In horse racing parlance they call it getting bloused - beaten on the line when seemingly about to win - which was the tale as SKOB Seniors went down to Uni Blues at TH King. The Reserves and Academy both had solid wins over the Blues, whilst out at Coburg on Sunday, the Saints Gold powered over the Lions, our Saints Blues were outclassed and the Green Machine are still awaiting for some arrivals out at Tullamarine to get their team back on the park. On Friday night it was lights out for the Under 19 Premier and Div 2 teams whilst the Div 4's lost a nail biter on the Saturday. Finally on Sunday the Masters found De La too strong as the hosts held on to the Molan Cup for another year.
Two late goals from the visiting Uni Blues were daggers to SKOB hearts on Saturday as they let a game - and a vital four points - slip through their fingers. The loss will burn for a SKOB team that was in control for most of the match after a dominant third quarter set up the kind of lead they don’t often let go - particularly at home. It also means there is little margin for error in the run home if they wish to play a role in September.
It had been more than a month since the Seniors had set foot on TH king in a competition game, but they looked right at home as they played out an even first half against the team placed second on the ladder. After a half time reset they came out all guns blazing in the third booting 5 goals to one and setting up a solid lead to take into the orange break. But Uni Blues are a stoic outfit and were able to inch their way back into the contest. By the 27 minute mark the lead was 10 points but after a mark and goal to Blues it was under a goal with about 3 minutes remaining. Some desperate defense chewed up the clock but in the shadow of full time SKOB were unable to clear the ball after a free kick and in the ensuing scramble, Blues managed to squeeze in a goal to claim the lead. From the bounce SKOB surged forward and had one last kick to the goal square that was cleared by the Blues as the siren rang. A win would have put a three game cushion between SKOB in the four and the chasing pack, but alas they suffered a second nail biting loss to the Blues. The games between the two teams this season have been decided by a combined total of less than a goal but the raw numbers show two wins to the Blues. For SKOB the better players were Alastair Richards, Callum Matheson, Sam Cameron, William Coates, Jack Holden and Ben Mansfield who booted three goals. They now hit the road for a fortnight of away fixtures before finishing with the last three games at home - which will help - but there is still a bit to do if SKOB are to make it to the pointy end of the season.
In the early game, the Reserves had a strong win over Uni Blues to keep their final four hopes alive. Still a lot of work for Coach Clough and his boys to do to get there but Saturday was a good step along the way. Welcoming in 8 changes that included a number of players with Senior experience, the Ressies were able to shake the Blues after an even first quarter and go on to record a comfortable win. Better players on the day were Callum Jones, Christian Woolrich, Michael Di Natale, Angus Mcquie, James Jaensch (who recently brought up 100 games for SKOB) and the evergreen Zach Ginies.
Our man Yanni was on the spot and filed the following report:
"SKOB Reigns Supreme at The King"
The starting twenty-two had some fresh faces as SKOB's reserves returned to their spiritual home, ready and eager after a well-earned break. The weather conditions were perfect, with the sun out and blue skies; we couldn't have asked for a better day for footy.
The opening stanza began with a bang, with both teams vying for early momentum. SKOB's pulled away with a slender lead, with Liam Mohoney opening the scoreline once again, and Ethan Beer taking a forward half intercept mark leading to a set shot that put the boys up by one goal at the end of the first quarter.
Coach Clough pushed for more forward fifty entries in the second quarter, and the boys definitely delivered, forcing University Blues to make poor decisions and execute dump kicks. This provided the boys with multiple scoring opportunities, and Ethan Bowden stole a snag right on the goal line, while Callum Jones and Michael Di Natale dominated the midfield and pushed forward, with Di Natale scoring from outside the fifty bomb.
SKOB's reserves found themselves four goals up by the end of the second quarter and were hungry for more, as they looked for a percentage boost to increase their chances of playing in September. The team's structure held strong in all aspects as they kept the ball in the forward 50 for the majority of the quarter, and Zachary Ginies proved to be an absolute menace in the forward line, pulling through with his fourth goal of the game.
Heading into the final term, James Jaensch and Angus Hart snuffed out any chance of a late comeback as the back six held the line tenaciously. Hamish Burrill and Thomas Feehan joined the others on the scoreboard, along with James Stewart picking up a snag upon his long-awaited return.
When all was said and done, the team couldn't be happier with the full fourth-quarter effort, leaving the final score with a 45-point victory, with some of the boys taking home a well-earned celebratory kebab.
Earlier than the early game in the early early game, the Academy also gave their finals chances a boost with a win over Uni Blues. Coach Ollie must have been so taken with his team's performance that he forgot to file a report, but the best were Josh Willmott who monstered the opposition with some towering grabs and 6 big goals. Others were Jack Liszukiewicz, James Ritchie (also big up forward with 4 goals), Ethan Boal, Andrew Smale and Seamus Skehan.
Sunday Saints shine
The Saints Gold had a massive 10 changes to the team for their clash out at Piranha Park against Coburg on Sunday. They were able to welcome back a few big names who have been busy plying their trade and testing themselves at the next level in the VFLW. Great to see the hallmark Sarah Cameron goal-celebration with two first quarter goals.
THE VFLW leading goalkicker set Piranha Park alight with her trademark energy, speed and voice. The slippery conditions made life difficult for the handball-conscious SKOBs but Coach Ollie asked for more "kicking" in Q3 and soon a rush of three goals from Captain Margie returning from her "sojourn" and Cate Stanton sealed the issue. The Saints are breathing down the neck of Kew in number one spot on the ladder and will keep charging toward September with the double chance in their sights.Best for Gold were Sarah Cameron (3 goals), Bree Doyle and Sarah Betts (showing no signs of fatigue after starring for the Big V in the week off), Margaret Gleeson (back from leave and back in form), Zara Guss and
Jess Joyce. The Saints Blue found Coburg too strong on Sunday but put in a gallant performance nonetheless. They will keep striving right to the end of the season and will welcome a few players back in the coming weeks to strengthen their stocks. The Green machine have too many away at the moment and were unable to field a team.
19's trip up under lights
Having been on a long winning streak, the Under 19 Premier boys returned from the break on Friday night and looked a little flat against a strong St Bede's team. Coach Long's chargers have been up for a long time and were just a little off on the night but will be looking to shake off the game and move on to next week and a chance to bounce back. The Div 2 lads were also under lights on Friday but unlike in last year's final against the same opposition were not able to get the win over Old McKinnon / Glen Eira. After been blown away early they never stopped trying and were well served by Billy Branagan, Ronan Smythe, Ruateatea Haggie, Patrick Shaw, Liam Kinsella and Max Demathieu. On Saturday the Div 4 boys were left to rue some wayward kicking as they went down in a close encounter with St Bedes. They may well feel this was one they let get away after leading early and despite having 24 scoring shots to 18 they fell under by 4 points. For SKOB the better players were Noah Pearce, Ben Mursalo, Nelson Conwell, Sam Mulcahy, Sebastien Salom and Oli Garlick.
De La keep the Cup
The Molan Cup was on the line in the final match of the round on Sunday at Waverley Oval. Our SKOB masters have been undermanned in most of their games to date but they are having a lot of fun. Even President Patty Mount donned the boots and played in what is always a great game between these two long standing rivals. De La were too strong and ran out deserved winners but SKOB had some good contributions from "Dutchy" Holland, Karl Wissell, "New York" Tom McMillan, Michael Landers, Dan Burn and Matt Kovess.