The Saints have three full sides competing in 2021 and anyone interested in joining is welcome to attend training to get a head start for the year.
Training will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays
“Fantastic to see so many new players down at the club. The passion for the game and the enthusiasm of wanting to learn has been a real credit to all the girls.”
- Coach Tom Purcell
Saints Green match report –Semi Final v Melbourne Uni
A glorious winter day greeted the Saints Green as they enthusiastically arrived at the picturesque University of Melbourne oval for their semi-final. The picket fences, the surrounding architecture has this scribe thinking maybe it was time to reach for the broomstick and start a quidditch tournament. For a 1st of August Day, and happy birthday to our equine friends, conditions were more spring like, although on inspecting the ground a layer of surface water was a nice reminder its still winter folks. Entering into the impressive doomsday /COVID-19 bunker that also doubles as the changerooms at this pristine ground, the energy, green energy that is, was high; DJ HAUS PARTY HOWARD had the tunes pumping, the green, blue and gold ribbons were proudly being affixed to pony tails and Captain Lupson was leading by example dying her green; although being colour blind, Charley’s hair was Pantone 19-1850 rather than the desired 362; either way a style sure to attract attention from umpires.
A one way ticket to the Grand Final was on offer for the winner of the contest, and right from the opening bounce the Saints Green showed they were keen to collect their boarding pass to Elsternwick Park. The Saints Green dominated the first phase of the match – Kehoe, Minahan, Augustus and Caroline Straford all featured prominently. Fiorentini was showing the wings that 500cc of Red Bull gives you as she tackled hard, Robinson collected the ball on half back – sprinting forward, her bright red boots scorching the ground as she moved. Despite the Saints dominance, Melbourne University opened the scoring kicking a behind – soon followed by a goal as the score line failed to reflect the dominance from the Green Machine. Jones was a welcome returning player, her tackling was textbook and she was rewarded with a free kick on the far wing sending the ball into the forward line, with the Saints looking ominous – the siren for quarter time sounded; Saints Green 0.0-0 v Melbourne University 1.1-7
During the quarter time break, Statler and Waldorf reminded the Saints Green of the importance of football basics – stick to tackling, shepparding, supporting teammates and moving the ball forward. Doble started the quarter with serious vigour, imposing herself on multiple contests from her wing position. Minahan was influencing the clearances with her ruck work – Murray a frequent beneficiary used the ball well as the Saints pressed forward. Lupson was impressing the umpires with her dashing hair do – Kehoe was winning the football and breaking tackles. The forward pressure from the Saints was immense, and a quick kick from Fionetini resulted in the first score for the day – a behind, The Green Machine much like the Holden Carr was revving along nicely. The resulting kick in by Melbourne University went to a contest where Mauri was able to pressure and win the ball, Robinson who had barely stopped moving arrived quickly in support receiving a handball and kicking deep into the forward line for Straford, C to collect and kick a wonderful goal. The Greens were really up and about now, the teamwork continued as handball link up was exceptional – even a rare handball by Augustes caught Coach Lewis by surprise. The teamwork was matched by tackling efforts of all the greens; with the next forward entry a long kick from Straford, A; found Augutes, who marked strongly near goals and was able kick the Saints second major. Melbourne University are a strong team – and sprung into attack, Condon was having none of this, repelling the opposition foray forward and handballing to a running Howard, M; Deng Lowe and Atkin also proved unpassable in defence, despite the pressure from the opposition.
Half time Saints Green 2.1-13 v Melbourne University 1.1-7.
Emerging from the half time bunker full of sugar and vitamin C; the Green Machine was ready to go! Kehoe wanted to make sure the team defence was ready for anything as Lucy accidently kicked the wrong way from the opening third quarter bounce, thankfully Lewis and Holden were suitably ready to deal with challenge. Murray pieced together a brilliant induvial effort to move the ball from the half back to the half forward – combining off the ground kicks, speed, one handed pick up and evasiveness. Atkin proved she was listening to the coaches as Ruby laid some impressive sheppererds for team mates. The link up work from Holden to Condon to Strafford C, was given the Bertocchi play of the day by Tim Straford – I am sure the girls are looking forward to their prized ham. Robinson continued to burrow in at every stoppage possible extracting the football and handing Jones, Howard, M, Lupson and Co. Atkin continued her higher work rate, winning a free kick and finding Mauri who was having a wonderful game in the forward line, Eleanor in turn found Straford, Alice in a handy position in the forward line – Alice’s kick narrowly missed, the resulting point may prove to be important. Howard, Bridie, showed she wasn’t just a ripping DJ, but also a forward pressure specialist as she worked hard to keep the ball close to the Saints goal; the Saints Green endeavour was seeing them win the football across the ground, another dominant quarter by the greens, three quarter time Saints Green 2.2-14 v Melbourne University 1.1-7
Carr exited the garage of the three quarter time huddle straight into winning the ruck contest, Jones and Lupson continued their brilliant roving. Deng was continuing her power game from defence, Stephenson, Pip was moved on to the ball and immediately had a positive impact, The Howard Sisters were impressing the coaches with their footy smarts and Augustes continued to be forward threat and presence. Murray was proving reliable wherever she played, Atkin passed to Straford, A who was a solid contributor forward of the ball, Reis was next in the chain of possessions, as Sophie shaked and baked her way out of trouble. Doble’s work rate continued, her Ventolin puffa getting a workout as Eliza made her way to the bench. With the game nearing the end, Melbourne University pressed hard looking for a goal, Howard, Molly worked her way into the danger spots to negate any threat from Melbourne University, Stepheson, Bella was having a game full of leadership and experience down back. The efforts across the ground to stop our opposition as they pressed included a great smother from Straford C and a series of repeat tackles by Mauri who won the ball despite being outnumbered and out sized in the contest; even giving off a handball to a speedy Robinson who legitimately had not stopped running the entire match. Final Siren sounded – the Greens were through to the Grand Final in their first season – what an effort. Saints Green 2.2-14 v Melbourne University 1.1-7.
The Song was belted out with serious gusto, not just by the players on the day, but the whole squad who were also in attendance, dog walking, a loud and proud rendition of ‘Oh When the Saints’ echoed throughout the doomsday bunker – the coaches, team manager, trainer and even club President beaming with joy for the achievements of the Greens. The players told to enjoy their win, celebrate their success – and be ready for another challenge on the horizon – well done Green Machine, your best is the best in the competition, and we fear no one!!!
