The unbeaten streak is over as Old Brighton got the better of SKOB in the Seniors clash at TH King on Saturday. It's the first loss of the season for the SKOB Seniors who suddenly drop to third as a result. It was a case of "what ifs" for the hosts as all three SKOB teams who took the field at TH King went under by a combined margin of just 15 points in some tight and well fought out clashes against quality opposition. On a bit of a down day results wise, the flag was flown by the Saints Gold and our Premier Under 19s who were the only teams to salute. Elsewhere there were losses to the Saints Blue and Green and to the Under 19 Div 2's and 4's - who also went down in a close one. The Masters fell to Oakleigh on Sunday.
At TH King there was huge anticipation surrounding the clash of the two Grand Finalists from 2022, although neither side is a shadow of the teams from that match last September. SKOB had 12 players remaining from that side and Old Brighton only 7, meaning a lot has changed in the meantime. Granted there were injuries aplenty on both sides of the ledger, so the match was more a test of the depth of the respective playing squads. The standard of play on show in the Reserves match showed that both clubs are able to bat deep.
On to the main game and it was a furry friend who interrupted proceedings within the first minute of action, proving a hard tag to match up on. Play was halted for some time and if not for the calming hand of Cal "the Dog Whisperer" Matheson being able to contain the four legged pitch invader we may not have had a game at all... It was a dour affair in the first half with both defences holding up tightly and giving little away. Only a couple of passages of brilliance from the visitors saw them sneak out a 2 goal lead at the half. The third term opened with SKOB hitting the woodwork twice, only to see Brighton take full toll with their opportunities. The two goal lead quickly stretched out to 4 and beyond, with Brighton holding a seemingly irretrievable 30 point lead at the final change. SKOB lifted in the last term booting 6 goals to 2 but it was never going to be enough with Brighton in control right to the finish. A goal after the siren to Patty Kerr made it 7 points in the end but that might have flattered SKOB who were well beaten in the third quarter and left themselves a mountain to climb.
For SKOB, the better players were Jack Darmody, Charlie Bryan in his first game back in the Seniors this year, Lachie Merrett, Al Richards, Sam Tucker, and the ever consistent Josh Tynan. Pat Kerr returned to form with 4 goals up forward and Tom Pirola made his SKOB Senior debut which was a great moment for him. Another tough challenge awaits Coach Lynch and the team with a trip to Harry Trott to take on Collegians next week.
In the early encounter, a late charge from the Reserves saw them get within a kick with a few seconds left on the clock, but it was not enough to get past a well drilled Old Brighton team. SKOB had the better of the first half but could not convert their advantage to a decent score, being slightly wasteful in front of the big sticks. The half time advantage of 10 points really should have been a lot more and when Old Brighton were able to kick 3 quick goals in the third term it was all tied up at the final break. The visitors then put a gap in the scoreboard that SKOB, although trying valiantly, were unable to breach. A frustrating loss for coach Clough who might feel this was one that got away. Still it was an entertaining and high quality game from both sides. James Hill, Pat Croagh, Jack Byrne, Luke Mazzeo, Vlad Stevancevic and Lucas Mascia were all good for SKOB, and a number of players up from the Academy squad impressed too on the day.
Speaking of the Academy squad, they endured a heartbreaking 2 point loss to Fitzroy in the day's opening fixture. Despite also having the major slice of the possession pie, they were unable to take their chances when it mattered and Fitzroy were able to get a quick break and slot a couple of back to back goals. In a low scoring encounter it was all they needed to snatch the 4 points. Ten changes and two less players from last week was a tough pill to swallow as call ups to teams above put pressure on the Academy - but the boys gave it everything and with a little luck might have swung the result. Sam Doyle, James Ritchie, Oli Phillips, Stacy Brockwell-Hahn, Andrew Smale and Harrison Lee were named in the best for Coaches Ollie and Krusher.
Saints Gold just get it done
Coming off a shock loss to Old Scotch a fortnight ago, the Saints Gold had to cool their heels for a week having a bye in the last round. They were obviously fired up this week as they flew out of the blocks at Brunswick St Oval. Clearance machine Bree Doyle was looking ready and raring to go watching the Men's Ressies at TH King earlier in the day and was in no doubt the team was up for a big response. Coach Tom Purcell had to manage his own magnets on the white board with 6 changes from their last outing, but found a solid 22 to take on the Roys. The SKOB Saints jumped out early and were never headed with Bree Doyle, Elyce Hay, Kira Maass, Cath Stanton, Charity Russell and Emily Condon all starring.
In the Saints Blue, poor ol' Coach Strauss must feel like he stepped on a black cat while walking under a ladder and breaking a mirror such is the run of bad luck his team is having. They just can't quite get over the line yet this season despite their best efforts. True, they have had some wholesale changes to the lineup and are missing a few regulars, but on Saturday they fell under by less than a kick having thrown everything including the kitchen sink at the opposition in the last quarter. A return of 2.4 from 6 scoring shots to a solitary goal from Fitzroy's only attack was the tale of the tape as SKOB found themselves 5 points in the red when the siren sounded. Alice Straford, Steph Chong, Molly Howard, Alex Bland, Liv Slifirski and Bella Hoal gave everything for the Blues who will surely see their fortunes change soon.
The Saints Green Machine were seriously short a few petrol tickets with a ton of players out / unavailable / or filling spots in other teams. They would be the last team to offer excuses though, and still had a red hot crack at the West Brunny Maggies on Saturday, and as always, delivered a solid pre-match selfie. For Coach Mikayla the better players were Jemima Dwyer, Charlotte Lupson , Georgie McEwen, Pip Stephenson, Steph Rooney and Gen Holden.
19's stay top with big win at the 'Pit
An emotional win for the Under 19 Premier team who wore black armbands for Ashley Foley who has taught at St.Kevins for over 30 years and suddenly passed away this week. The young SKOBBERS had a great win (100-28) and stay top of the table in U19 Premier. No less than 9 goalkickers were spread across the 14 kicked with Sam Jones, Dan Gambell, Nick Tonge, Billy Bryan, Xavier Duke and Cooper Chaffey the standouts in a great team performance at St Bernards. For our Div 2 lads, they found the going tough against Mazenod, who were too strong for them on the day out at Old Rigret. They never really got their game going and have now dropped their last couple. They will look to bounce back against Old Haileybury next week. Better players were Max Demathieu, Hamish Toohey, Aiden Leiner, Seb Nogara, Jack Luscombe and Hamish Ryan. It was a ripping game in Div 4 with little separating the two teams all day in a high scoring encounter. Alas for SKOB they came up 4 points short of Therry who stole the chocolates on the day. Coach Tommy Kerr would still be very pleased with the effort and improvement being shown by the Div 4's who continue to strive each week. For SKOB, the best were Luke Augerinos, Pat Jones, Jack O'Malley, Tom Whelan, Rupert Kidman and Oli Garlick.
And finally, on Sunday evening after a late venue change, our Mighty Masters gave everything against last season's premiers Oakleigh, only to fall a couple of goals short. Having had to shift from a home game to away, the Masters still turned out in great numbers and gave it a real sight. Coach SOC still getting plenty out of these rusty engines - he is hoping to turn their fortunes around in the coming weeks as players come back from injury, unavailability and the Noosa foreshore.