Steam Train Stops Short of Final Destination

18 September 2011

After an amazing run of eight wins in a row the St Bernards Steam Train was finally halted by a talented Caulfield outfit in Saturdays Grand Final.

After an amazing run of eight wins in a row the St Bernards Steam Train was finally halted by a talented Caulfield outfit in Saturdays Grand Final. Once again Elsternwick Park blew a gale all day and while the pressure and standard of the game was high the wind ravaged location did not provide conditions deserving of a Grand Final.

Acting Captain Nick Cooke won the toss but St Bernards failed to take full advantage of the wind registering only a seven point lead at the first break in what was deemed to be a five goal breeze.

St Bernards fought back valiantly in the second quarter booting four goals into the gale and at the 15 minute mark stretched the lead to 20 points, however Caulfield bounced back with six goals to take a nine point lead into the main break.

The stage was set for the previously rampant Bernards who had smashed all sides in the second half but it was not to be. Caulfield more than matched St Bernards tackling pressure forcing St Bernards wide and repelling St Bernards forward entries. While St Bernards won the quarter 4.4 to 3.2 the large crowd knew it was not enough with Caulfield having a one point lead and the wind at their backs in the final quarter.

A quick goal to Caulfield proved ominous and despite St Bernards best efforts they could not stem the Caulfield tide and unfortunately St Bernards winning streak came to an end as Caulfield ran away to a 33 point victory.

Football Director Paul Garth summed it up "There were no excuses for us, we were beaten by a better team on the day. We are devastated but full credit to Caulfield who were good enough to stop us after we had dominated the past two months and had such strong wins over the other three finalists, Caulfield, Brighton and St Kevins in the last three weeks.

"There were some who misguidedly thought we were in danger of relegation early in the year which was never the case but given our injury plagued start to the season we were in a position where we had to win every week to make finals and all credit to the players and coaches for a magnificent effort"

There are no harder working coaches in the VAFA than Chris Tankard and Nick Smith. Both have astute football brains and importantly know how to get the best out of todays players. Caulfield proved they were the best team all year .. their wasn’t a lot between St Bernards, Brighton and St Kevins but we took our chances and will build upon that foundation as we return to A Grade next season"

The Run Into the Grand Final

Prelim Final St Bernards: 14.13 (97) def St Kevins: 9.10 (64)

Semi Final St Bernards: 16.15 (111) def Old Brighton: 11 13 (79)

Round 18 St Bernards: 21 11 (137) def Caulfield Gram: 15.10 (100)

Round 17 St Bernards: 20.10 (130) def Old Ivanhoe: 15.7 (97)

Round 16 St Bernards: 22.8 (140) def Hampton Rovers: 10.7 (67)

Round 15 St Bernards: 17.12 (114) def Old Brighton: 12.7 (79)

Round 14 St Bernards: 17.13 (115) def Marcellin: 7.5 (47)

Round 13 St Bernards: 14.9 (93) def Uni Blacks: 9.13 (67)

Paul Garth