GOALS: Straford, C. Augustes
BEST: Lupson, Condon, Deng, Doble, Robinson, Mauri – and all the team receiving a Grill’d voucher for their incredible team performance – Thanks to club sponsor Grill’d Camberwell and Tim Straford for organising.
Saints Blue v Kew - at Kew
On a cool and breezy winters morning the blues took to the loft Kew heights to play the first game of the season at what seemed like base camp. Luckily though the Kew rooms were smaller than a shoe box which meant we were all huddled up like a bunch of penguins ready for the march out into the wild yonder to find our days feed of footy and goals.
As the teams lined up for the first bounce it looked like the Kew line up had grown in height and stature since the last game we played against them and there was an air of anticipation on the bench on how much they may have also improved. Not to worry as what was about to unfold was one of the most special quarters of footy anyone was to witness. As soon as the first bounce was over it started to rain forward entries with the midfield of McDonough, S. Viti and Baker all pouncing on the footy at any given chance and providing the forwards with lace out passes that immediately made the opposition question as to why they even turned up. This brought Lupson into the game and when she wasn’t hitting the scoreboard, she made sure that Pattison and Thurman had the ball in their hands, with Thurman finding so much of the footy and kicking four first quarter goals. On the sidelines everyone was sure that she was going to have an acute case of leather poisoning and might need to quarantine herself from the rest of the team.
With Kew finding a late goal on the siren in the first quarter the coaches focus at the break address was on defence and no more goals as DJ was very worried about losing percentage.
After such a huge first quarter the Saints took a bit more to get going in the second and Kew were pressing after their late goal. With the task at hand the defence of Bland, Betts and Sullivan locked Kew down and repelled everything came their way. This provided great link up play with through the middle of the ground with K. Viti, McBeth Japhcott and Merigan all providing plenty of run and carry which brought the game back onto the Saints terms. As more goals started to flow through Russell, Nolan and Baker surging forward to hit the scoreboard as well. This provided the Saints a handy ten goal lead at half time and providing lots of high fives in the change rooms at the main break.
With talk of hitting the ton on the scoreboard finally this week echoing through the change rooms prior to heading out the team where again reminded of defensive efforts as Kew snagged another junk time goal before halftime. This was all the incentive needed with the midfield providing plenty of attack on the footy with some strong work from Contaxis, Fone and Howard all providing great attacking movement of the ball into the forward line which had Vergano and Mounas running loops around the opposition and giving the Kew backs a big headache. Even though Kew pushed hard to get the ball back into the forward half every attempt was repelled with plenty of run of halfback with Langton, Jacka and Straford building a wall that would have stopped the great escape. The quarter saw the four goals sail through for the Saints and only one solitary point for Kew which pleased the coaches no end.
With ton now firmly already on the board the focus was on how far we could extend the lead and get everyone in on the goal scoring action. With a few switch ups on the board at the last break saw Russell playing out of full forward and crashing through the pack every time she was near the ball. With the opposition battered and bruised she managed to snag a few last quarter goals. With the runoff halfback provided by the defence all day saw many finishing the game with more mud on them than was left on the ground. None where more covered in mud than Croagh who looked like she had been rolled through the quagmire that was the centre of the ground. This didn’t seem to slow her down any as she finished the game full of running this could be either her fitness or just to keep warm from the cold mud pack she was sporting!
In the wash up we had Pattison finish with 8 magnificent goals, Thurman with 5 sausage rolls, Baker, Lupson and Russell all finishing with a double and Nolan with one on the board as well. It was great all-round team performance with many playing in positions that they normally don’t play and get experience and build skills and game craft. Everyone should be proud of the massive effort to break the ton a result that should be well celebrated and deserved for the group that has been pushing to crack it for a while now.
Saints Green v Monash Blues - at TH King
After travelling around the leafy suburbs, out Clayton and multiple trips to the trendy inner north of Melbourne; the Greens were finally home, at The King; their travelling gypsy days were on hold for a week as the Greens settled into comfy change rooms of TH King. The earlier matches had been somewhat dour affairs, both resulting in losses to SKOB, the pressure was on for the Saints Green to restore home ground pride. It was obvious that a few Greens had been enjoying newly opened Mr Deeds a bit on Friday night, with a few green faces and with a hickey spotted – some greens were in for a tough first quarter. The Greens also welcomed Chloe Betts for her first game of AFL; Chloe completing the trifecta of Betts for the Saints – gamble responsibly ladies.
Captain Lupson lead the Greens on the field, greeted by a feeble attempt of a guard of honour by the u/19 boys team – something to work on boys; the noticeable and sizable mud patch in the middle of the ground was not having the same appeal as skin treatment down on the Peninsula darling; many Greens already determined to avoid the area. The Saints Green dominated the first five minutes of the game, peppering the goals for little reward as the behinds piled up; it was obvious however that this was a much-improved Monash team. Slattery was enjoying her midfield time, Condon was showing impressive signs down back reading the play brilliantly; and with the next forward entry McIntosh found herself in the goal square all alone and with the ball right in front of her, whilst a simple kick off the ground would have sufficed, Tess swung her boot like a Viking doing the Can-Can; missing everything! Tess’s blushes were short lived though as she collected the ball from the ground and snapped truly for the Saints first. Straford was enjoying her time in the midfield, racking up multiple possessions; Kehoe kicked to Augustus who quickly kicked on to Howard; Bridie knows where the big sticks are and converted for the Saints second major. Robinson was a welcome returning Saint for the Greens; her long kick forward found fellow baker Reis (get around them on Instagram @sugarbiscuitsbymaddy and @cakes.by.soph), and ‘Sharpshooter Sophie’ was able to add to the Greens goal tally. Monash had lifted and moved the ball forward; Francis; who is loving her time in defence for the Saints – collected the bouncing football between her legs; an act more akin to a circus sideshow, but hey – it works; Deng received the hand ball from Katie, with Sunnie kicking to Murray – another who had started well; siren sounded for quarter time; Saints Green 3.5-23 v Monash 0.0-0.
