Bernard's mid-season surge continues

25 June 2012

After a week of horrible weather and flooded grounds the sun wasn't the only thing that shined at the Snake Pit.


Two weeks ago the team returned from the Queen's Birthday break with a steely determination and a renewed focus. However a dangerous and talented 3rd placed De La Salle outfit, made for one of the toughest tests this year. A heavy ground and slippery conditions would put a premium on yardage gained and pre-game instructions were focussed on minimal handball and long kicks. The team followed Coach Tankard's instructions to a tee. Fast ball movement and long kicks isolated De La backs one on one, against a back to best form Andrew Merrington (5 goals) who was ably assisted by the other forward's. Bernard's hit the scoreboard fast and kicked out to a 7 goals to one lead at the first interval.

In the engine room first ruck Liam Wilkinson for a 2nd straight week, took on and beat a bigger rival giant. Showing great stamina and skill in extremely tough conditions Liam often gave his hard working midfielder's Bevanda, Cooke, Moylan, Grosso and others first use of the ball. Meanwhile down back twin defensive towers Andrew Van Meel and Tom Caven working with the always dependable Michael Angel, blanketed the top rated De La forwards. The remainder of the game turned into a punishing arm wrestle of a match, with momentum swinging many times. De La's outside runners started to impact and their small forwards were beginning to cause Bernard's a scoreboard headache. A 30pt Bernie's lead deep into the 3rd qtr had supporters looking for a killer blow. But De La's never say die attitude saw them come again, snagging 3 goals in the last 4 minutes of the quarter, and only 14pts down at the final break.

Booming coaches address's in both team huddles showed it was well and truly crunch time, with a 5 deep Bernard's supporter group gathering round the boys and willing them on for a big final quarter push.

With the centre square playing like ankle deep quicksand, victory was only going to come one way, the hard way. Tackling machines Bevanda and Schroder were relentless with the ball often moving forward rugby like, by a wall of mud covered Bernard's players. Reverting to the early tactics of long kicking at every opportunity Merro again got his big mitts on the ball and hit the scoreboard. Josh Madden continued his never give an inch/neverlose a contest approach, and Brendan George kept going as hard in the last 5 minutes as he did in the first. Jake "Sneaky" Forder played his role, while Luke Madden continued his effective rebounding game.

In a quarter that seemed to go on forever and despite yet another late De La surge, St Bernard's got the job done by 16pts to continue the mid year surge. After a window rattling rendition of the club song, Tanks informed the boys that Scotch lost to Carey and the team is just a game out of the final four. A satisfied St Bernard's crew retired upstairs where the drinks always taste sweeter after a gusty win. While acknowledging a job well done the group was calm and reflective and already thinking/planning for next weeks big away games v Trinity. Where it will be noses to the grindstone to do everything possible to ensure the "mid year surge" continues.

St Bernard's: 15.9.99  def  De La Salle 12.11.83

Goals: Merrington 5, Church 2, Byrne 2, O'Sullivan, George, Riley, Cooke, Singleton, Grosso
Best : Merrington, Grosso, Van Meel, J Madden, L Wilkinson, T Caven 



We came up against last years premiers in pretty good conditions considering the amount of rain we had on oval 2.With scores level at quarter time the boys thought we are a real chance.But unfortunately the opposition had other ideas. Kicking four unanswered goals in the second term.Ben Hogan & Daniel were in great form & using all there skills & Leadership qualities to great advantage in giving the young side heaps of confidence,.

Michael Smith had a defending role to play and he nullified the De La Full forward to one goal.(Last year he kicked 8). Dan McManus played a solid game at centre half back & Peter Villani rucked tirelessly all day.Jesse Creasey is running into some good. Form likewise Martin McVeigh who played a solid game in the back pocket.

Matt Trim,Aaron Helenius & Nick Toy all kicked 2 goals and gave us some targets to kick to up forward.Sean Lawlwer & Andrew the big man Kept there opponents busy contesting plenty of the footy. Overall it was a pretty good effort as this side in previous years has belted us by more then a 100 points each time we have played them. This week against Prahran lets see if we can be at ground at least 40 minutes prior to kick-off (NOT 2 MINUTES)

St Bernards            09/09/63                             lost to De La Salle      14/12/96

Goals:   Matt Trim,2 Aaron Helenius 2, Nick Toy 2,Jesse Creasey,Andrew Guressi & Sean Lawler 1 each
Best:    Ben Hogan,Daniel Janides,Michael Smith,Dan McManus,Jesse Creasey,Martin Mcveigh,Nick Toy & Clarke Mitchell


Under 19 (2)

Once again the scoreboard will show we copped a hiding.This side is a development squad punching above its weight division against opposition’s first grade under 19 teams. 

We aim to develop this group to take the next step. We provide a platform for Under 19 Premier team to run players returning from injury etc. We have also blooded 5 players to slot into the Premier Under 19 team with up to 4 more knocking on the door. We also have several 16 year olds in the squad.

A slow start against a bigger bodied opposition saw the contest dead and buried at half time. An improved effort was demanded and the boys responded by restricting the opposition to six second half goals, an effort the boys can be proud of. With up to six changes weekly it is a challenge to get a settled combination however morale within this group is strong.

Lachie Allison showed great leadership and has greatly improved in his rankings, he was well supported by Andrew Zammit, Aiden O’Connor, Alex Nicol and Matt Feehan.  Improved performances from Tubby Devers, Matt Gurrisi, Max Paoli, Pat Commerford and Paddy Maloney shows there is some light at the end of the tunnel.

Thank you to the Under 18’s players Mitch Cooper and Daniel Parkes for putting their hands up to play up at this level. We must stay positive our second win is not far away.

Best Players:  Allison, Nicol, Paoli, O’Connor, O’Sullivan, Johnson.

Patrick Crabb