Bernard's bounce back with "unsociable" win

28 May 2012

A week truly is a long time in football. Last week the Snowdog's limped away from Toorak Park with their tale's between their legs, after an 80pt thumping by Old Xav's.


The coaching panel worked hard during the week with video footage, structures and the players to refresh the groups mindset, and get back to playing good old fashioned St Bernard's "unsociable" football. The team running out against the dangerous Uni Blues outfit was strengthened by the return of dangerous wingman/forward Mitch Church while vice captain Nick Cooke added grunt to the midfield engine room.

After a firm but focussed pre game talk by Coach Tankard the boys hit the ground full of running, spectacular marks and goals from Josh Madden and a running left foot sausage from Cooka, put the icing on the hard work from Lossa and Bev in the middle and Vander's, the twin rocks and Chris Hoban down back. Uni Blues ruck tyro Jack Watts and their skilful midfield were under constant physical pressure from a swarming Bernard's,with smother and tackle stats off the charts in the first half. A four goal lead at the half with rain setting in, was a very strong position but their would be no easing up with Tanks demanding nothing less than a full four quarter effort. Meanwhile Luke Madden and Licca joining the injured list would restrict rotations and require some hard gut running to finish out the game.

Uni Blues showed some fight early in the third but with Bev and Schrodes tackling like grizzly bears, the University boys were going to be sent home with a lot of Snakepit mud on their jumpers. Merro and Churchy stood tall up forward, Brendan George chased blokes down like a pit bull and young Andrew Grosso's work rate didn't drop for a minute. St Bernard's put its foot on Uni Blues throat late in the game as the weather conditions turned ugly with the final score 12.13 85 v 6.10 46.

While the mood post game was positive Tanks told the boys that squaring up the ledger at 3 and 3 was just one step back in the right direction, and next week the team needs to bring the same intensity and passion against undefeated league leaders Old Collegian's at their Harry Trott Oval.

Goal Kickers: A. Merrington 3, J. Madden 2, M. Church 2, N. Cooke , B. George , M. Licciardo , D. Byrne , J. Forder
Best Players: S. Caven, T. Caven, L. O''Sullivan, A. Van Meel, A. Grosso, J Madden, J Bevanda


It doesn't get much better than a St. Bernard's reserves team beating perennial Premier reserve division beheamoths Old Xavs and Uni Blues in successive weeks, yet that's exactly what our boys did with their impressive win against Uni Blues on Saturday.

Coach Damien Sullivan and his assistant, Mick Stapleton, have made winning the contested football and a consistent 4-quarter effort the cornerstone of the sides approach this year, and on Saturday both elements of the game plan were evident for all to see.

With two players down by half time, the boys were pushed to the limit physically. Led by an outstanding effort by Ben Peart and an equally impressive 4-quarter effort by Nick "junior" Smith (in his 200th game for the club), the boys dominated in general play from the outset, but failed to convert many opportunities in front of goal. With 23 scoring shots to 14, the scoreboard was a reflection of our dominance in general play, just not our conversion rate! Steve Mitchell also dislocated his knee early in the final quarter, putting the teams effort in even sharper focus – 19 men withstood a late challenge by Uni Blues and against significant adversity, and with Junior Smith desperate to celebrate a win in his milestone game, won an enthralling contest that will solidify this group for the remainder of the 2012 season.

Equally impressive as "Junior's" performance in his 200th game for the club was the effort on a wing by U19 player, Jack Gay, playing his first senior game for the club. As coach Damien Sullivan said after the game, Jack was promoted so that senior coach Chris Tankard and Development Coach, Simon Atkins, could have a look at Jack's performance against a strong side like Uni Blues. This development focus will stand the club in good stead as we strive to develop as many players through the 19's and reserves sides as possible to add to the quality of our "senior ready" playing list.

Late post script from the after match review of this great win - Jesse Manunzio reportedly took another pack mark and claimed a ruck hit-out. Whispers are that stand in coach Mick Stapleton may name Jess in the ruck for the big hit out against ladder leaders Colleginas this weekend.

St. Bernard's 7.16.58 defeated Uni Blues 7.7.49

Goal Kickers: B. Garth 2, D. Riley , M. Sweeney , S. Clarke , A. Stapleton , P. Gamwell
Best Players: B. Peart, J. Gay, D. Riley, N. Smith, K. Farrell, P. Gamwell, A. Stapleton


With the return of a few players coach Frank "Moners" Monaghan and the boys were confident that they were going to be able to provide a contest against Uni Blues.

In the first 1/4 the boys started the game off slowly, allowing the Uni boys to be first at the ball resulting in getting ahead of the game right from the onset Thanks to a solid effort from our defender's Justin Evans & James Flannery we kept in touch with Uni at 1/4 time who lead 2.7.19 to StB 0.3.3.

Moners tried to keep the midfielders fresh by continually rotating players on and off the bench, however during the second 1/4 the boys failed to lift their intensity once again. This lead to Uni taking overall control of the game going into half time with the score at Uni 6.10.46 to StB 1.3.9.