With the first ball up of the second quarter, Minahan continued her ruck masterclass; once again hitting into the path of a Saint, Straford the recipient this time as the ball flew into the forward fifty for the Greens. A resulting stoppage was nicely placed for the Saints; 40 or so metres out, 45-degree angle. With the ball thrown up, Minahan knocked it to a flying Lupson, Charley showing the speed of an ambulance chasing barrister collected the ball, shrugged off two would be tacklers and charged into kick a sensational goal of AFLW standard. Her lack of celebration was disappointing and cited by coaches, Lupson has chosen to defend herself at an upcoming hearing. As the match continued, so too did the exemplar teamwork by the Greens; from the backline the ball moved seamlessly from Condon to Deng to Kehoe and then Straford marked strongly in a pack, completing a wonderful sequence; Prosecco Football indeed Coach Lewis! Betts was proving a worthy ruck option in the forward line, speedy Fiorentini was enjoying the forward flank, Murray continued to read the play well and deliver to teammates; on the bench Schache showed the excitement and energy to play that the coaches love to see and hear, as Alex squealed with delight as she returned to the field. Holden had warmed her engines nicely and was starting to have a serious impact on the game, Carr was out of the garage and into the ruck – offering valuable insight to the coaches; ‘It’s easier when you open your eyes’; it sure is Emily, it sure is. Deng was clearly not afraid of the mud as she charged through the thick black muck to collect the ball – others waiting of the edge of the mud hoping she would retrieve the ball so the game could continue. Minahan returned to the ruck and knocked to Robinson whose kick forward created a goal line mallee; Scottish Viking McIntosh grabbing the ball, but unable to shake off the multiple Monash Blues players who piled on top of her desperately trying to stop a goal.
Half Time: Saints Green 4.7-31 v Monash 0.0-0.
Following the Vitamin C injection through orange quarters and a sugar hit from the lollies – no sand this week, although a very disgusting unknown flavour saw coach Morley nearly vomit into a nearby bin; it was back to the game. Deng continued her solid form, like a rally car, Holden went sliding through the mud - the collected muck adding 10kg to her jumper; as well as free dinner for being the muddiest player, well done Gen!! Hayes took a strong mark down back, and Lupson had lifted her work rate; with Carr putting on a show room of ruck work. Mauri who had worked hard all game, kicked strongly forward, with Goals Augustes collecting the ball and kicking her first for the day. Schache demonstrated huge work rate in the forward line, her repeat second and third efforts appreciated by the gathering crowd. McIntosh collected the ball in the forward line, and instantly attracted 6 opposition players; Monash now very aware of the Scottish Viking. Condon continued to take intercept marks on the back line, Hayes and Deng were part of a series of link up plays; with Atkin looking to return to the field, Coach Lewis instructed her to complete the 1500m in the remaining 2 minutes of play; Ruby managing an impressive 1200m in that time according to her Garmin fit bit. Three Quarter time: Saints Green 5.7-37 v Monash 0.0-0.
The start of the last quarter saw the sun slowly disappear and a cold chill crawl across the TH King surface; unperturbed by the lowering temp. Prosecco Football from Condon, Straford, Augustus and Reis as they were involved in a link up series that warmed the coach’s hearts, sadly not their cold little toes. Kehoe continued to collect the football with ease, clearly enjoying the parental support on hand; Deng provided a great handball to Atkin who was on track to beat the four-minute mile. Robinson ran to bench with quality Cabernet Sauvignon pouring from her nose; Derick or was it Kei on hand to stem the bleeding. Straford moved the ball to Betts; the trifecta marked strongly; her kick on goal narrowly missed, but some exciting football lays ahead of the Trifecta – play the game not the odds. On a resulting forward entry, Howard marked on a tight angle; and neatly snapped the ball through the big sticks for her second of the day. Holden and Mauri continued to show good teamwork and a patched up Robinson was back on the ground; again putting her head where it shouldn’t be, as she smothered beautifully. Hayes opened a tackling clinic on the far wing, with multiple Monash players experiencing textbook tackles from Lucy. Condon ran to the bench dispensing quality 2002 Claret from her thigh and elbow; Kai again called into action. Monash surged forward in hope of their first score for the match, with the Monash player running on the outside of the mud, Hayes was forced to run through the thick black muck – displaying a movement that included twinkle toes and spirit fingers; part of Lucy’s desperate attempt to avoid mud splash back – Deng and Holden were able to help corral the runaway Monash player. As the ball found its way back into the Saints forward 50; Stephenson collected wonderfully, ran past several opponents, turned, and snapped for another possible point of the year. With time running out, Howard sensed a chance for a third goal, flattening her opponent as she chased a ball; ultimately the boundary line and then the siren beat Bridie. Full time Saints Green 6.13-49 v Monash 0.0-0
A wonderful performance from the Saints Green, the improvement from Monash was obvious, the Green Machine rolls on – the link up play, the releasing handball and run from behind are great to see from this highly talented team.
Goals: Howard 2, Augustes, Lupson, McIntosh, Reis
Best: Lupson, Murray, Straford, Condon, Deng, Atkin
Saints Blue v Old Xavs - at Old Rigret
After the end of Lockdown 4,028 (ok I may be exaggerating a little), it was time to resume the season with the Blues hosting Old Xavs at home.
We were greeted with a beautiful morning and a boggy centre but everyone was excited about getting back on the field. There was also a significant milestone being achieved today – Claudia ‘Sully’ Sullivan, one of the icons of the SKOB community (and one of the original gangsters) was playing her 50th game.
In the pregame speech, Coach Kaz paid special tribute to Sully as one of the original Saints who always bought positivity, great energy and fun to the game. Not to mention being the loudest on the footy field. We also welcomed Foxy to the team and we looked forward to seeing the “Fox on the Run”.
After the last game against OX, we knew they would come out fighting despite their injury list almost being as long as a team sheet. Contaxis continued here dominance in the ruck and gave the midfield of Fone, S Viti and C McDonough first use of the footy. The Saints had a few unsuccessful shots on goal and eventually Cropley found herself in front of the sticks and converted. Playing off the back pocket – McBeth-Japhcott mesmerized the players around her, dodged 2 tackles and delivered the ball in to the forward 50. The ball ended up in the hands of Wedgewood who slotted through a beautiful long-range goal. Russell found herself playing CH forward and not long after also found herself in front of the big sticks and converted. Mounas was running hard and despite having 2 goal assists in the first; had yet to open her account for the Saints. Nolan was also having a blinder of a first quarter but also missed an opportunity to further increase the lead.
In the final minute of the quarter, Vergano popped up and slotted one through.
