Bernards tame Lions

04 May 2014

The game started in sunshine but it wasn’t long before some wet and windy weather swept across Harry Trott oval making conditions a little more difficult for marking forwards.

Seniors: Bernards Tame Lions!

St Bernards 9.8-62 def Collegians 5.9-39

Best: T. Overman, M. Angel, T. Sullivan, A. Bentick, T. Russell, T. Caven

Goals: C. Jones 2, A. Merrington 2, A. Bentick 2, J. Bevanda, T. Sullivan, T. Overman 

This was an area that most pundits thought St Bernards may hold sway, however, the slippery conditions made for a tight and tough battle all day.

With Collegians on-ballers Hilton and Zimbachs lively and Tardiff doing well off half back the Lions took a 3 point lead at the first break. As the rain increased the game became more of a winter arm wrestle. St Bernards with Tom Overman and Tom Sullivan finding plenty of the ball appeared to be getting on top in general play but Collegians dogged defence and hard running kept the St Bernards lead to four points at half time.

The third term continued the dour struggle with neither side gaining any clear advantage. Goals remained scarce as St Bernards missed a couple of opportunities to register 1.4 while Collegians responded with 1.1 It was very much a case of ‘game on’ with the visitors holding a seven point lead going into the final term.

Collegians Wil Tardiff continued to provide drive off half back as the Lions threatened on several occasions early in the final term but with Tom Caven providing some inspirational leadership and Michael Angel doing a fine job the St Bernards defence held firm. St Bernards led by six points with twelve minutes left on the clock when a terrific grab from young Tom Russell created a forward thrust via Tom Sullivan and Tom Overman whose perfectly weighted kick found Andrew Merrington in the goal square.

Merrington’s conversion provided a 12 point buffer before a left foot snap from Jake Bevanda provided the sealer and Adam Bentick creamed the game deep into time-on. Full credit to Collegians who fought hard all day and well done to our boys who had to work hard and finish strongly to take the four points.

Many thanks to Collegians President Wayne Dyer for his hospitality and congrats to Collegians Nick Ries on his 100th game. All eyes turn to ‘the pit’ next Saturday as St Bernards take on ladder leader and undefeated Uni Blacks.


Reserves: Ressies Storm Home Again!

St Bernards 14.13-97 defeated Collegians 9.4-58

Best: D. Wall, J. Manunzio, J. Gay, C. Peart, L. Scerri, P. MacDonough

Goals: D. Wall 4, T. Duyndham 2, L. Sullivan 2, B. Peart 2, B. Garth, J. Calvert, A. Boyse, J. Gay

For the third consecutive week it was an even tussle in the first half and once again the Ressies managed to finish strongly to register a solid win against a very determined Collegians line up.

Similar to the senior game St Bernards held a slight lead for most of the first half but despite booting 5.2 in the third term couldn’t quite break the Collegians shackles as the Lions managed two goals against the tide to stay within 16 points at the final break.

The last quarter was all St Bernards as the midfield started to consistently win the stoppages and some nice finishing work by Dave Wall and Jake Calvert St Bernards enabled St Bernards to run out 39 point winners

After the big roar that went up Thursday night for Jesse Manunzio’s return to the line up the little bloke needed to deliver and as expected the ‘Munz’ did the job to be amongst our best. Dave Wall found some space and booted truly to lead the goalkickers with four majors and Chris Peart, Jack Gay and Luke Scerri were others to shine in what was another very even performance from the Ressies.

The boys are looking forward to hosting the only other undefeated side (Uni Blacks) next week at ‘the pit’ in what should be a high standard battle for top spot.


Thirds: Bernards In a Thriller Over Xavs!

St Bernards 8.11-59 defeated Old Xavs 8.5-53

Best: O’Sullivan, Evans, O.McIntyre, Bennie, C.Forder, A.Bevanda, McCann

Goals: L.Neal 2, D.Ryan 2, McAllister, O’Sullivan, W.Sullivan, Bennie.

Kevin Jones reports: The thirds were able to grind out a hard fought six point win against last year’s Premiers of this division Old Xaverians on oval 1 at the Pit. The coaching group were keen to see how our structures would hold up against quality opposition and if we were able to build on our recent strong performances.

The boys were up and about early bringing the heat to every contest, some terrific work by Bevanda, McCann and Malseed ended with two opportunist goals by Liam Neal. Tim O’Sullivan took a couple of sky scraping marks and had the energy levels up, our only down side was we tended to over use the footy which resulted in numerous unforced errors as we took a 7 point lead into the first break.

The second term saw the opposition respond as they started to get on top in the clearances and provide numerous scoring opportunities, our back six led by O.McIntyre, Sargent, S.Whelan and co. were under the hammer and defending grimly, the opposition congested our forward 50 and were able to frustrate our forwards by denying them space. Sulzberger, Awan, Cal Forder and Segrave were playing their role in the midfield but we could not hit the scoreboard and the Xav’s boys took an 8 point lead into half time and were full of voice. The coaching staff urged the boys to get back to our basic structures, get the run and carry going and lift our work rate to the level required to win the contests.

Our work rate definitely lifted and we were able to fight back hard in the third quarter with Bennie, McCann and O.Mac providing the run, Damo, Ralphy, Gill and Segrave doing the bullocking work that led to successive goals to McAllister, O’Sullivan and Sullivan; however we were particularly wasteful in front of goals, (kicking 3 goals 6), finishing the quarter with a slender lead of 8 points and leaving the door open for the visitors. At the last break the coaching group urged the boys to believe in themselves, continue the high work rate, maintain the Intensity and win the contested footy as the game was now up for grabs.

The final term was a cracker as both teams fought to grab the initiative, the Xav’s boys fought back hard to the close the gap, we were once again inaccurate in front of goal giving the coaching group some anxious moments. Enter James Bennie who kicked a huge running goal to give us the upper hand, the last six minutes was a slog, it was stoppage after stoppage, tackle after tackle, 2nd , 3rd  and 4th efforts were given as the Bernards boys threw everything at the opposition and the scoring opportunities dried up  for both sides. Some desperate defensive efforts by Isaacs, Feehan and Evans allowed us to clear the footy out of the danger zone ensuring victory for the home side.

It was a fantastic team performance by all involved and the club song could be heard miles away as we celebrated a rare victory against a powerful and respected opponent. We know focus on our next opponent and we will continue to work hard on the track as we maintain the focus of supporting the seniors and reserves teams.  The player rotations must continue and once again patience and understanding is required by all.



Paul Garth