A final quarter fade out saw a disappointing SKOB go down to Old Melburnians by 14 points at Elsternwick Park today. The loss means that SKOB are still a win short of guaranteeing their spot in the finals, whilst keeping the door open for OM's to make a late charge for the final four.
On a glorious sunny day that gave fans a hint of spring, there would be no excuses as the conditions were just about perfect for football. Following their disappointing performance last week, SKOB were desperate to get off to a good start and they did exactly that with Sam Cameron goaling within the first minute of the game. Controlling the football for the first half of the quarter, SKOB looked all over their opponents and soon rushed out to a three goal lead on the back of majors to Edgar and Brown. But as they would do consistently throughout the game, SKOB would take their foot off the pedal and let OM's back into the contest. At quarter time the scores were level at 3.4 apiece which was scant reward for SKOB given their bright opening. Sam Cameron continued his good early form and was one of the better contributors in the early going.
The second quarter was a little more seesawing as both sides enjoyed moments of momentum. SKOB looked to have peeled away when Michael Pisker launched a long bomb from outside 50 after receiving a handpass from Billy Coates. However, SKOB just couldn't shake Old Melburnians, and as they had done in the first term they conceded a late goal, so rather than going into half time with a bit of a lead, hit the sheds actually trailing by a point. There needed to be a stern response from SKOB after the break or they were in danger of dropping two in a row.
After half time SKOB actually came out and played their best footy. They began to transition the football a lot more directly, but once inside 50 they had a couple of chances that on another day might have been converted. Instead, the ball just seemed to bounce the wrong way or SKOB players displayed uncharacteristic hesitation and couldn't seem to finish off their dominant play. Phil Edgar pulled in a great pack mark and converted, then shortly afterwards, Shaun Kennedy booted one and then John Wood, both after marking on strong leads. SKOB's play was far more direct and they were looking like taking control of the game, however, once again suffered a lapse in concentration and allowed OM's to boot back to back goals and let them back in the contest. After a couple of near misses (John Wood's set shot smacked into the post) Jarrad Waite snapped a clever goal from the pocket and the lead was back out to two goals. But again SKOB just couldn't see out the quarter and OM's - through a bit of good fortune with a kick off the ground that tumbled through - scored the last goal of the quarter to make it just a one goal game at 3/4 time.
Despite having the better of the term, it was their inability to really ram home the advantage when they had it that would cost SKOB in the finish. For OM's their season was on the line and SKOB (although leading) really looked a bit lacklustre. The spark was missing and soon the deep entries into their forward 50 that had been evident in the third term were becoming shallow and easier for the OM defenders to repel. Errors started to creep into SKOB's play and it was OM's, who just looked a bit keener for the contest, that began to profit from their forays forward. Despite being under siege in the last line of defence, Conor Ross battled hard, but the repeat forward 50 entries OM's were getting finally took their toll. SKOB were held goalless in the final term, although John Wood was again unlucky to hit the post with a shot that might have breathed life into SKOB late in the quarter. Instead, from the resulting kick-in, OM's took the ball forward and kicked the sealer. Billy Coates battled manfully in the ruck against a much more experienced opponent, however he more than held his own and finished one of SKOB's better players on the day. Phil Edgar was dangerous up forward all day and was best for SKOB.
It was the second week in a row where the performance was very un-SKOB like. With only two rounds left in the season, SKOB need to rediscover their mojo - and fast. It was a bit of a down day for Zach Ginies in his 150th game, but his teammates still gave him a decent send off (below).
SKOB 11.10.76 Old Melburnians 13.12.90 Goal Kickers: P. Edgar 3, M. Pisker 2, J. Waite 2, M. Brown, S. Kennedy, S. Cameron, J. Wood Best Players: P. Edgar, S. Cameron, J. Wood, W. Coates, C. Matheson, J. Waite
In other games, our reserves staged a great second half fightback against the top of the table team and almost got the win - falling short by just two points, whilst the thirds also went down to Old Melburnians which left us 0-3 from our sortie to Elsternwick Park.The U23 Thirds received a forfeit from an undermanned Fitzroy, and it was a tough day at the office for the Under 19s Premier Team, however both the Div 3 and Div 4 sides had wins again.