Quarter Time SKOB 4-5-29 to OX 0-0-0
The second term started in the same vain as the first. K Viti and Jacka were tackling hard in the midfield and stifled Old Xavs running game. On the rare occasions that the ball made its way to the OXs forward 50, Croagh, Bland and Langton put the pressure on. Standing on the mark, Merigan smothered the ball, and the resulting passage of play saw Thurman slot her first goal of the afternoon. Fox was definitely on the run and was running hard across the wing and creating pressure in the mid field. Some clever stoppage work from Wedgewood resulted in a kick to Pattison who missed to the left. Not long after the kickout, Cropley took possession in the pocket and rather than pull out her trade mark kick for goal, unselfishly passed it to Russell who slotted it for her second of the afternoon
Fox continued her run and Russell was unlucky not to have 3 to her name but missed to the right. At the next centre bounce C McDonough cleared the ball to Fox who delivered beautifully to Pattison who kicked her first for the day. The next forward play resulted from a Contaxis tap to the mids where K Viti took it on the wing and delivered it to Pattison who kicked after the siren and slotted it though for her second.
Half Time SKOB 8-9-57 Old Xav 0-0-0
After loading up on snakes and Gatorade and a rev up from the coaches, it was time to get back out there for the 2nd half. We knew Old Xavs would throw some changes at us and we weren’t wrong. The Blues started strongly with K Viti working hard to get in front of her player for a strong intercept mark that propelled the Blues in to attack again. Cropley took her trademark shot from the pocket but hit the post. The resultant kick from full back ended up in the hands of Bland who was taking the game on and running through the middle from CH Back. Bland passed to C Mc Donough who handballed to the running K Viti who booted it long to Fox who was again on the run but lost het footing. The ball ended up in the hands of Vergano who slotted it through for the Blues only goal that quarter. Sullivan and R Betts continued to work together and propel anything that happened to find its way to the backline.
Old Xavs managed to stem the goal kicking of the Blues to only 1 goal that quarter but back six played an equally impressive role and continue to prevent any score being posted for the opposition.
3Qtr Time SKOB 9-14-68 Old Xav 0-0-0
The final quarter saw the dominance of the Blues return and Sullivan was moved from the backline to the forward line to see if she could sneak a goal in her milestone game. The Blues dominated the play with Fone and McBeth-Japhcott combining to deliver the ball to Pattison with the resultant kick dropping short. The kick out ended in a mark to Cropley who again unselfishly passed it to Pattison who wasn’t going to make the same mistake twice and slotted it through for her third. Back in the centre, Croagh was awarded a free kick and the overlapping run and carry from McBeth-Japhcott to C McDonough ended up in in the safe hands of Pattison who kicked truly for her fourth. Was this the day that the 4-goal hoodoo would be broken??
It wasn’t long before the Sherrin was back in her hands after a beautiful smother from Merigan and strong tackling from Fone. Mounas who still hadn’t managed to open her account for the Blues but did manage to run 6km during the game, passed effortlessly to Pattison who finally broke her four- goal hoodoo and slotted through her fifth.
In the final minutes of the game after the mids had again cleared the ball and delivered it to the forward line, Sullivan laid a strong tackle and was awarded a free kick about 25 metres out from goal. Was this going to be the fairy ending to her 50th game but it was not to be after she kicked in to the player on the mark. The resulting play though saw the ball back in the hands of Pattison who kicked truly and finished with 6, entrenching her at the top of the goal kicking ladder.
It was another dominant performance from the Blues sitting second on the ladder with a percentage of in excess of 800 and the best defensive line in the competition.
It was a great way to celebrate the achievement of such an icon of the club.
Final Score SKOB 13-19-97 Old Xavs 0-0-0
Goal Kickers Pattison 6, Russell 2, Vergano 2, Cropley 1,Thurman 1, Wedgewood 1
Best: Pattison, McDonough, McBeth-Japcott, Russell, K Viti, Fox
Saints Green Match Report v West Brunswick
Heading out to the trendy hipster inner suburbs of Melbourne was once again on the cards for the Saints Green, sadly the normally bustling grounds of West Brunswick were eerily quiet aside from the odd dog walker, as footy returned with a number of COVID restrictions. And the excitement was high and obvious for Saints Green, faces of players featured beaming smiles of excitement and on average about 4kg of bling to be removed pre match.
Lowe had led a positively enthusiastic warm up and headed over to win the toss, with a Kermit quote delivered on the ground – the Saints Green were ready and rearing to go. Fiorentini, a stalwart of defence for seasons at the Saints – headed to her normal defensive position, before being altered to the fact by the coaches that she was required in the forward line – the speed Remi displayed was only bettered later in the day, when a much needed bathroom run caused by a morning coffee, saw Remi break the 10sec 100m time during the second quarter.
Minahan won the hit out, with Straford collecting the ball; a theme that would continue during the day, Alice kicking the ball off the outside of her boot – showing the skill of the famous Straford name at the Saints. The forward pressure was high from the Saints Green; Mauri, Howard and Holden pressed and tackled hard, and soon enough the Green Machine was on the board with a behind. While all the action was going on, there was action as always on the sidelines, and not just the heckling between injured Saints Augustes and McIntosh; Stephenson, Pip; had forgotten her mouthguard and was mixing the thin plastic from the chemist in boiling water before moulding on to the pearly whites – never a dull moment in the Greens. Back to the on field action, Hayes was once again putting on a tackling clinic; and was rewarded – a rare occurrence with the umpires on hand. Francis and Schache were proving themselves to worth additions to the Saints, their pressure and work rate was brilliant across half forward. Following the ongoing forward pressure from the saints, with multiple behinds added to the score – it wasn’t too long before Straford collected the ball and kicked truly for the Saints. Any effort from West Brunswick was pushed back, the leadership of Lowe and Stephenson x 2, down back was proving invaluable; as the game was played in the Saints forward half, any contest outside our forward line was met with a steely determined resistance – the best example was Doble; as Eliza found herself in a 3v1 on the wing – with no right to win the ball, she did just that and handballed to a running Deng; Coach Lewis happy to see Prosecco Football back in action. With the ball moving freely into the forward line, Straford marked strongly; he resulting kick never looked like missing and it was two in a quarter for Alice and the Greens. The Greens energy was high; Atkin and Deng tackled fiercely, Reis so fired up on arriving at the interchange bench, asked to go back on stating; ‘I will end that girl’ – speaking of her annoying opponent; Coaches Morley and Lewis, fearing that Sophie might actually deliver on that promise erred on the side of caution and kept Sophie off until next quarter. A ball up near the middle of the ground saw Carr hit to a flying Condon who kicked forward for Slattery, Darcy showed poise as she converted for a goal; a truly dominant quarter by the Green Machine came to an end. Quarter time Saints Green 3.5-23 v West Brunswick 0.0-0.
