Updated: Jun 3, 2018
St.Kevin's Old Boys retained the Molan Cup after defeating De La Salle at TH King in an enthralling Premier Division encounter at TH King oval this afternoon. Under sunny skies on the VAFA Indigenous Round weekend, the match was played with great spirit between these two neighboring clubs from the leafy inner east with St. Kevin's just proving the better over the stretch.
In the first quarter SKOB were kicking to the Pavilion end and although they had the lions share of the play, were very wasteful going forward. In good conditions with a slight breeze at their backs, the kicking for goal was frustratingly poor by SKOB. A return of only 1.6 for the quarter was not what the coaching staff were looking for, and although they kept the visitors to a score of just 2 behinds, the 10 point lead that they enjoyed at the break really could have been a lot more. The question was would this profligacy in front of the sticks come back to bite them later on.
De La Salle lifted their work rate in the second term and they were getting reward for their efforts. They started to win more of the clearances and were getting plenty of inside 50s from which they had a better conversion rate than SKOB had in the first quarter. The home team still were able to earn plenty of chances again in this term but alas the kicking for goal was not improving. A couple of early misses were finally addressed by Mitch Brown who kicked truly at the 20 minute mark to put SKOB back in front after De La had briefly taken the lead following back to back goals.Shortly afterwards Shane Kennedy was on the end of some hard work from 100 gamer Billy Kanakis and kicked a follow up goal to steady for SKOB. That goal was followed by another from Cameron Hodges and at half time SKOB led by 19.
After a reminder from the coaches at half time of the importance of taking their chances St.Kevins flew out of the blocks to start the second half and within a couple of minutes had booted 2 quick goals to extend the lead out to 31 points. Things were looking ominous for the visitors but they quickly responded with two of their own and a shoot out was in the offing. The next ten minutes of play saw more of an arm wrestle with once again SKOB spurning a number of chances in front of the big sticks and keeping De La in the contest. A goal finally came and was followed by another to put SKOB out by 34 points although De La were able to peg one back before the siren went for 3/4 time.
Despite a 27 point lead at the final break there was still plenty left in this contest. Once again it was SKOB with a lot of the early play but nothing to show for it as they just couldn't find a way to score a major and finally shut the gate. De La Salle are renowned for fighting all the way to the finish and at the 8 minute mark they put together back to back goals to reduce the margin to under 3 goals. Like the third term the middle period of the quarter again was arm wrestle stuff as neither side could strike the next blow. Finally it was SKOB through Man of the Match Gerard Gleeson who put through a crucial goal at the 18 minute mark to give the home team enough space between themselves and their gallant opposition and were able to get another vital win.
Billy Kanakis had another day out in front of the goals to celebrate game number 100 with 4 majors of his own and was a critical point of difference in the SKOB arsenal. Sam Critchley was solid all day again in defense whilst Mitch Brown continued his stellar run of form.
St Kevins OB 11.17.83
De La Salle OC 8.7.55
Goal Kickers: B. Kanakis 4, S. Kennedy 2, M. Brown, C. Hodges, N. Reeves, L. Sullivan, G. Gleeson Best Players: G. Gleeson, M. Brown, S. Cameron, L. Sullivan, C. Hodges, B. Kanakis