Game of two halves

04 June 2012

Fresh from a 40pt Uni Blues win an optimistic Bernard's crew headed into the lions den at Harry tott Oval, to face undefeated league leader and reigning premiers Collegian's.


Fresh from a 40pt Uni Blues win an optimistic Bernard's crew headed into the lions den at Harry tott Oval, to face undefeated league leader and reigning premiers Collegian's. With Alex Singleton deservedly selected for vafa rep duty and another couple of injuries, Bernard's fielded a very young team with no less than seven keen and skilful u/19's taking to the park. The Snowdog pups hit the ground running, with youngsters Rhys Moylan, Jacob Shine and Jack Gay amongst the teams best, in a hard working first half display. Mitch Church was again dangerous early with three first half goals while Merro also hit the scoreboard and battled hard, often out numbered two to one. The siren sounded with Bernard's up by two goals at the half and really putting the acid on the undefeated premiers.

However it truly was a game of two halves, if a team eases off even slightly in Premier Division a skilful and hungry opponent is always ready to take full toll. Collegians Coach gave his troops a bake at the half and they responded piling on 6 unanswered goals in the first 15 minutes of the 3rd qtr. Bernard's backmen Angel and Hoban along with the Caven's tried hard, but pinpoint delivery from a classy Collegian's midfield was very hard to cut off.

The 3 quarter time deficit was only 25pts, but a rampaging Collegian's were not about to take their foot off the pedal. Bev continued his impressive form in the midfield with sure hands and good decision making, but the wave of attacks from a reviatilsed opposition couldnt be held back. While beaten on the scoreboard the boys never threw in the towel. Lossa and Jake Forder again battled bravely against larger ruckmen, Josh Madden and Cooka gave their usual 100% efforts while tackling machine Schrodes made sure rivals earnt their kicks.

Coach Tankard reminded the boys after the game that the first half showed we can match it with the best, however the second half showed we still have a lot of work too do if we want to compete and win against the best teams in the comp.

the firsts go into a timely bye next week placed 5th, just two game out of the final four. The break will allow the boys a chance to recharge their batteries and in a number of cases get over injuries, after a hectic pre-season and first 7 matches.

The next senior & reserve games are the VAFA match of the round, Sunday June 17th vs St Bede's/Mentone and we look forward to seeing a big crowd at Elsternwick Park to support both teams.

Collegian's: 19g 16p 130 def St Bernard's 12g 8p 80

Goal Kickers: A. Merrington 3, M. Church 3, L. O'Sullivan , J. Bevanda , R. Schroder , B. George , D. Byrne , J. Gay
Best Players: M. Angel, J. Bevanda, M. Church, J. Gay, R. Moylan, J. Shine


The reserves travelled to Harry Trott oval with a staggering eight (8!) changes from the team that beat Uni Blues the previous week. With 4 out injured and 4 promoted an injury hit senior team, that is a massive turnover in a week. Add in the fact that the coach, Damien Sullivan has jetted off to Paris, and the pressure was really on Mick Stapleton and his charges. A simple glance at the ladder would also remind the boys that Collegians, sitting atop the reserves ladder, were going to be a stiff opponent.

Well, in perfect conditions and on a wonderful surface, the boys came out firing. The quality of football was first rate. Hard running, strong tackling, contested football and reasonable skills – and the boys were well and truly in the hunt in the first quarter. With some better decision making moving into the forward line, and better goal kicking, the boys might have been further in front at quarter time than their slender 4 point lead. The second quarter saw our intensity drop a little, and players were not as accountable for their man, allowing Collegians time and space, particularly behind the ball, to set up many forward thrusts. Wave after wave of runners were repelled many times by a backline that was under siege. As it was, a four goal to one second quarter effort saw the boys go in 13 points down at the main break, and experience an old-fashioned half time bake from Mick Stapleton.

To their credit, the boys responded fantastically in the third quarter. We dominated in general play, but again suffered with poor delivery to forward options and poor conversion of many opportunities. Regardless, there was only a point in it at ¾ time, and it was "game on". The last quarter was a genuine contest, with both sides threatening to convert as the ball moved quickly between the forward 45's. In the end, one or two cheap goals to Collegians were the difference late in the piece, and the boys just fell short. In a high standard reserves game, both teams played good quality football. Mick Stapleton and his charges should be well pleased with their efforts against a high quality opponent.

Collegians 9.6.60 defeated St. Bernard's 8.4.52

Goal Kickers: B. Peart 3, C. Mitchell 2, J. Rose , S. Clarke , K. Farrell
Best Players: J. Manunzio, P. Harris, B. Peart, M. Borzillo, S. Cannatelli


In glorious conditions at Fitzroy Saturday Morning The Team was really switched on at the start of the game kicking 5 goals before Fitzroy even scored.Chris O'Keefe was handling the ball really well & David Blunt owned his wing with plenty of touches.

Fitzroy did come at us but for inaccurate kicking, may have had there noses in front at half time.