As the second quarter started, the wind shifted; blowing significantly towards the Magpies goals; the Greens showed little concern for the forces of nature however as Atkin took a beautiful intercept mark; the resulting kick to Hayes and then Doble had Coach Lewis popping the Prosecco. Ward was once again dominating the wing position, her in and under clearance and handballs were Liberatore esk, Condon started using the ‘Don’t Argue’ move like it was the last day possible for them – dishing them out with reckless abandon, Fiorentini was showing energy that few could match. A period of play saw forward movement through Minahan, Reis, Francis, Howard, Schache, Doble – it was a thing of beauty; but sadly not one left footer amongst them. Cullen’s defensive efforts across half back were inspiring and well applauded by coaches. As the forward pressure piled on, Reiss soccered a clever goal off the ground; although was reprimanded at half time for not enough celebrating; a goal like that needed something more – Coach Morley offering a few helpful examples of over the top celebrating. Hayes continued her fierce tackling and Kehoe took a gutsy mark her dad could only dream of taking. Half time Saints Green 4.6-30 v West Brunswick 0.0-0
After selecting a snake covered in sand from the lolly box and half time Coach Lewis demanded more, Minahan heeded those inspiring words and went on a tackling rampage in the third quarter as the greens continued their domination, Stephenson – Bella, moved to the forward line, tackling strongly she was rewarded with a free kick and a lump to her jaw for Derek to inspect. The link up play continued, Kehoe collecting a ground ball to hand to Condon, whose kick forward was marked by Straford. Alice, put everything in to the set shot, kicking the leather off the ball as it sailed out of bounds, to rest amongst the gum trees; it was actually a bloody impressive kick. Lupson, who wasn’t sporting her usual manicured paws lifted her work rate, her clearances from stoppages was a sight to behold. Kehoe had lifted as well in the third, perhaps inspired by the sandy snake or her dad’s complete lack of football talent, who knows, but her ability to steal the footy off her opponent was risky given the close proximity of the juvenile detention facility. Ward laid out several of the best bumps seen by the coaches, Hayes and Deng again fighting it out for the tackle count honours. Howard took a strong mark in the forward line, and her retinue for the set shot rivalled that of Matthew Lloyd; sadly the football that had soaked up three quarters of ground water proved too heavy as a minor score was recorded. Carr had taken over from Minahan, and was proving to be a V8 Supercar, knocking the ball into the path of Condon. Three Quarter time Saints Green 4.7-31 v West Brunswick 0.0-0.
The start of the last quarter had a sense of déjà vu- as Fionentini once again found herself at the wrong end of the ground from where she was named – but maybe then again she was just showing off the speed at which she can move from one end to the other? Although when Condon collected a perfect ruck hit from Minahan and ran the wrong way, completing a U turn before any damage was done; the coaches did wonder if perhaps we need to discuss which way we are kicking at each break. Viking McIntosh who had enjoyed her assistant coach role for the first three quarters, upped the ante, appointing herself ultimate supreme warlord coach, taking over the magnet movement for the final quarter, as Tess implemented the ‘make a wish foundation’ approach to player positioning. Coach Morley took a Valium and went and sat in the sun. The pressure from the Saints Green continued and the ladies displayed a strong ability to run he game out, their relentless forward pressure was immense. Howard took a quality mark against the boundary near goal, Bridie showed serious match awareness when she centred to a free Minahan who kicked truly for the Saints to extend their lead. Lowe kept leading from the front, displaying 2nd and 3rd efforts to win the ball; with a rare foray forward for West Brunswick a goal seemed likely until Fiorentini displayed her lioness speed once again, pouncing on a stray gazelle. Cullen again showed her serious football ability as she tackled hard and transition the ball from the backline to the wing. Strafford, Reis and Mauri were all working hard up forward as Johnson collected a loose ball and kicked a much deserved goal. As the final seconds counted down, first gamer Francis asked, ‘What is your song?’ with Coach Lewis replying ‘Our Song is the Saints one, and it’s your song now Katie’; Welcome to the club Kate. Final Score Saints Green 6.8-44 v West Brunswick 0.2-2.
A wonderful team performance, a game were every player had a genuine positive impact; so great to have footy back and to see the smiling faces of the Saints Green players back on a Saturday. We fear no team.
Best: Minahan, Straford, Ward, Condon, Doble, Carr
Goals: Straford 2, Slattery, Reis, Minahan, Johnson
Saints Gold V Kew - Round 7
Spaghetti Oval was back in action and the crowd was gathered to see, no doubt a future club legend, Sophie Straford (I believe that’s with one F), returning to the field for the mighty Blues. The Golds were without their especializado midfield couch, R. Bowles, who in an extreme act of defiance refused to coach this week due to the lack of canteen facilities at the venue. Bold move which begs one to ask ‘will it pay off?’ Only time will tell, but my guess is, no, next week there will still be no steamed dim sims at Righetti.
This week saw the addition of some modern tech, with 5 GPS trackers being supplied to see the stats of some of girls as they run out four quarters, leaving the data hungry coaching crew eagerly awaiting the results. Pre-game the crew embraced the renewed warm up pitch out the back, fresh from being a car park for the Level Crossing Removal Project. As a result of the required reinstatement work, which is understood to be the majority of the ~$90m price tag for the Toorak Road works, it’s surface looks ready for the eagerly anticipated sequel to Crackerjack due to its bowling green carpet like surface. Elsewhere, T. Straford (also with one F) was up and about, as he completed his 250th task for the day before the Golds had even hit the ground. Perhaps missing his morning golf isn’t good for the great man as his energy levels seemed extra high, even for him.
When the game got under way out on the non warm up pitch, T. Nicolls started strong as she set the scene for her style of play for the day, one that controlled the last line of defence. She found herself in a prime position on several occasions, taking many a mark across half back before sending the ball back to the Saints advantage. The contest with fierce, seeing Osman perform some aerial acrobatics in a contest that resulted in a nasty looking landing, but thankfully she bounced on impact and all was fine. Mendel continued her current routine of growing an inch a week and was making her presence felt. The Rolls Royce was turning the engine over nicely, getting plenty of early touches to let her presence be known. With one of the umpires taking great pleasure in a ball up by really savouring the moment, it was a dangerous to create a stoppage in certain sections of the field as he consumed a solid 30-40 seconds readying himself to loft the ball skyward. Brown, forced to wear a different uniform bearing the no.40 instead of the usual no.14 due to a case of ‘forgetting to clean it’ was, like her dirty uniform elsewhere, running amuck when given a chance to compete body on body in a ruck contest or anywhere elsewhere. Whilst the grind by the Saints was superb and the forward line pressure immense, the score at the break was 0.2 - Bowles’ still missing donut.
