Bernards Take 10th Anzac Challenge

29 April 2014

Still smarting over the close loss to Trinity in round one, St Bernards opened their account with a strong win over Old Brighton in the Anzac Challenge Match at ‘the pit’ on Saturday.

St Bernards 19.5 (119) def Old Brighton 6.13 (49)

Best: T.Gleeson, T.Sullivan, S.Clarke, D.Riley, T.Overman, C.Jones

Goals: C.Jones 6, T.Gleeson 3, A.Merrington 2, Cooke 2, Fleming, Madden, Riley, Bentick , Russell, Considine

Brighton started with plenty of enthusiasm and created a few chances in a relatively even first quarter but St Bernards with an accurate 3.0 to Brighton’s 1.5 took the early lead. With Tom Gleeson in fine form, Tom Overman winning plenty of footy and Chad Jones looking dangerous up forward St Bernards stretched the lead to 26 points at the main break and looked to be well on top.

The 3rd quarter was all St Bernards with 7.3 to Brighton’s 1.1 as big Shaun Clarke got on top in the ruck, Tom Sullivan and Dan Riley providing the run and carry and as Chad Jones booted his fifth major any chance of a Brighton revival was snuffed out.

To their credit Brighton fought out the last quarter with 3.6, however, St Bernards responded with 5.0 to run out comfortable 70 point winners.

Tom Gleeson (pictured with Harold Lambert) was named H&C Lambert medallist. The win continued St Bernards dominance in Anzac Challenge Trophy games. The inaugural ‘challenge' was on Sat 26th April, 2003 with St Bernards defeating Marcellin. St Bernards have won 10 of the 12 games played.

2003     St  Bernards def Marcellin
2004     Marcellin def St Bernards
2005     St Bernards def Old Ivahoe
2006     St Bernards def Uni Blues
2007     St Bernards def Uni Blues
2008     St Bernards def Marcellin
2009     St Bernards def Hampton Rov
2010     St Bernards def Old Essendon
2011     St Kevins def St Bernards

2012     St Bernards def Old Trinity

2013     Beaumaris def St Bernards

2014     St Bernards def Old Brighton


Reserves: Ressies Too Strong For Tonners!

St Bernards  12.12 (84) defeated to Trinity 5.8 (38)

Best:J. Forder, I. Madden, L. Scerri, J. van Meel, P. Gamwell, B. Garth

Goals:Duyndham 3, Sullivan 2, B.Peart, 2, Scerri, 2, C.Peart, Garth, Cooper, Corsetti, Wall

In another high standard Reserves game St Bernards had to work hard to overcome a determined Old Brighton line up. An even first quarter saw St Bernards make better use of their opportunities and early in the second term St Bernards looked to be getting on top as they opened up a 22 point lead, however, Brighton with some strong running into space created three quick goals reducing the lead to nine points at the main break.

A fiery start to the third quarter appeared to fire up the Bernards boys who responded emphatically with 5.6 while holding Brighton to a solitary behind to open up a 44 point lead at the last break. The last quarter was all St Bernards and with 4.6 to Trinitys 2.1 as the Ressies ran out comfortable 61 point winners.

Jake Forder was a tower of strength in the ruck and around the ground, Isaac Madden and Paddy Gamwell provided some terrific run off half back, while Luke Scerri and George Garth took control of the stoppages. Jake van Mel, Matt Borzillo, Chris Peart were all strong contributors in another solid team performance.


Thirds: Bernards Topple Blues!

St Bernards 8.9 (57) defeated Uni Blues 7.8. (50)

Best:J. Evans, J. Bennie, D. Ryan, O. McIntyre, J. Manunzio, J. Wright

Goals:D. Ryan 2, C. Forder, A. Bevanda, L. Jowett, J. Bennie, P. Rahill, L. McIntyre

Kevin Jones reports: The thirds overcame a determined Uni-Blues outfit to scrape home by 7 points at Crawford oval. Our prematch preparation was disrupted due to us being denied access to the change rooms.  We did manage to speak briefly about the sacrifices the Anzac heroes made and how their selfless acts shaped our country, we wore black arm bands to pay our respects to our fallen Legends.  Our focus is always winning the first contest and grab the initiative, we drew first blood and seemed to up and about,  however  the opposition responded by kicking  the next five in a row despite us having the ball in our forward 50 as much as the opposition.  The message at the first break was to reset, settle down and improve our use of the footy.

We kicked into gear in the second as we started to run and carry and use the footy correctly, on-ballers, Bevanda, Wright, Manunzio and Bennie were prominent as the pressure applied to the opposition increased, the back six led by Evo and Baird stood firm against much taller opposition and the McIntyre brothers were always  there for the switch to use their run as we clawed our way back into the contest, strong work from big men Ralphy, Damo Ryan,  Jowett and Cal Forder  had the opposition under the hammer as we  took an 8 point lead into the long break.

The wind blew up in the third quarter and threatened to change the flow of the game, the Bernards boys turned up the heat forcing many turnovers. Defensively we were outstanding during this period and were able to score into the breeze while frustrating the opposition to hold a two point buffer at the last break. The coaching staff urged the boys to kick long, share the footy and keep the momentum swinging our way.  

The game now became an arm wrestle with both sides throwing everything at each other, some unwelcome advice to the umpires resulted in a 25 metre penalty that put the home side in front and they had their tails up. A long Damo Ryan goal that followed some terrific in and under work by our midfield  gave us the lead back, the next ten minutes of football was nail biting stuff as neither side backed down, a brilliant running  goal  by James Bennie put us two kicks in front. The defensive pressure applied by us for the remainder of the quarter denied the opposition any more scoring opportunities giving us a well-deserved and hard fought victory. It was a fantastic team performance and the song was sung at top note.    


We all headed back to the pit with smiles on our dials to watch and support the reserves and seniors post great victories. Once again it was pleasing to see the guys that missed selection all helping out on the sidelines or supporting their teammates, we will endeavour to rotate players as necessary to give everyone a go and this will require patience and understanding by all concerned. We will not shift our focus from developing players to support the reserves and seniors.  The odd victory here and there will be icing on the cake. Huge game next week versus last year’s premiers Xavier.  Attendance to training is expected by all.

Paul Garth