Weekend Wrap Round 6

27 May 2014

You could have named your own odds on last years Grand Finalists sitting on the bottom of the ladder.

Seniors: Bernards Run Over Xavs!

With two wins and 10 losses between them but that’s where Old Xavs and St Bedes sit after six rounds of VAFA Premier football. As expected Xavs came out firing to take the early initiative but St Bernards steadied to keep the Xavs lead to seven points at the first change. With Prowse doing well on his wing and Mathis proving a handful up forward Xavs continued to press but St Bernards looked to be the more dangerous side as the margin narrowed to two points at the main break.

The duel between State full-forward ‘Choppa’ Handly and State fullback Tom ‘Rock’ Caven was a beauty with Caven slightly on top in the ‘one on ones’ but Handley still managing to boot four. Both boys were named in their sides best so we’ll call it a draw.

The early part of the third term was all St Bernards as Adam Bentick, Nic Cooke and Tom Sullivan started to win possessions while Merrington and Gleeson were looking dangerous up forward. With four unanswered goals St Bernards shot out to a 22 point lead and looked like splitting the game open but the home side rallied with a couple of quick goals and with another goal apiece the St Bernards lead was cut to 11 points at the final break.

The final term saw a tiring Xavs struggle to stem the tide as St Bernards maintained their intensity and peppered the goals. Andrew Merrington capped off the good work further afield to register his sixth major for the afternoon as St Bernards chalked up 6.4 to Xavs 3.2 to seal a solid 31 point win.

Congrats to Jake Calvert who did well in his senior debut. The boys travel to De La Salle next Saturday where Captain Tom Caven is set to play his 150th VAFA game for the club.

Match Details: St Bernards 16.9-105 def Old Xavs 11.8-74

Best: A. Bentick, A. Merrington, N. Cooke, T. Sullivan, T. Caven, N. Kazuro

Goals: A. Merrington 6, M. Hannan 2, J. Calvert 2, T. Gleeson 2, C. Peart , N. Cooke , G. Chivers , A. Bentick


Reserves: Ressies Rage At Toorak Park!

Sitting pretty at 5-0 atop the ladder is always a nice feeling, but it counts for little when taking on arch-rivals Old Xavs on their home dunghill. Xavs, a traditionally strong and proud club with plenty of depth, were knocking on the door of the top four with a 3-2 record, and desperate to knock off the ladder leaders.
Magic conditions greeted the two clubs at Toorak Park, with the centre wicket area slippery due to some rain during the week, the deck was otherwise in perfect condition.
St Bernard’s lined up with regular senior players Sam Fleming and Nick Burgin in the midfield rotation, and Tom ‘Jumbo’ Duyndam one-out deep in the forward line. St Bernard’s were on the back foot early after conceding the first goal within a minute, with Xavs midfielders beginning the game brightly, providing plenty of forward momentum. Bernard’s stemmed the tide through the back half of the ground, and with a strong mark and 55m long range bomb by Duyndam, were able to settle into the match in what was a very even and hotly contested opening quarter, played at a very high standard.
The second term saw St Bernard’s take advantage of some slick ball use through the midfield, driven by the senior heads in Brenton Garth, Ryan Schroder, Jack Gay and Jesse Manunzio who were able to provide the key forward targets with ample opportunities. St Bernard’s piled on four goals to one for the term, opening up a 42-26 lead at half time. Milestone man Plugger Sullivan, playing in his 100th club game, was proving a significant stumbling block for Xavs across the half back line, continually chopping off forward entries and providing great rebound. Jake Van Meel was again rock solid in the last line of defence, while Alex Boyse and Duyndam and Zach O’Halloran were lively in the front half. St Bernard’s pressure and ferocious tackling on the opposition was absolutely first rate, and remained a trademark of their season thus far.
In what has been a familiar pattern this season, St Bernard’s were able to break open the game in the second half, and pile on several unanswered goals in the third term, to put a space on the opposition. James Bennie, Pistol Pete Le Noury and Pat Gamwell continued to shine through across half back. Dazzling Dave Wall’s hard running throughout the game began to pay off as he got on the end of a couple, and Ben Peart continued his attack on the ball and the man, laying some crunching tackles as the St Bernard’s midfield got on top.. Assisted by some inaccurate kicking by Xav’s, St Bernard’s were able to open up a 32-point advantage at three quarter time. Xav’s were still in with a sniff as a head knock to skipper Luke Scerri, and a knee injury to James Bennie saw St Bernard’s down to two fit men on the bench.
The final term saw St Bernard’s put the result beyond doubt early, kicking the first two goals of the quarter to open up an unassailable eight-goal lead. To Xav’s credit, they fought they game out well to post some late goals to add some respectability to the scoreboard, as St Bernard’s ran out 13.10-88 to 6.13-49 winners. Coach Chisel praised the boys efforts for their first total four-quarter performance of the season up against quality opposition, in what was another even team effort with 22 contributors. Duyndam finished with four goals, Wall with three and O’Halloran clunked a couple late to snag two.

