A blistering opening term saw SKOB pile on 7 goals to 1 and told the tale of two great rivals on a fantastic day at St.Kevin's College. With the breeze at their backs in the first quarter, SKOB took full toll and used it best. Booting 4 goals to nothing in the first ten minutes the home team showed how to best handle the skinny confines of the College oval, and although Xavs steadied mid quarter to kick one to the school end, SKOB replied with 3 more and at quarter time it was a commanding lead. Many fans were still making their way down to the ground from lunch up at Smith Hall by the time the first term ended and were stunned to see the scoreline.
SKOB had to get to work in the second quarter as it was Xavs turn with the breeze but their defence was rock solid. Missing some key personnel it was up to the likes of Michael Pisker and first gamer Tom Burley who stood up against the tide and played with cool heads despite their relative lack of experience. Holding Xavs to two goals meant SKOBs' lead at the half was barely diminished. Xavs managed to restrict the home team better in the third quarter, but when SKOB kicked the first goal in the final term to get out to 42 points it was an unassailable advantage. Billy Coates was a force all over the ground and the small men, Cameron, Wardlaw, Darmody and Hodges worked hard and were rewarded handsomely. The wily experience of Phil Edgar up forward with 3 goals on a tricky day proved the difference whilst the likes of Luke Winter (who started the ball rolling for SKOB with a goal in the first minute) enjoyed a day out.
It's now a two week hiatus for the competition as niggles are healed, grounds recover and players (hopefully) holiday safely. In Premier Mens, the action returns on 16 July.
For our two's the ladder leading Old Xavs proved too strong, pulling away in a dominant third term after both teams had an even crack with the breeze in the first half. SKOB were wayward when they kicked with the wind and would rue having 8 scoring shots to 5 for the first half yet going to the sheds in arrears. Xavs used it better in the third term and then held SKOB at bay in the last quarter to run out worthy winners. For Robin Bowles' men it was the Gang of Youths who all shone - Hamish Reimers, Jack Byrne, Tom Davidson - on debut from the 19s - were all fine performers against older opposition whilst regular contributors Sam Crowe, Zach Dowd and Christian Woolrich all boosted their B&F profiles.
Our thirds showed plenty of pluck early on in their encounter with Xavs. Kicking off some serious dew from the shady side of the College Oval they were slick as a whistle in the first quarter and took it right up to the ladder leaders. At half time there were many discussions going on, but one of them was not who's going to take a backward step. As it turned out, once the field and the football dried out, the stronger skills of the opposition told the tale and Xavs ran out winners. SKOB fought it right out to the end, none more so than Jordan Arazi who put his head down and went to work. Sam Doyle and his sidekick Andy Smale were massive down back for SKOB, fighting hard against much bigger opponents, whilst big men Darcy Middling and Angus Beaney gave the small guys great service from the ruck duels. Luca Gambell was his consistent best at half back.
Past Players Day - a smash
Saturday also saw some of our Past Players honoured at a tremendously well attended lunch up in the KC Smith Hall. With numbers swelling well in excess of the pavilions' capacity, the main event was held up the hill in the wider expanse of the Hall. Many reunions were taking place and past friendships renewed as SKOBs of old (and even older) got together to break bread. Thanks to the great efforts of Lisa Ginies, Pat Mount and many volunteers, the lunch went off with a bang. Simon Olive doffed his coaching hat, then put on his MC hat before putting on his barman's hat as it was all hands on deck. Thanks to McCormack for their generous sponsorship of the day, Ian Robson for his great talk and to the Old Xavs guests who were there in good numbers.
Saints put Kew in the rack
In a massive top of the table clash at Old Rigret, the Saints Gold blew away Kew with an all round team performance that bolted them clear as ladder leaders by a game and big percentage. Coming in off their huge day last week for the Pride Round, the Saints might have been excused for being off the boil, but they were anything but. Having lost to Kew earlier in the season there was genuine fire in the belly as the Saints restricted their opponents to just a single goal in each half, whilst racking up 10 goals in a very even four quarter performance. No surprise to see Eliza Straford in her third game back from the VFL once again dominate the field at Rigret. Bree Doyle wasn't far behind whilst Sarah Cameron with 3 and Jessica Joyce with 2 goals were a constant headache for the Kew defence. Elyce Hay has been just as consistent over the whole season, whilst Sarah Betts found her name amongst the best for the upteenth time too. With all their guns firing, the Saints Gold have set themselves up for a great run in to the end of the season and are playing at an incredibly high level.
The Saints Blue also got their season going again with a tough 6 point win over Kew. There was nothing in it at 3/4 time with the defence of both teams holding up strongly, but it was the SKOB Saints who rose to the occasion in the final term and came away with the vital 4 points. Leonora Contaxis was fantastic all day, as was Pamela Amber who is a ball magnet. Alice Straford and Katherine Viti were also solid contributors and Catherine McBeth-Jephcott and Brigette Snell kept the flag flying for the Saints and got them over the line.
Our Green Dream team organised a scratch match with the team from Brunswick and had a good hit out, winning 6 goals to 2. No selfie from the game so I'll have to use last week's one instead.... Better players were Atkin, Taylor, Harrington and Lewis
Premiership Quarter fade costs 19s
After a strong first half against De La in a battle of teams trying to make the top 4, the SKOB U19s would have been confident of going on to claim the points. Alas, the De La boys caught our guys napping in the vital 3rd term and put a gap between the teams that the home side couldn't make up in the last. It puts both sides at 5-6 chasing that 4th spot on the table and there's now little margin for error. Having pushed up players to fill spots in the Senior squad, the 19s are drawing on all resources but are showing plenty of resilience. Flynn Clarke is really coming on in leaps and bounds and was best afield for SKOB. Liam O'Neill has had a solid month of football, stringing together some fine performances and did again on Saturday, whilst Lucas Mascia, Sam Pirola, Ethan Boal and Will Pfeiffer all played well.
Our Div 2 team had a tough battle against Old Carey, and thankfully were able to shake them off after a tight 3 quarters that saw the visitors turn for home with a slight lead. SKOB put the gas down in the last term and kicked away to keep themselves in 3rd place on the table. Harry Kirkwood and Sam Whelan led from the front for SKOB and battled hard all day. Ollie Doyle had a good return to form, while James Collier and Jeremy Bourke stood up when it mattered - ably helped out by Liam Clifford.
In the Div 4's the SKOB thirds team were again pitted against a firsts team and found their opposition too strong. As reported each week, the thirds under 19s bring a great attitude to every contest and are having a real crack. Joey Kerr had another great game as did Hamish Macmillan, Matt Buckeridge, Sam Small, Tom Whelan and Niall Buggle.
Our Masters had the Bye.