Updated: 5 days ago
It’s a fifth Grand Final in a row for SKOB as their Seniors won through after a massive 9 goal final term put a punctuation mark on a courageous performance where they overcame multiple setbacks before and during the game to outpoint Uni Blues at Elsternwick Park on Saturday.
SKOB came into the game with 2 late changes overnight as Cal Matheson and then Sam Cameron withdrew before another late dramatic change when Tom Jok pulled out after the warmup and Liam Gunson sitting in the stands gulping down a Dim Sim, was given a Nick Duigan call up to quickly change and join the 22. With the Reserves all having played four quarters in the heat, young Gunson (who had trained with the U19s in the morning) was the most logical choice to replace Jok.
SKOB kicked into the breeze in the first term and had the early ascendancy thanks to a Harry Wardlaw goal, but Uni Blues were able to work into the game and started to get on top - booting the next three of the quarter. SKOB had a further setback when veteran Phil Edgar went down with a soft tissue injury and was out for the remainder of the game.
In the second quarter it was SKOBs turn with the breeze but alas their kicking was astray as opportunity after opportunity was squandered in front of the big sticks. Despite keeping Uni Blues scoreless in the term, SKOB could only manage 1.7 from countless inside 50s and at the main break scores were all tied up.
The early spring heat was sapping a lot of energy, but SKOB knew that if they fought hard through the third quarter they would be able to set sail on the breeze in the last. They went to work, hunting in packs and strangling the Uni Blues who were making no inroads on the scoreboard. Digging deep, SKOB were able to match the Blues in scoring and turned for home with the ledger tied again - this time at 29 points apiece. It seemed as if the dam wall was about to break and after some inspiration from coach Lynch at the huddle that’s exactly what transpired.
Two quick goals to start the quarter gave SKOB - and their fans on the hill - some breathing space. After a spell of end to end football, the reigning premiers stepped on the gas and booted home another 7 goals to 2 to run out convincing winners in the finish. No less than 10 players were able to hit the scoreboard with goals for St Kevins, giving them multiple avenues to goal as the load was shared. There were many great performances across the board - none more so than Mitch Wallis, Sam Tucker, Luke Winter, Sam Critchley, Bill Coates and Cal Jones. Next week is the big one and SKOB are there again. They’ll look to turn the tables on Collegians who have had the better of them twice this year, but on Elsternwick Park where they are unbeaten in four games in 2023 they will have plenty of confidence.
University Blues 3.3-21 3.3-21 4.5-29 6.7-43
St Kevins 1.2-8 2.9-21 3.11-29 12.16-88
NEXT GAME: GRAND FINAL vs Collegians - Sunday 2:30pm at Elsternwick Park
NB: SKOB Under 19s GRAND FINAL vs Old Xaverians - Sunday 9:00am at Elsternwick Park
Earlier in the day our Reserves were defeated by Old Scotch who were too good on the day. A great debut season for Coach Andy Clough and his team and for all the players who put in a sustained and courageous run to make the finals - they should be very proud of their efforts this year.
Old Scotch 0.5-5 4.6-30 8.8-56 10.10-70
St Kevins 0.1-1 5.4-34 5.8-38 6.13-49
Goal Kickers:T. Feehan 2, N. Sing, N. French, A. McQuie, V. Stevancevic
Best Players:C. Gleeson, J. Jaensch, T. Feehan, A. McQuie, V. Stevancevic, C. Woolrich