Match Details: St Bernards 13.10-88 def Old Xavs 6.13-49

Best: L. Sullivan, J. Gay, J. Manunzio, B. Garth, A. Boyse, N. Burgin

Goals: T. Duyndham 4, D. Wall 3, Z. O''Halloran 2, J. Manunzio , A. Boyse , B. Garth , L. Scerri


Thirds: Blacks Take Points Over Threes!

The Threes suffered their first loss on Saturday to Uni Blacks but remain on top

Kevin Jones reports: The thirds faced off against a tough Uni-Blacks outfit on oval 1 at the Pit. It was first versus second and we were keen to test ourselves against quality opposition as they have been in red hot form. Pre-game focus was to start well, win the footy and get them on the back foot; the opposition had the same idea and took the contest right up to us. They were quick to get on the scoreboard and kept the pressure on us; we had enough of the footy but continually turned the footy over with poor decision making and we could not find the big sticks. At Quarter time they had a three goal advantage in what was a physical contest.

At the break the coaches urged the troops to absorb the pressure, use the footy properly and be first to the contest. Our effort and intensity lifted during the second term however we were inaccurate in front of goal compared to the opposition who were able to convert every time they went forward. Unfortunately some undisciplined behaviour crept in and undid some of our good work which effectively gave the opposition a lift ensuring they were up and about and the Bernards boys left in their wake. We were 5 goals down at the main break and in disarray.

During the break the Coaches were looking for answers and questioned the resolve of the group. Wholesale changes were made in an attempt to stem the flow.  Really basic stuff was required, we just needed to get the ball first and apply our foundations of 100% effort, intensity and pressure and take care of our use of the pill. We urged the troops that all was not lost and contest by contest we can work our way back into the game. The third term started full of hope, we were able to score the first goal but once again some un-disciplined play deflated our confidence and we were unable to make any inroads to the deficit and a 29 point margin remained at the last break. 

More positional changes, more words of encouragement and there was a genuine belief that we could stage a comeback. We started the last quarter full of running and were able to break the shackles, 3 goals in a row breathed some life into the contest and we were suddenly within 2 goals, the intensity and tackling lifted, however the opposition scored two late goals to our one to run out 17 point winners. In summary we failed to apply ourselves to our fundamentals with discipline being the main issue, in a nut shell, when we had the footy we coughed it up, when they had it we did not apply the intense pressure or lay the tackle and when it was in dispute we could not win the one on ones. Our last half of footy was what we expect to see, our first half was not pretty to watch. We will dust ourselves off, train hard and bounce back next week against Old Scotch.

Match Details: St Bernards 7.9-51 defeated by Uni Blacks 10.8-68

Best: P. Rahill, A. Corsetti, L. Baird, J. Malseed, C. Forder, J. Fraser, Liam McIntyre

Goals: A. Corsetti 3, J. Malseed , N. McAllister , J. Cunningham , M. Sargent



Paul Garth