We did steady the ship and led by 25 points at the main break. Nick Toy was very good around the ground with his strong marking & long kicking into our forward 50. Jack Aitken, Michael Smith and Alex Buckley were very steady down back.

We strolled to a 38 point lead 10 minutes into the third& once again fell into bad habits allowing the opposition to score 3 goals & bring themselves back into the contest. Aaron Timoney Chipped in for a ripper & gave one off to James Jovanovski right on siren time to swing the momentum back in our favour.

The last quarter saw both sides have a real crack each kicking four goals, but the damage had already been done Aaron Helenius, Chris Walsh & Daniel McManus were really strong contributors in the term. Good to see both McManus boys playing together again.

Look forward to the break boys as we rest up our tired bodies & prepare for our next Victory against Old Ivanhoe.

St-Bernards 18/06/114 def Fitzroy Reds 11/09/75

Goals: Chris O'Keefe 3,James Jovanovski 3, Aaron Helenius 2,Daniel Janides 2,Shaun Lawler,Nick Toy Aaron Timony,Jesse Creasey,David Blunt,Ben McManus,Daniel Marcato & Chris Walsh 1 each
Best: David Blunt, Nick Toy, Daniel McManus, Aaron Helenius, James Devery, Chris O'Keefe, Jack Aitken, Michael Smith, Alex Buckley & Chris Walsh

Under 19 Premier

In perfect conditions for footy, we travelled out the Camberwell for what was expected to be a tough hit out against perennial "Premier division" powerhouse side Old Scotch on Saturday. With regular players, Jack Gay, James Weir and Matt Hutchesson being called up for senior duties, a season ending "Broken leg" injury to our captain Brad Cooper and various other long term injuries to key players, it was a very different side that lined up for the game.

The great thing about promotions and injuries is that it challenges other players and creates opportunities for good performing players like Will Sullivan, Liam MacIntyre and Ned McAllister from the under 19/2 and Taylor Bisognano (U/18) to taste Under 19 premier football. To their credit, all 4 players slotted straight in to the line up and adjusted to the pace immediately, with each making valuable contributions to the game.

The opening term saw Scotch clunk and convert a couple of telling marks up forward, but after some solid crunching midfield work and having addressed a couple of physical mismatches, we were able to turn the tide and work our way to within a few points of Scotch at the first break.

A 5 goals to 2 second term, due mainly to some solid defensive and midfield run and good controlled possession of the ball saw us eliminate the margin and extend a 15 points lead at the main break. For the first time we felt that we were winning control of the game from Scotch and were gathering some momentum going in to the 2nd half.

The 3rd term started as a bit of a shoot out with "first St Bernards then Old Scotch" finding space to kick consecutive goals. We were confident "however" that the relentless pressure and solid tackling from our mids and some good defensive pressure from our small forwards would eventually wear them down and pay dividends. We were correct and the margin at 3 quarter time had extended to 28 points.

The last quarter saw the game open up and become more free flowing, allowing us the opportunity to "release the dogs in Andy Graham, Jake Van Meel and Luke Sullivan" from the backline and get amongst the goal kicking action.

Overall it was a very satisfying game and a fitting result for a good days work for the boys who even with so many changes to the team were able to maintain composure and execute our regular game plan.

Final score: St Bernard's 21.13.139 Def Old Scotch 12.8 80.

Goal Kickers: D. Wall 6, J. Fenner 5, A. Graham 4, J. Van Meel 2, J. Saundry , L. Sullivan , M. Hughes , L. McIntyre
Best Players: M. Hannan, C. Peart, P. MacDonough, J. Fraser, D. Wall, J. Van Meel

U19 (U2)

A season ending knee injury to Sam Jones inspired the U19 (2) boys to cause the upset of the round to defeat 2nd place Collegians.

The first quarter injury threatened to derail our game plan, superb efforts by Jono Goldsworthy, Aiden O'Connor, Liam Whelan, Dutchy Holland and "Killa" Cashin down back and solo efforts of Matt Gurrisi who rucked tirelessly against bigger opponents, starved the opposition of opportunities.

The tacking pressure produced by Under 18 players Romano, Piantella and the Riley boys produced a furnace like atmosphere around the stoppages.

The forward line was up and about with Cummo, Firthy, Paddy and "Crackers" O'Sullivan causing havoc for the opposition. A game saving tackle by Dee Pee before the ¾ time siren provided the momentum to bring home the points, in a thrilling last quarter that had Allison, Devers, Notaro, Nicou and Zammit tackling the opposition into submission.

A fantastic team effort that lifted us off the bottom of the table. The club song was belted out with great gusto!

St. Bernard's 11.7.73 defeated Collegians 9.11.65

Best Players: Goldsworthy , Notaro, Allison, Holland, O'Connor, Di Paolo, Gurissi
Goals: Notaro 5, Cummo, J. Riley, Jones, Allison, Romano, Firth

Patrick Crabb