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The tight finish is back in vogue

It's a case of what's old is new again after just one week's exception as SKOB Seniors served up yet another nail-biter - prevailing over Old Xavs by 6 points in a thriller at Toorak Park. The Seniors again tested the fingernails of fans as they went toe to toe all day with their old rival, finding themselves with their noses in front by a single goal at the finish to shore up second spot on the table. Earlier the Reserves found they were no match for ladder leading Xavs - going down by 42 but hanging on to 2nd for now. The Academy had a shock loss to St Bernard's on a crazy day that saw the top four teams in the comp lose to the bottom four. The Saints kept marching in with the Gold team crunching Kew at Kew on the back of half a dozen from Sarah "Sharpshooter" Cameron, and the Greens grinding out a great win, coming from behind at the final change to claim the points. The Blues had their winning run halted by ladder leading Kew, but were courageous all day against a team that whipped them earlier in the season. Over at the King the 19s Premier were up against ladder leaders Old Brighton and battled manfully but just couldn't overcome the slick side from bayside. It was better news for our Div 2’s and 4’s both claiming overdue wins after some decent but luckless form over the past few weeks. The Stingers had a practice hit out on Saturday morning as the club registered 5 wins from 9.

Toorak 'n back with four points bagged

If there’s one thing synonymous with SKOB Seniors this year, it’s been close finishes, and Saturday at Toorak Park was no different. Having endured 4 games in a row decided by 2 goals or less, fans were given a bit more breathing space last week when SKOB prevailed by over 50 points. It was back to business as usual against Old Xavs when the margin barely got beyond twin strikes for either side in a see saw encounter that had a finals feel even though we are still in June

The home team were first to break away scoring two majors and holding SKOB at bay until late in the term when Liam “Son of a” Gunson booted the first for the visitors to reduce the margin to 5 at quarter time. Both teams were defending hard and goals were at a premium despite being on a day where wind was no factor and the pitch was prepared perfectly. Xavs extended out again to start the second, but SKOB then lifted their rating and began to reel in control and momentum in the game. Kerr booted back to back majors, and although Xavs managed one in return, SKOB finally got reward for their efforts right on the half time bell when an Al Richards snag made it even-Stevens as players hit the temporary’s and fans made their way to the Orrong for half time conviviality.

The healthy crowd began to swell after the main break as word got out that we had a close one, and although Toorak Park is mostly under construction there was enough room at both ends and around the pickets for supporters from both teams to offer encouragement, which seemed to grow louder, perhaps as a result of the aforementioned convivials. Having not enjoyed an outright lead until midway through the third, SKOB now looked to extend their hosts scoring through Kerr again and then Pfeiffer to establish a significant break in the context of the afternoon. Xavs scored one from the boundary and it looked like 6 points might be the margin at the last change until Sam Tucker gave a great chase down tackle, was awarded with the free, and calmly slotted one from the paint of 45 as the bell rang and huddles were hit for the final time.

The last term was classic ding dong stuff with the ball pinging back and forth and no quarter given from either side. SKOB had a two goal cushion and looked to have control of the contest, although Xavs again found a way through the visitors defence to make it 6 points only for Pat Kerr to step up again and snag one from a tight angle after a strong mark. The attendants in the scoreboard got a little generous and added a couple of behinds to make the margin 16 points instead of 14, which didn’t seem to get a lot of notice at the time. SKOB held the advantage into time on when Xavs managed one back with SKOB a chance to reply immediately but the shot went just wide. As the clock ticked down with the scoreboard showing an 8 point buffer the siren rang as Xavs kicked into attack and full time was called. Once the goal umps conferred in the middle and shaved 2 points off the scoreboard, the final margin was back to a solitary goal.

Best Players: Liam Gunson, Sam Critchley, Billy Coates, Michael Pisker, Patrick Kerr (4 Goals), Jack Andriske

A very important win for SKOB that consolidates their spot on the ladder with one round to go before a fortnight break in the competition. Next week is the annual game at the school, with the reigning premiers Collegians presenting another massive challenge for Coach Lynch and his team. Tickets for the pre-game lunch are available here. All welcome. Don’t miss it

The game marked number 100 for popular clubman Sam Cameron who celebrated in style.

Sam joined SKOBs in 2017 after a successful football career at SKC where he played alongside current team mates, Michael Pisker, Pat Kerr, Cam Hodges and Lachie Farrugia.

Played U19 football in his first year where he was R/U in the B & F Award.

Was promoted to Seniors in 2018 and was a member of the A Grade Premiership team that year. He became a 2-time Premiership player in 2022 when SKOB defeated Old Brighton in the A Grade Grand Final.


Tough day at Toorak for Twos

Our reserves were blown away early by a slick Old Xavs outfit who put through 5 goals to 2 in the opening term, then booted the next 6 in a row to totally take the game away from SKOB. Coach Clough’s men were much more competitive after that point, but the damage was well and truly done early by the home team who sit clear at the top of the table. SKOB are still in second spot and will look to find a return to form next week before the break. A couple of senior players were returning though the twos and this is encouraging to see - and they will certainly benefit from the run.