After half time nothing had changed with our boys and Uni were able to completely run away from us making the chances of a comeback impossible. In the final term the boys were able to at least out score the Uni team and were able to show some glimpses that they do have the potential to make a contest for the ball. Some positives that came from the game was the successful return of Daniel Lamanna from a long term injury, and Liam Neal starting to show solid form. The final score was Uni 13.16.94 to StB 5.4.34.

Goals: Lamanna 2, Cox 1, Kavanagh 1, Sicari 1
Best: L.Neal, Flannery, Cox, Evans, Molony


Quite surprised we even played after driving down to see how the grounds were coping on Friday Night. After the big rain fall we had during the day.To my amazement the grounds were in perfect nick.Saturday Morning.

We started very strong against a quality side to lead them by one point at the first break. Jack Aitken was terrific in his first game back off the half back line. Chris O'Keefe & James Jovanovski we also both in the thick of things. As well kicking a goal each. Aaron Helenius was gaining plenty of touches as well.

The second quarter saw a titanic struggle with both sides really fierce at the contest .It was only the last 5 minutes of the quarter they wore us down & go into the main break 16 points up. Daniel Janides, David Blunt, Ben Hogan, Alex Buckley, Sean Lawler & Steve Smith were really standing tall when the pressure was on.

In true Warrior style fatigue set in and we lost our way in the second half, However we did not surrender totally and fought the game out to only go down by 47 points. Over the past two seasons against Old Melb, we have been flogged by in excess of 25 goals each time we have played them. It just goes to show we have improved & we all Hope to turn it around against Fitzroy next Saturday.

St Bernard's 6-7-43 lost to Old Melburnians 13-12-90

Goals: James Jovanovski 4, Chris O'Keefe 1, Nick Toy 1
Best: David Blunt,Aaron Helenius,Daniel Janides,Alex Buckley,James jovanovski,Damien Burnside, Ben Hogan,Jack Aitken,Sean Lawler

Under 19 Premier

Back at the Pit, on oval number 2 and with dark clouds looming we new we were in for a tough game against the "Middle of the pack" University Blues.

Once again the game was going to be decided by contested footy, and with regular rucks in Gilly and Woody out with injury and Jack Gay being promoted to senior ranks, the heat was on Jack Fenner, Sam Firth, Chris Peart and new player Matt Hutchesson to join the midfield and give us the drive through the middle.

A possible "Season ending" injury to our skipper "Brad Cooper" that saw him stretchered off with a broken leg mid way through the 2nd quarter forced some major changes at both ends of the ground, "but" with Pete Le Noury, Luke Sullivan and David Wall proving busy up forward and O Connor, Frazer and Co holding things together down back we were able to get on track and open up an 8 goal to 3 lead at Half time.

As expected the heavens opened up after the half time break and the game deteriorated into a real slog. 2 cheap goals to blues from silly indiscretions and some missed opportunities in front of goal by our boys allowed Blues to win the 3rd quarter by a disappointing 2 goals to 3.

The last quarter followed the trend of the 3rd with a general lack of discipline and accountability seeing Blues once again win the quarter by 3 goals to zip and the final margin of 12 points flattering our overall game.

As a group, our challenge is to address the lack of discipline and fade outs very quickly with a view to refocusing and reloading for the challenge of Scotch at Scotch next Saturday.

"Boys" Lets get behind Coops and help in any way possible to make his recovery as speedy as possible, He will become an important part of our off field team but ultimately the best medicine for him will be seeing continued "On Field" development and success of the group.

Final score: St Bernard's 10.13.73 Def Uni Blues 9.7.61.

Goal Kickers: Le Noury 2, Sullivan 2, Hughes 2, and 1 each to C Peart, Wall, Connelly and Bennie.
Best Players: Macdonough, Fenner, C Peart, Saundry, Le Noury and Hannan.

Under 19 (2)

Round 6 provided the battle of 8th vs 7th, Jonsey and the boys were keen to get their first scalp.

Pregame focus was for the development of our self belief, ability and team work to be competitive against any opposition.

First quarter saw Xavs fly out of the blocks kicking 8.1 to 2.3. Shell shocked at quarter time a better effort was required by all.

The 2nd quarter saw our work rate lift with Bevanda, Sullivan, Notaro, Goldsworthy, Jowett and McAllister providing opportunities for our forwards however we could not peg back the opposition on the scoreboard.

3rd quarter saw the boys throw everything at the opposition, DiPaolo, McIntyre and Zammit turning defence into attack, Lachie Jowett provided plenty of drive from the stoppages and Jones and Goldsworthy starting to fire up forward. Our inaccurate kicking (3.6) kept the odds in Xavs favour.

The last quarter was a copy of the first with the Xavs boys finishing stronger despite the efforts of Aiden O'Connor, Tim O'Sullivan and Will Sullivan. We must maintain our second and third quarter efforts for longer periods and lift the general skill level of this side, this will be helped by getting greater numbers to training each week.

St. Bernard's 9.11.65 defeated by Xavier 21.5.131

Best Players: O'Connor, Sullivan, O'Sullivan, Notaro, Goldsworthy, Jowett, Nicou, McIntyre
Goals: Goldsworthy 2, Jones 2, Notaro, Sullivan, Bevanda, McAllister, Nicou

Patrick Crabb