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Bumper weekend kicks off Season 2024

Updated: Apr 17

Season 2024 finally kicked off and it did it with a bang, with the SKOB Senior Men’s and Senior Women’s teams starting in the best possible manner. Wins over close rivals in both competitions ensuring the first premiership points of the season went the way of the SKOBBERS. Our Thirds Men’s 2 team tasted victory again - this time over Old Xavs, whilst our Green Machine Saints 3’s also had a great win. No luck for the remaining SKOB teams, especially the Reserves who went down by the merest of margins, but it’s a long season and all the players were just happy to be playing at last.

All roads literally led to TH King for one of the most anticipated round one clashes in recent memory. Media street was awash with chatter about the match between SKOB and Old Xavs with lots of talk of what ifs, but it was only ever going to be about 22 on 22 on the field that mattered. The prematch luncheon was the hottest ticket in town with all seats sold out weeks in advance. The rooms were filled to the gills with guests keen to hear from the new chief of the AFL (and former Old Xav) Andrew Dillon our special guest. Meanwhile there were other formalities to attend to as the VIPs rushed back to Righetti Oval at 1:30 to unveil the Saints 2023 Premiership flag. To say that “we had a bit on” was a massive understatement.


Having fed on delicious food and dined out on friendly jibes, the fans settled in for the main event. The ressies game had gone down to the wire with Xavs prevailing by a point and the home fans may have been excused for being a little nervous that today would not be the day. Sam Tucker settled a few of these nerves when a long bomb took a home team bounce and went through the big sticks to register the first goal of the season and then shortly afterwards, Pat Kerr got on the end of a hot pass and made it two goals for SKOB. Xavs hit back with one but young Elliot Mahoney on debut restored the SKOB advantage going in to quarter time. It was a typically dour battle for the next quarter and a half until Xavs hit a purple patch half way through term 3 booting 3 goals in quick succession. SKOB were quick to respond with back to back goals to wrestle back the lead and to bring the healthy crowd to life as the game stepped up a notch.

Two late goals to SKOB in red time gave the home team a vital 14 point advantage at the orange break and a quick one to Pat Kerr to open the final quarter gave them a buffer they were able to comfortably hold on to through to the final siren.

The game was played in great spirits and in glorious sunshine as the clouds cleared allowing for a true contest and a terrific spectacle for the many fans at the King. Well served by some of the usual suspects in Al Richards, Sam Tucker, Cam Hodges and Billy Coates, SKOB were  bolstered by an influx of Under 19 talent with Billy McGee-Galimberti, Ollie Gill, Liam Walters and Elliot Mahoney - the best of them - all making significant contributions to the team and showing the depth of talent in the Club’s junior ranks. 

It was the best way to begin the season for SKOB and there’s a long way to go, but all the players, staff and supporters will just be thrilled that the footy is now underway, the talking stops and the real stuff starts.

 Ressies Play Out a Nail-Biter against Old Rivals.

Our man on the ground Yanni captured all the action from the 2's thriller

"There’s something special about round one of the footy season. The excitement was palpable as the SKOB’s reserves rolled into TH King Reserve, eager to make an early statement for the 2024 season.

The game began with a hotly contested start, both teams jostling for the early momentum, putting it all on the line. Drawing it out, SKOB’s reserves struggled to get the ‘rub of the green’ and found themselves on the back foot, leaving the first quarter with a three-goal deficit.

Heading into the second quarter; Coach Clough urged his players to focus on our brand of footy and the boys delivered. Billy Bryan kicked the opening goal as the SKOB’s reserves stamped their authority. Using their ball movement, the SKOB’s boys got their forward half entries rolling, leading to three more goals from Daniel Aplin, Luke Mazzeo, and William Cooper, seeing them only trail by a point at half-time.

During the third quarter, both teams were jockeying for the lead. The SKOB’s boys had most of the forward half play, but unfortunately didn’t manage to convert it, leading to Old Xavs holding a slender lead.

