St.Kevin's OB have won back to back Premier Division Flags after defeating Collegians today in the Grand Final at Elsternwick Park. The final margin of 5 points was almost a carbon copy of the 2017 playoff when Collegians came late at SKOB and almost pinched it, only for the SKOB defence to hang on and claim the ultimate prize.
In a repeat of last year’s playoff, SKOB were once again pitted against Collegians with the Lions keen to reverse the result of 2017. For the first time this season SKOB were able to name an unchanged side from their Preliminary Final victory. The coaching staff were buoyed by the response of the team in that win and pleased that they had come through it without any further casualties. They approached this week confident they had the team that could achieve the ultimate prize.
When they met in the semi final a fortnight ago, SKOB suffered 3 significant injuries early in the game and were restricted to just one fit player on the bench for almost three quarters of the match. Whilst Mitch Brown was the only player of that trio to be available on this day, his presence on the field for four quarters would prove telling.
With glorious weather conditions for football. Fine but cool and very little wind, both sides put on a tremendous display of Premier Division football. The first quarter began as an arm wrestle and it was even across the ground. It took 10 minutes for SKOB to strike first blood through Lachie Sullivan, then Collegians were quick to respond. Billy Kanakis kicked another for SKOB and again Collegians replied before Parkes and Kennedy kicked 2 more. A goal on the siren to the Lions made it 5 points at the first break.
In the second term it was again a struggle as neither side was prepared to give an inch. Almost 13 minutes passed until Collegians broke the ice with a goal, but that signalled “Kanakis Hour”, as Billy Kanakis kicked 3 in the space of 5 minutes to put a gap between SKOB and Collegians. Again a late goal to the Lions reduced the margin at half time to 7.5 to 5.6. SKOB had a small break.
In the third term it was all SKOB as once again they weathered the early storm from Collegians and refused to concede. Finally at the 13 minute mark Lagastes goaled and then Gerard Gleeson set up Kennedy to goal from the square before kicking one himself a minute later. SKOB were well on top at this stage and the dam wall seemed set to burst. When Mitch Brown goaled after being held in a marking contest at the 23 minute mark SKOB looked in full control with one hand on the Premiership Cup. They headed to the last huddle leading 11.11 to 6.10.
With a confident large crowd behind the goals at the scoreboard end, SKOB looked well and truly home - but Collegians had other ideas. Just like in 2017 when the game looked done, the Lions kept coming and at the 20 minute mark had reduced the SKOB lead to under 2 goals. There were nervous fans chewing their nails behind the sticks until Gerard Gleeson marked strongly right in front and kicked what looked like the sealer at the 23rd minute. Collegians still fought back but looked like they were going to fall short when a player was caught red hot in the square - but the play was waved on and they ran the ball to the other end to score one last goal and reduce the margin to 5 points with a minute to play. There were three more centre square stoppages as every player threw themselves on top of the packs until SKOB finally cleared and were steaming in on goal when the siren sounded. SKOB had prevailed by 5 points in another classic.
Billy Kanakis was named best afield for his 5 telling goals
SKOB 4.2 7.5 11.11 12.13.85
Collegians 3.4 5.6 6.10 11.14.80
Goal Kickers: B. Kanakis 5, S. Kennedy 2, M. Brown, G. Gleeson, L. Sullivan, H. Lagastes, H. Parkes Best Players: B. Kanakis, L. Farrugia, L. Sullivan, C. Ross, A. Lynch, N. Wood
In the earlier game played Sunday the SKOB Thirds Gold team took out back to back premierships of their own in the Grand Final against Old Melburnians. Jumping out to an early lead at quarter time, SKOB were well in control for most of the match, extending their advantage at every break.