Kew lurched forward to begin the second quarter and quickly troubled the score keepers by kicking a hotly debated point as a hacked ball from the goal line met a B. Doyle lunging hand. The GoPro’s on the goal posts mustn’t have been up to standard, not unlike the AFL’s Arc, leaving the umpires to go old school and talk it out. Following some questionable recreations and interpretive dances of the play, which seemed aide the process, the original call stood and a point was awarded.
S. Cameron was up and about, creating good options outside the forward fifty and being rewarded for doing so. The Saints were poised to score and when the moment arrived, it was worth the wait as it almost brought a tear of joy to the coaches eyes, well at least one of them. R/B. Joyce tapped to J. Joyce who found the Whiz (formally known as L/E. Wardlaw). This was her moment to excel and excel she did, as she put down the hammer in classic Whiz style, making it look like she was in cruise control while clearly pulling away from her opponents. She composed herself before slotting a brilliant goal from about 35 out. Much to the coach’s disgust, the team didn’t cause a huge scene by celebrating the goal with great gusto, but I guess it’s nice to have things to improve on next week. It wasn’t long after this that a classy lace out kick from J. Joyce found S. Cameron as she took mark close to the ground about 40m out. Though her set shot would fall short, all was not lost as, reading the play to perfection, G Byrne took an easy chest mark and would convert from the spot showing great poise in the gusty conditions. Elsewhere on the field, E. Hay was her usual elite self. Working through the midfield and defence, putting pressure on at every contest and laying some superb tackles in an effort to chase the silver medal in the VAFA total tackles - as Doyle has already cracked 10, 000 for the year, everyone else is striving for second spot.
2.4 to 0 1 at the interval
During the break Head Coach, Tommy Purcell, spoke with great pride about the first half pressure and performance and keep it short as they even found time to head to their line coaches. More importantly, the sweets were about, with a hotly contested competition, almost as strong as the one on the field, between The Natural Confectionary Company and Allen’s. Winner still TBC.
Third quarter - the Saints started hot, with Brown, the Whiz and Byrne instantly getting involved. Cameron marked strongly from a nice forward fifty entry by Mclinden, before confidently kicking a beautiful point from the dead pocket as the ball rammed into the woodwork about 5/6’s of the way up the post. Moments later, The Whiz saw her opportunity as she outsmarted her opponents (yes, plural) by tapping the ball to herself, breaking a tackle, displaying her speed and nailing a superb second goal for the day (2 minute mark of 3rd quarter on the tape). Casual as you like, she brushed off the excitement of her peers just like she brushed off her opponents, with ease.
At this point things were looking very good for the Saints, but as is often the case, this is where the opposition found some fire in their belly and took it up to the girls, scoring the next two goals despite some great pressure form the mids and defence. Both umpires seemed to enjoy using a handball motion when paying a holding the ball decision, so from the sidelines it appeared that we were being rewarded for somebody handballing. Presumably the players could hear an instruction to go with this so that it was less confusing for them. Gillett Fusion continued to be the reliable razor of choice in the backline for all those hard to reach places, as she stood true whenever required to do so. I hear she had a party to get to that she was unsure of what dress to wear, thankfully this didn’t seem to impact her headspace during the match.
3.6 to 2.2
With some SKOB aligned VFWL stars in the stands and the contest really heating up out on the oval, Head Coach, Tommy Purcell, delivered another stirring three quarter time raz up. With the girls set and the final term was upon us, who would stand up to the pressure? Mclinden started the quarter strong by using her pace, finding the ball out the back of packs and running wide to find space. The forward line pressure was superb, with several tackles being laid by the likes of Cameron, Osman and Cropley which allowed Mendel to use her now full 6 foot 5 frame to her advantage and pull down some good grabs. This was before she decided to play things a little differently. Tired of the traditional approach at smothering a ball using ones’ hands, Asha thought she would use her head, literally, sending the ball on its merry way via her face in the goal square back over the behind line. One of the more dramatic power plays by Asha, but it was an impressive point all the same. The Saints appeared to be in control as they peppered away at the scoreboard, Coaches even high fived after they thought a goal was scored by Camo, only to be proven wrong. Who would have thought that being a hundred plus metres from the goal line, on an angle, wouldn’t be the best place to judge if a kick was touched or not!? J. Joyce had an entry in the ‘almost a great goal’ category as she crumbed nicely and kicked almost accurately, it was probably one of the better no scores of the day. Brown fought well in the fourth, with several inside 50 kicks from contests. After Osman put in her third effort in that particular play, she managed to push the ball deep allowing Cameron to pound her opponent, who earlier had given her a spray – never trash talk Cameron. She was rewarded with a holding the ball call only 15 out and made no mistake by kicking true for her first for the day to see the Saints run out the game 4.9 to 2.3
Kew were gallant in defeat and put up a superb fight worthy of our respect. Hats off to them.
6 point plays: L. Wardlaw 2, S. Cameron, G. Byrne
Fighting for a burger: L. Wardlaw, T. Nichols, B. Doyle, E. Hay, J. Joyce, A. Mendel
***Let it be noted that there was no dad styled ‘Kew’ related puns***
Now at the mid-way point, we take the turn 6 and 1. Make sure we get to training slightly early to work on the goal kicking as we need to turn that 4.9 in to 9.4.
Basic Mid Season Stats
For - 33 goals, 58 behinds, 256 points – third highest total score in league. Against - 15 goals, 11 points, 101 points – lowest/best in league.
Round 7 - SKOB Saints V Kew Bears – Righetti Oval
The Saints returned to their traditional home; Righetti Oval. It was a gorgeous day with the sunshine streaming across the ground with the calls for sunscreen heard in the sheds. The theme of the day was Respect with the pregame speech delivering some key messages:
Earn Respect, Give Respect, Show Respect.