The final term was a race to the final siren as the heat of battle intensified. Each side going goal for goal made for a fantastic finish for those lucky enough to witness. Angus McQuie pulled the boys a point ahead, and Tom Davidson followed suit as SKOB’s boys pulled ahead with five minutes to go. But the lead was short-lived as the final siren blew, ending the game with a gut-wrenching one-point loss.

Despite the end result, Coach Clough was very proud of the players' performance. This opening match has left fans and this reporter very excited. And the SKOB’s reserves walking away more bullish for the upcoming rounds."

Our Academy team faced up against a very slick Old Xavs outfit who looked a lot sharper and cleaner with the ball. They were simply too good for SKOB, but Coach Olive has plenty of time to right the ship and his chargers never gave in. Best for the Academy were Joey Martin, Ollie Phillips, Harry Mulchahy, Matt Canning, Andrew Butler and Ollie Doyle.

At Basil Reserves, the Stingers (SKOB 3rds - 2) helped to square the ledger with our red and black cousins, taking the points after a sluggish start. From quarter time on it was all SKOB as they found their range and pulled away for a solid 21 point win. It's two from two now for the Will brothers at the helm who were well served by Julian Chaffey (3 twins), Hugo Read (a couple), Jesse Battistella, Zach Close, Jack Rawlings and Fintan Evans.

Saints Unfurl the Flag in style

Over at Righetti it was formalities galore as the VAFA exec were joined by the AFL CEO at the unfurling of the 2023 Premiership Flag for the Saints Gold. Recently retired great Margaret Gleeson, and Saints matriarch Lisa Ring were charged with the task of unfurling the flag as players from SKOB and West Brunny lined up. Another great moment for Coach Tommy and his team who then showed that a fourth pennant on end is in their sights with a comprehensive defeat of the Bruns. Jumping away to an early advantage, the Saints were never in trouble, building their lead throughout the day. Ably led by (who else?) Bree Doyle at the helm with Hannah Smith, Lily Davies, Kate Stanton, Isobel Upfal and Taylah Canobie all proving dangerous. Coach Tom was proud of the team but knows that this but one small step in a very long season - it certainly was a great start.

For the Blues, it didn't start as well as the Golds, but Coach Strauss would have been pretty happy with the way the Saints played against the perennially strong West Bruns. Last season they couldn't get close to the maggies, but on Saturday showed with their strong finish that they'll be a force to reckon with as the season progresses. Best were Mischa Beaconsfield, Poppy Somerville, Dominique Garcia, Eliza Doble, Caroline Straford and Brook Stringer

In the early game, the Green Machine were living the dream. Pulling away from their Kew opponents after an even first quarter, their win was set up by big efforts from Charley Lupson, Sofia Zielonka, Pip Stephenson, Lauren Barnes, Katelyn Brandenburg and Steph Taylor. Coach Mikayla Dohnt argue couldn't have asked for a better start to the season for the dreamers who are in uncharted territory in their new division and clearly loving the challenge.

Well done to the Saints on a great start to '24

Trip to the beach - not quite the peach for 19's

The under 19s got a taste of the seaside and found that Old Brighton are a tough proposition down at the Beach Oval. After matching the home team in the opening quarter SKOB were all at sea for the duration and went down by 44 points. Brighton are showing that they might be the team to beat in Premier after two big wins, but SKOB never stopped trying and were battling right to the end. For SKOB the better players were Jackson O’Malley, Benjamin Palmer, Samuel Jones, Conor Lynch, James Kerr and Oscar White. The 19 2's were at Basil Reserve against Uni Blues and at the orange break were right in the match, but alas ran out of juice in the final term to go under to the Students. They are still finding their way early in the season and on Saturday had good servants in Mark O'Mahony, Noah Spiteri, Toby Hickey, Billy Branagan, Oliver Garlick and Sam Crack. It seems a lifetime ago, but the round started on Friday night when the 19 3's went down to Shark Park in Beaumaris and were subjected to a bit of a feeding frenzy with the local lads too good for SKOB on fish & chip Friday.

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