Best players: Christian Woolrich, Jack Byrne, Thomas Feehan, Patrick Croagh, Harry Kirkwood, Hamish Reimers

Academy follies

Not a great day for the Academy on their trip out to the SnakePit. Here's our man's report:

"When getting to St Bernard’s was made difficult by the almost complete shutting of the Bolte Bridge the Academy lads should have seen the writing on the wall. At the end of the day getting to the St Bernard’s late would count as one of the highlights of the day – the other being able to leave.

Sitting last on the ladder the Snowdogs lads proved well above that level…and SKOB were never able to get their own game going. The less said about the game the better – scrappy, static, error laiden. Dan Macarthy and Joey Martin as always presented and fought on courageously, despite not getting a lot of favours.

Asked about the day Coach Ollie – an umpiring veteran of nearly 200 VAFA games, including A grade GFs – played straight’ish bat, ‘I think we’ve conceded one 50m penalty in 10 games this year. Today we conceded 15. I don’t think our approach to the game changed that much. It's a challenge to work it out…’

The Academy fought hard but ultimately fell 2 points short.

A line was quickly drawn under the result and attention will move forward to this Friday night under lights at Toorak Park for 1 v 2 blockbuster against Old Xavs. All are welcome and encouraged to get down and support."

BEST: Joey Martin, Daniel McCarthy, Charlie Pammer, Joshua Bedier, Mamuch Chuol, Daniel Gambell

The Stingers had another bye and remain in third spot on the table

Bears bear brunt

There was a triple treat on offer at Victoria Park in Kew with the SKOB Saints taking on the Kew Bears in three games - which all turned out to be high quality affairs. The Gold team flexed their muscles in a powerful display against a perennial finalist team that were unable to keep pace with the dynamic Saints. The first quarter was tight with Kew opening their account before a pair of goals to Sarah Cameron gave the early advantage to SKOB. In the second term the Saints consolidated their lead, keeping Kew scoreless as they added another couple of goals to hold a handy buffer at the main break. The third quarter was the Cameron show as the Saints’ Sharpshooter doubled her half time tally of three goals to make it an even six before the jelly snakes at 3/4 time had even made it out of the bag.

SKOB were electrifying with their ball movement and their efficiency inside their forward half. Registering another six scoring shots to one, SKOB had it in the bag by the time the teams turned for home. Kate Stanton putting the icing on a delicious cake with back to back goals in the last quarter - the second of which was a clever banana snap after beautifully roving the pack - and SKOB ran out 45 point winners to keep their winning streak going and holding top spot from Scotch who won again to keep the heat on at the top.

The Rolls Royce Jessica Joyce was best afield for the Saints with Sarah Cameron (6 goals), Holly Kenealy, Lauren Suleiman, Maggie McDonough and Scarlett Dunell all shining in a great team effort.

Streak ends at six for Blues - but not without a fight

The Saints Blues streak has been halted by table topping Kew. Coach Strauss’s team gave there all in the tightest of tight encounters with the Bears. There really was nothing in it all day, and the Saints showed a huge improvement on their earlier season outing against Kew. The result shows that there’s still a bit of work to do but the Blues are playing tremendous football and will take plenty out of the game - if not the four points.

Poppy Somerville was adjudged best for SKOB, ably supported by Lucy Kehoe, Rachael Wilson, Eliza Doble, Alex Bland and Michaela Weinstein

Green Machine reign supreme

The Green Machine came from a 3/4 time deficit to finish with a flurry, overrunning Kew and claiming four vital points to keep them atop the tree. It was a fabulous come from behind win as the dreamers were up against it when the final term began. They were kicking to the favoured end in the last and with a healthy crowd cheering them on, the Saints were able to get the job done over a very strong opponent.

Best for the dreamers were: Lauren Barnes, Kate Shannon, Charley Lupson, Molly Harrington, Cara Davies and Lucy Leckey

Gallant young SKOBs just fall short in Premier

Facing the ladder leading Old Brighton was always going to be a tough ask for the SKOB U19 Premier team, and with a few away they found able call ups from the school. The Premier lads were boosted by the presence of a couple of players with Senior experience and they took the game right up to the talented Old Brighton outfit, ultimately falling short by 26 points in a game of high quality. Best for SKOB were Liam Hepburn, Patrick Moore, Benjamin Palmer, Oliver Garlick, Oscar White and George Delimitrou. Earlier the U19 Div 2's had to come from behind against Old Trinity to eventually run out winners by 15 points in a hard fought game. The T's stormed out of the blocks and had the better of the going in the first term before SKOB were able to level things up as the teams headed for the sheds. It stayed goal for goal throughout the tight third term, then SKOB lifted a gear in the last to claim the points and earn a much deserved win. Boosted by some players up from the school - including a few with familiar SKOB names on debut - it was a great win for Coach Jacko and Krushers boys.

Best players for SKOB were Lucas May, Matthew Redenbach, Fred Noble, Archie Dollman, Alexander Smith and Jordie Mcelhone

Finally the Div 4's broke through for just their second win of the season - and their second against MHSOB - in an entertaining game at the High School. It was another very even contest for most of the afternoon with all the players enjoying the prime time 2pm scheduling of this match. Our man at the ground mentioned that the SKOB boys withstood the challenge from the home team - especially in the third term when MHSOB drew level - and finished off well - getting to sing the song in the room after the game was just reward.

Best for SKOB in a great team effort were: Will Hearn, Joel McMahen, Matisse Kerr, Charles Wilhelm, Dante Pettinella and Luca Kotis

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