SKOB sent out four teams over the weekend to see if they could progress in their respective divisions, and the response? A resounding yes. From Saturday morning right through to Sunday afternoon, SKOB were resolute, winning three cut throat finals in Seniors, Saints and Ressies, and jumping straight into the Grand Final in the under 19s after triumphing in the Second Semi at TH King. It was as satisfying a weekend as you could get for SKOB and their President who cheekily noted that it was 5 from 5 if you count the Blues on Friday night.
Seniors skip by Scotch in Semi showdown
The Seniors have kept their finals campaign alive with a solid win over a very competitive Old Scotch in the main game on Sunday at E Park. SKOB entered the contest having won both their games against the Cardinals during the season, and would have been confident of making it a third even on the wide expanse of Elsternwick. Two changes were made at selection with Josh Wallis and Phil Edgar both coming in to provide extra finals experience to the team. In a rare September occurrence for the Glenhuntly Rd venue, the weather was almost benign with wind for once not playing a factor - ensuring a fair four quarter contest. The standard of play was certainly helped by the conditions and the game was definitely finals like with the pressure gauge high and mistakes more to do with intensity than any other factor. SKOB’s finals experience told early as they were able to make the most of their opportunities and seizing the moments that mattered. A four goals to one opening term would be pivotal as SKOB were able to keep the scoreboard at or about this margin for the remainder of the day. Despite losing momentum at times, the SKOB defence were able to limit Scotch’s scoring capacity, and the team would then find a way to score themselves - often late in the quarter. Despite Scotch chewing into the SKOB lead through term two, goals to Tucker and Kerr before half time extended the lead and then very late in the third - after the siren in fact - a long bomb from Kennedy put the margin back out to 26 points.
With the first two or the last term, SKOB put the game well into safe keeping before a few late strikes by the Cardinals drew the final margin to 18 points at the siren. It was a very satisfying win for the players and coaching staff and their supporters were on hand in good number to cheer the victory which keeps the season going to a Preliminary final against Uni Blues next week. Shaun Kennedy, Phil Edgar and Pat Kerr were all dangerous up forward for SKOB - booting 8 goals between them and proving the difference in a hard fought final. Luke Winter was outstanding again, while Captain Sam Critchley - third up from a spell - put in a stellar performance. Tom Jok was also a standout on the big stage which is tailor made for him. The road ahead sees Uni Blues in the way - a team that bested SKOB by 3 points and 2 points in their encounters this season - so that will be another big challenge. Hopefully we’ll see another bumper crowd at Elsternwick next weekend. Thanks to James Andriske for the photos - more of which can be seen here, and to Sarah Withers for her clever snaps.
Next Game: Preliminary Final vs Uni Blues - Saturday 2:15 pm @ Elsternwick Park
Saints power into the big dance
For the third year in succession the SKOB Saints are into the Grand Final in Premier Women's. Looking to make it a third straight premiership, the Saints stormed past Old Scotch on Sunday morning and will come up against Kew in a rematch of the 2022 decider. From the early going it was all SKOB as they controlled proceedings with a two goals to nothing first quarter, followed by a repeat two goals to nothing to be in complete control at half time. Coach Tommy Purcell had backed in his players to bounce back from the disappointment of falling short in the Second Semi and with their prized recruit Kate Stanton putting on an absolute masterclass, they were determined to repay his faith on Sunday. With Big V ruckman Sarah Betts bursting the banner for her 50th game the Saints were well led by their experienced players who stepped up on the Elsternwick Park stage - a venue that has brought them much success in recent times. Co-captains Margaret Gleeson and Bree Doyle were superb throughout and speedsters Emily Condon, Abi Bloom and Zara Guss too quick for their opponents on the big ground. Kate Stanton's 3 goals in the first half proved the difference as the VAFA Premier Women's leading sharpshooter showed why she is so dangerous up forward. Ash Byers came into the team this week and bobbed up for a goal with Pam Amber putting some icing on the cake in the second half as SKOB ran out to a 31 point win at the close. Kew will be waiting in the Grand Final - a team that has had the better of SKOB throughout 2023 and looking to avenge last year's result - but the Saints look hungry for more and will be giving everything in next week's decider - don't miss it.
Next Game: Grand Final vs Kew - Sunday 2:30 pm @ Elsternwick Park
Vlad the Impaler - late strike sinks Redlegs in thriller
A late goal from Vlad Stevancevic saw the Ressies come from behind to score a thrilling victory over Old Melburnians and see them progress to the Prelim Final next week. Riding on a wave of six wins on the trot, Coach Clough's men held on to claim victory over a gallant Redlegs side at Elsternwick Park. Jack Darmody and Ben Mansfield were unlucky to miss out on Senior selection on Thursday night, but put the disappointment behind them as they both made solid contributions in the win. An incredible running goal from James Jaensch from 50 was a huge highlight and had the SKOB fans in raptures as the see sawing battle drew to a nail biting finish. With leading sharpshooter Zach Ginies out of the side, the Ressies had to find other avenues to goal and Jack Darmody - best afield with 3 - provided that target. Other standouts in a fantastic team effort were Chris Gleeson, Vlad Stevancevic, Ben Mansfield, Christian Woolrich and James Jaensch. Old Scotch await in the Prelim, but the SKOB season is still alive for the Ressies which is a fantastic result for the Seniors too, having them alongside in the finals.
Next Game: Preliminary Final vs Old Scotch - Saturday 11:45 am @ Elsternwick Park
Premier 19's first to the dance
A home final at TH King is a great reward for a terrific season and the SKOB 19's didn't waste the opportunity, taking the fast track to the Grand Final via a solid win over rivals Old Xavs on Saturday. With happy SKOB fans making their way from Elsternwick Park after the Ressie's tight victory, the young SKOBBERS didn't let them down - despite some wayward kicking in the first quarter that took a bit of shine off their early dominance. A slight correction of the radar saw them convert opportunities in the second term and they held a comfortable, but not commanding lead at the main break. Two goals apiece in the third quarter meant there was still a little bit to do as Xavs were still thereabouts, but SKOB were able to have the answers when it mattered and they went on to record a 30 point win and advanced straight to the Grand Final in a fortnight. They will get to rest next weekend but will keep up the intensity on the track as they prepare for the biggest game of the year. Well done to the young SKOBBERS for making it to the Grand Final. Best of a very good bunch were Will Pfeiffer, Liam Gunson, Jack Palmer, Aidan Leiner, Flynn Clark and Jack Romanin.
Next Game: Grand Final vs ? - Weekend 23/24 Sept @ TBA
Thanks again to James Andriske for his photos - you can see more of his work here on Instagram.