SKOB return to form as Finals arrive
Spring has sprung and it's finals time for SKOB with the home and away season drawing to a close on Saturday. At TH King, our Seniors found some form to take into September with a comfortable win - pulling away from Old Haileybury after being challenged early. The Reserves had a big win whilst our Under 19's Premier celebrated finishing top of the table with a win away at Old Scotch. The Under 19 Div2's finished out season 2023 with a great win over Old Camberwell with the Div 4's going down in final round to Old Paradians. Our Saints will need to go through the Preliminary Final next week after succumbing to a late charge from Kew in the Second Semi on Sunday.
With their survival in Premier at stake, Old Haileybury came out firing early against SKOB at TH King. Conditions were magnificent for footy with the match played in glorious sunshine, and it was the visitors who enjoyed the best of the early going, edging out to a four goals to two lead after 20 minutes as they took the game up to their hosts. A blast of five goals in a row wrestled back the ascendancy for SKOB before the Bloods drew one back on the stroke of quarter time to end a very entertaining shootout where 12 goals were shared for the term. If the first quarter was a shootout then the second saw both teams draw blanks as the respective defences took over and scoring dried right up. A pair of goals to Pat Kerr - one early on, one late - were the only times the sticks were split in the second quarter as the heat from the early spring weather took the zip out of the contest. After the main break, the intensity lifted again as Haileybury took one last crack at SKOB. A fine snap from Shaun Kennedy intersected two goals from the Bloods and just like the first term, it wasn't until about 20 minutes in that SKOB were able to put their foot down and up the ante, drawing away with another five in a row - 3 unanswered at the end of the third, then the first two of the last to put the game away. It was a spirited effort from the visitors, but SKOB were able to find the answers and convert well when they had the ascendancy to finish off a pretty good team performance.
Only one change for SKOB at selection and the team certainly looked more settled with the better performers being Al Richards - whose pace when breaking clear of contests was telling, Tom Jok - starting to hit some great form, Cal Jones, Sam Cameron, Cam Hodges and Harry Wardlaw were all good contributors. Kerr and Kennedy were both dangerous up forward sharing 7 goals between them and providing great targets to hit. With second spot out of reach, the win was never going to change SKOB's finishing position in the final table and they will need to take the long route through the finals this time around, starting with a First Semi against Old Scotch next weekend.
NEXT GAME: First Semi Final v Old Scotch - Sunday, 10 Sept, 2:15 - Elsternwick Park
In the early game the Reserves had a big win which was what they needed to do to guarantee finals football. A strong run to finish the season has seen them end up in third spot at the end of the Home and Away season and they will enter the finals with some confidence after recording their sixth win in a row. At the end of Round 12 SKOB were 2 games plus percentage out of the top four and with little chance of making it to the postseason without going on a sustained run home. They have managed to do that and a win in the last round made finals a formality. Again it was on the back of another great goal scoring performance from Zach Ginies who added another 5 goals to his season tally, taking him past the 50 goal mark which is a tremendous effort. Tom Feehan booted 4 as SKOB found lots of avenues to goal including via the boot of long time defender Chris Gleeson who kicked his first major for SKOB since 2014..!!Ethan Bowden played a great game for the Ressies after tasting Senior action recently. As mentioned, Tom Feehan was good up forward, whilst solid contributions came from new dog owner Angus Hart, Liam Mahoney, Charlie Bryan and James Jaensch.
NEXT GAME: First Semi Final v Old Melburnians - Saturday, 9 Sept, 11:45 - Elsternwick Park
Saints Gold will need repechage
On Sunday the Saints trekked out to Coburg to take on Kew in the Second Semi Final in Premier Women's. With a spot in the Grand Final at stake the pressure gauge was set to high as scoring came at a premium with neither side able to make any headway on the scoreboard in the first half . After the main break the Saints were finally able to get a couple through the big sticks and had their nose in front as the teams hit the huddle for oranges. The heat of battle and the glorious sunshine might have taken a toll on the Saints as Kew were able to draw away in the final quarter leaving SKOB with a few questions to answer if they want to have another crack at their rivals in a fortnight. The beauty of finishing top two is that you do get another chance and the Saints will be looking to atone when they battle Old Scotch in the Prelim. They will also be hoping that history repeats as they were beaten by Kew in the 2022 Second Semi, before progressing through the Prelim Final and defeating Kew a week later in the Grand Final. Best for the Saints were Abi Bloom, Kate Stanton, Maggie Mcdonough, Charity Russell, Emily Condon and Elysia Burvill
NEXT GAME: Preliminary Final v Old Scotch - Sunday, 10 Sept, 9:30 - Elsternwick Park
Premier 19's sharpen up for September
The Premier 19's rounded out the H&A season with a solid win at Camberwell against Old Scotch.
Having sealed top spot last weekend SKOB had the luxury of going into the round knowing they couldn't be shifted but after finding themselves behind and in a tight battle at half time they lifted in the third before pulling right away in the final quarter to close out with a 9 goal to zero second half and a 52 point win in the book. Five multiple goalkickers gave them plenty of forward options and the solid team performance would have pleased the coaching staff as they prep for a massive second semi final against fierce rival Old Xavs next week. Best for SKOB were Zach Dowd, Jasper Conquest, William Blyth, George Delimitrou, Flynn Clark and Henry James.
NEXT GAME: Second Semi Final v Old Xavs - Saturday, 9 Sept, 2:00 - TH King
At the start of July the Div 2 Under 19's had a very tough day out at Old Camberwell where they were whacked to the tune of 150+ points. Fast forward 2 months and SKOB were up against the same opponent, but with 14 changes from that earlier encounter they totally flipped the script to come away with a fantastic five goal win - recovering from a 6 goals to 2 opening half deficit and boot 10 goals to one in the second half to take the points against the finals bound Old Camberwell. It was a great way to finish the season with Nick Dynan (5 goals) starring for SKOB and ably assisted by Liam Hepburn, Angus Kerr, Max Demathieu, Alex Smith and Riley Spagnol in a superb team effort.
Finally, the Div 4's closed out their season with a loss to Old Paradians at Bundoora. It's been a great learning experience for players and coaches alike in the Div 4's, but as has been reported frequently, they have remained competitive throughout the season despite coming up against bigger and better equipped teams most weeks. They finished with two wins on the trot before Saturday and will take plenty of confidence heading into summer and a big pre-season in 2024. For the cousin coaching combo, the best were Nelson Conwell, Pat Shaw, Noah Pearce, Max Timlock, Nick Noonan and Sebastien Salom
Grand Final Lunch - BOOK NOW
Book now for the Grand Final Luncheon at Kooyong on Friday 22 Sept. It's always a huge event and this year is no exception. Reserve your spot at the table now.