The Blues welcomed Sophie Straford (Golds Captain) to the Blues returning from injury, with Soph delivering a rousing speech in the pre-match huddle; “it’s a great fricken day to be a SKOBBER”
The Blues won the toss, kicking to the change room end and it wasn’t long until the Blues hit the scoreboard. Contaxis continues with her strong form this season winning the tap. The midfield crew of Guss, Snell and S Viti driving the ball forward with Wedgewood drifting forward to slot the opening goal from the pocket with Pattison shepparding the ball through. The tackling pressure of the Blues was intense with 4 holding the ball decision being awarded in the 4 minutes if the game.
It wasn’t long after that Pattison opened her account with a kick off the ground. Elise ‘everywhere’ Thurman presented well and didn’t let up and at the 8 min mark opened her account after a beautiful clearance from Guss. The next clearance resulted in the most celebrated point for the season with K Viti having a shot from the pocket – it certainly looked like a goal from the coach’s box. By the end of the first quarter the breeze kicked up but it didn’t stop the drive of G Lupson and A Bloom in the forward delivering the ball to Pattison for her second conversion for the day.
Quarter Time: SKOB Blues 4-5-29 to Kew FC 0-0-0
The second quarter started with the same intensity of the first with the Snell, Langton and M Howard keeping the pressure on in the midfield. C McDonough spun through a tackle and delivered the ball to Pattison but the wind took hold and ball sailed through for a behind. The kickout from the Bears ended up with C McDonough who kicked truly to open her account of the day. The Blue backline were holding strong with C Straford enjoying a chat with her opponent and Nolan and Bland enjoying the sunshine. Croagh and Mounas were working hard pushing forward with McBeth-Japhcott pushing forward from the back pocket to get her hands on the ball. Vergano was showing her dominance with a clearance off the pack, a handball to S Straford and a delivery to Pattison seeing her slot her 3rd for the day. Shortly after Blooms running play sees the Blues convert another. The Blues are dominating play with the undermanned Kew Bears looking a little exposed. The Blues weren’t quite finished with a beautiful play from Nolan to Thurman resulting in a slick handball to S Straford delivering the ball to Bloom for another successful shot on goal. A rare foray into the Kew forward line saw the Blues defence hold strong with Russell and Betts linking for a clearance out. Unfortunately, due to a clash of head, Thurman would be ruled out of the game with concussion and sat the rest of the game out on the bench.
Half time SKOB Blues 8-10-58 to Kew FC 0-0-0
The magnets were thrown around at half time with Russell being thrown into the forward line, Bland to the middle and Langton to the defensive line. This had immediate effect Russell scoring in the first few minutes of the second half. The next bounce saw Guss continue her dominance in the midfield and Langton playing attacking footy off the defensive line. Bland was relishing her role in the midfield and busted through the lines delivering the ball to Guss who offloaded Vargano. Cherry showed her versatility in the forward line presenting strongly and converting for the Blues. G Lupson continued her strong form with several goal assists delivering a beautiful kick to S Straford who converted her first. G Luspon was instrumental during the afternoon and played the team game with goal assists whilst also adding to her goal kicking tally. The wind continued to play havoc with the ball and the Blues again peppering the goals and accuracy (and the strong breeze) wreaking havoc.
3rd Qtr SKOB Blues 11-14-80 to Kew FC 0-0-0
The midfield and forwards continued their dominance and the backline when tested, held strong. Pattison and G Lupson are a formidable forward line adding to their tallies, finishing with 4 and 3 goals respectively.
The Blues dominated the game across all lines showing that SKOB continues to be a force to be reckoned with. Voting is proving extremely tough every week with so much talent on show.
At the halfway mark of the season, the Blues are sitting 2nd on the ladder with a percentage of 655 and a big game at home against West Brunswick next week.
Final Score SKOB Blues 13-17-97 to Kew FC 0-0-0
Goals: M Pattison 4, G Lupson 3, C Russell 1, S Straford 1, A Bloom 1, C McDonough 1, E Wedgewood 1, E Thurman
Best: Guss, K Viti, Wedgewood, Mounas, Russell, G Lupson
Saints Green v West Brunswick Round 7
As we welcomed round 7 of the 2021 season, we also welcomed a new concept for the Saints in 2021, players missing out – for the first time, all three SKOB Saints teams fielded a full complement of talented Saints – sadly meaning some players missed out – such is the strength of women’s football at SKOB.
The Greens headed to the trendy inner suburb of West Brunswick, but before hitting the road, there were multiple panicked phone calls as our super team manger Michelle, who was out buying lollies for the Greens half time replenishment, had also locked her keys inside the house – along with the kit bag and the trainers bag. Coach Lewis taking his Tonka Truck down to collect what he could from T Strafford.
Fortunately diplomatic relations between SKOB and West Brunswick are at an all-time high, when prior to the match we asked the magpies if we could borrow a few rolls of strapping tape, we were amazed and grateful to be presented with a fully stocked trainers bag (appropriately in green) on wheels; and second request for a couple of footballs to help with warm up – was also met with a smile and equipment, as again our accommodating host was proving to be more welcoming than an AirBnB host on the peninsula.
As Statler and Waldorf completed their relaxed pre match routine, the Saints ran on to the ground full of positive Pantone 362 energy lead by Captain Lowe. The opening bounce was a thing of beauty, almost like a set play – rucking superstar Minihan hit into the path of Strafford (Just like we had rehearsed minutes earlier), Alice brushed off a tackler and kicked into the Saints forward line – an early show of the dominate play the Saints would present for the match. As the ball bounced between the respective half backs, Stephenson, Bella showed her ability down back, Stephenson sister Pip then proved two Stephenson’s are better than one as she joined the dominating half back play. Robinson – who had brought a small army of supporters, ‘cause it helps me play better’ – was living up to the statement as she tackled hard. The ball found its way into the Saints forward line, a couple of smart off the ground kicks threatened the goals, only to just brush the post, Reiss immediately calling for a call review or an inquiry into the thickness of the padding. The forward line pressure continued from the Saints, Strafford kicked long into the forward line, Howard collected the ball, waltz past a number of magpies snapping a ball 5kg heavier thanks to soaking up the morning dew from the oval for a wonderful point – another contender for point of the year. Condon was enjoying her midfield time, Hayes put on a tackling clinic on the grandstand side – numerous magpies volunteered to join. Our defence was solid, Lewis Fionentino and Davys putting pressure on their opponents, resulting in a few behinds from West Brunswick. Atkin, was enjoying her time on the railway wing – marking solidly and kicking long to Doble and in turn to Holden in a sequence of play described as ‘Prosecco football’ by Coach Lewis. Jones was welcomed back and immediately won a free kick as she burrowed in tackled relentlessly; Robinson continued her impressive first quarter as she collected the ball off the ground and kicked forward. Quarter time Saints Green 0.2-2 v West Brunswick 0.3-3.
