C.Jones, T.Caven, C.Peart, A.Singleton

In our first meeting with Old Xaverians this year we played what many considered to be our best quarter of footy for the year and we went on to record one of our best wins ever against them.  At that point they were undermanned, winless and struggling to get off the bottom of the ladder. Predictably, Xavs weren’t going to remain in that position for very long. So yesterday we met a very different Xavs side who had managed to push their way into fourth spot on the ladder and, as always, starting to look like a real threat as we head towards the finals.

The first quarter saw Xaverians win the ball out the centre on numerous occasions and give their forwards plenty of scoring opportunities. Our backs worked hard to contain Xavs and we did start to get plenty of the ball, but our forwards were frustrated by some poor disposal and time after time our moves into our forward 50 were chopped off by Xavs. In the second quarter it was much the same story. An early goal to Alex Boyse looked promising, but Xav’s players seemed to be working harder than us and we struggled to gain the ascendancy. James Bennie snuck in with an unlikely goal after applying some good pressure to force a turnover and Chad Jones kicked one of his six at the 28 minute mark, but Xavs still went to half time with a three goal lead.

The third quarter started well with another Chad Jones’ goal, but then Xavs kicked three in a row. In the last part of the quarter St Bernard’s tempo seemed to lift and some very good tackling meant Xavs run was restricted. Goals to Gleeson and Jones stemmed Xavs lead to 11 points at three quarter time. For the third week in a row we had to dig deep to secure a win. Half way through the quarter it was looking like we would not get there, but some inspiring efforts by players such as Chris Peart, Adam Bentick and Tom Sullivan started to turn the tide. Mitch Hannan was simply fantastic. He marked superbly and kicked a fifty metre goal to seal the match for St Bernard’s. A great win for Bernies!    

In an intriguing match-up, Tom Caven, State full back and VAFA vice-captain lined up on State full forward and VAFA captain, Matt ‘Chopper’ Handley. On the day Tom had the better of Matt, but Chopper still managed four goals to kick his 500th goal VAFA senior goal for Xavs. Our congratulations go to Matt on achieving such an incredible milestone.  The football club happily presented Matt Handley with the match ball as a memento of his outstanding achievement.

RESERVES

Final Score:  St Bernards 8-5-53 defeated by Old Xaverians 16-12-108

Goal Kickers: D. Colaco 2, L. Scerri , D. Wall , M. Sullivan , S. Piantella , S. Fleming , A. Corsetti
Best Players: , S. Fleming , D. Colaco , J. Manunzio , L. Sullivan , G. Zoccali , M. Sullivan

For three quarters the reserves team acquitted themselves with distinction against the dominant reserves team in 2015.  We were “in the game” in every respect.

What happened next is something we have seen all too often in the reserves team this season.  Our back six were left to try to defend a swarming number of Old Xavs players running unfettered from their backline and through the midfield – as our forwards and mids “switched off”.

10 scoring shots to 2 in a quarter of football reflects poorly on what had been an excellent effort until ¾ time.

The only redemption for this group is a 4-quarter effort next week against Blacks.

St Bernards Thirds 2015 Round 14 vs Old Xaverians

Final Score:  St Bernards 8-5-53 defeated Old Xaverians 5-5-35

Goals: M.Borzillo 2, D.Ryan 2, Z.Arwan, S.O’Keeffe, D.Riley, J.Pignataro

Best: M.Borzillo, D.Ryan, L.Baird, D.Hurley, J.Pignataro, C.Issa

St Bernard’s thirds continued their March to the finals with a stirring Victory over ladder leaders Old Xaverians on oval 2 at the pit. The pregame focus was in our belief that if we bring our best to the table we have the ability and work rate to match all sides in the competition. The first quarter was an arm wrestle with neither side conceding ground before the Xav’s boys got a couple and were up and about. At quarters end it was 0-1 to 2-3.

We knew we had to tidy up our clearance work and take them on. The second term was a tight affair, our defence led by Baird and Cannatelli were standing tall. Our midfield started to win the footy but we could not buy a goal until Borzy kicked a superb running goal before the bell to give us some reward for our efforts and to keep our opponents on their toes. At half time it was 1-3 to 3-3

Mono & Kev had the magnets whizzing around the board looking for answers. The half time focus was to reinforce our pregame aims and that we were well and truly in the contest, “Sink or Swim” were the final instructions. Our third quarter was sensational as we tackled, harassed and out played our opponents, all of a sudden the flood gates opened; goals to O’Keeffe and Pigga had us up and about before Riley, Damo, Arwan & Borzy all scored majors to leave the Xav’s boys stunned. At orange time it was 7-4 to 4-4 with our eyes well and truly on the prize

The boys were urged for one last effort as we knew our opponents would be hurting, we had to “retain the momentum”. The last quarter was a physical affair as both sides threw everything into the contest and the Bernards boys refused to wilt. A long goal from Damo brought the house down and we now had something to defend. Second, third, fourth and fifth efforts were given and we were able to keep the clamps on and run out 18 point victors. The song was belted out with great gusto to celebrate a sensational victory over a more fancied opponent.     

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