The sun was well and truly on its way in the highest point of the sky as we started the second quarter in pristine football conditions. Atkin charged in for the centre bounce, Minihan again hitting to saints advantage, Condon joining the midfield dominance on display by Saints Green. With the first foray forward, Howard smartly snapped the ball into the path of Reis – nearly a Loreto play of the day Dr Stevens would have applauded in her candy stripe blazer; sadly the ball just wouldn’t sit right for Sophie and the West Brunswick defence swopped in. Deng down back was winning any contested ball in her area and the capacity crowd; including a celebrity appearance by Harriet Gaffey, remarked in amazement that this is Sonny’s first season of football. Schache created some confusion and humour on the bench – after being told she was going back on to the forward line, her reply of ‘Oh… was that where I was?’, followed by ‘what’s it called… a pocket?’ brought smiles to both coaches dials. Back on the ground, the releasing handball at packs by the Greens was opening up the play nicely, Lewis tackled opponents with serious vigour, Merrigan took a strong mark on the wing and kicked long into the forward line, Jacka laid a strong tackle and the quick kick forward was marked by Mauri, whose subsequent goal was a much deserved reward for the Saints dominance. Fionentino tackles continued, Lupson came running off with a sore manicured hand that thankfully wasn’t too bad. Carr reversed herself into a smart spot in the forward line to take a strong mark, the resulting point just didn’t have enough air to avoid the desperate hands up from West Brunswick. Condon continued to tackle fiercely and Merrigan’s repeated efforts in the forward line was adding to the Saints Green dominance. As the ball bounced into the forward line, a courageous Jones collected and was immediately fairly tackled and brought to ground. This was to be the last play for the game – the care and attention provided by all – especially the West Brunswick Football Club, who amongst their members in attendance at AJ’s side included a doctor and nurse who diligently stayed with AJ, supporting her neck as we waited for the ambulance. AJ is SKOB Saints royalty as we all know – clearly Ambulance Victoria recognise this as well, sending the paramedic on motorbike as well as a fully kitted ambulance – lights sirens and all. We look forward to welcoming AJ back to football when appropriate and placing her magnet in the midfield where she belongs.
We thank again the West Brunswick football club, all the volunteers for supporting our football club during a tough day – a draw the end result for the match. The football played by the Greens for first class and again – we fear no one.
6 for West Brunswick, 5 Ambulance Victoria, 4, Community Football and 3, 2 & 1 for AJ
Negative 6 for the bloke who burnt the coffee beans
Round 5; Blues v Old Xaverians (OX) played Sunday 16 May.
This week the Blues were playing Old Xavs., St Kevin’s College and SKOBFC traditional rival. The 1950’s change rooms were nice and cosy which help to alleviate the chilly 11 degrees outside. We knew it must have been chilly as Dr Meataxe was wearing thongs. For the first time this season a full bench was named; which was fortunate as we lost R Betts before the start of the game.
From the first bounce it was evident that Old Xavs meant business. The coaches warned the girls that the opposition would be on and so it was decided to play defensively in the first quarter. Leo started in the ruck and remained there for the vast majority of the game. With the centre circle within spitting distance of the square, on the high side of the ground one of our newest additions to the Blues, Issie was playing on the wing. She was straight into the contest and cleared the ball to Thurman, who played on immediately. Guss gathered the ball dodged, weaved and ran past her usual 3 opposition players, passed to G Lupson who passed to Patto, who drilled the goal. We continued to pepper the goals. Mounas hit the woodwork and Luppo had a set shot but sadly could not convert. C. Lupson laid a strong tackle injuring her hand. In the care of the trainers, Lupson was heard to ask “where is my knuckle”. Did anyone find Charlie’s knuckle? The game had become very much a defensive game. Stoppage after stoppage hindered our running game. The steadfast backline of Sullivan, Russell, Bland, Nolan and C Lupson were under immense pressure. Combining well, they prevented OX from scoring.
Quarter time score. 1 goal 2 behinds 8 to 0.
The coach’s message at quarter time was to take the game on. Play on where ever possible and kick long. Our mids Sam and Kat Viti, Snell and Jacka were on top clearing the ball repeatedly. Luppo hit up Thurman who converted. The wingers Issie and Wedgie were working hard in defence and attack. K Viti was using her long kicking ability propelling the Sherrin forward with poise. Our forward line was kept open, with clever play, tap ons, strong tackles and marks. Croagh and McDonough were practising their snaps. This week “Elise everywhere” passed on the baton to Guss who was proving to be a prolific ball getter, consistently centering the ball into the forward line. Luppo and McDonough (who showed no signs of missing her sister) repeatedly gave the forwards further up the ground opportunity to score; resulting in 2 more goals for the quarter.
Half time score. 4 goals 8 behinds 32 to 0.
Coach Strauss’s message at half time was bring the ball down the corridor and get the ball onto your boot. The premiership quarter was going to be ours. One of the best plays of the day started with Leo palming to Guss, who kicked to Thurman and then to Pattison, who converted. The best 15 seconds of play all day. The backs, mids and forwards were running amuck. Vergano having her first game for a month was hard at it; bumped the opposition off the ball, retrieved it and passed it to you know who…. Pattison kicking another 2 for the quater including a soccer like goal, Rinaldo would have been proud of. Stratho was having an interesting tussle and when she took a strong mark, rejoiced by showing her opponent the ball and mouthing something I don’t think I can repeat here.
Three Quarter time score. 7 goals 9 behinds 51 to 1.
Doble who was unwell, could not continue and we were down to three players on the bench. Sullivan who reads the play as well as anybody, was having a great game until she received a slight elbow and had to come off halfway through the quarter. Sam Viti came off displaying stop marks to her back resembling a tiger mauling. Wedgie had more bruises than a week old banana. At one point, it sounded like Puffing Billy was behind the coaches, as the girls who had been giving their all, were coming off exhausted, huffing and puffing. Issie was given the task of running with OX’s gun and covered her beautifully. We were being tested but our backline was impassable. Long booming kicks from Russell, Nolan and Bland out of the backline helped to set up the forwards and break the lines. Two more goals for the quarter, including one to Wedgie who celebrated in traditional forward style. I loved it.
Well done girls. A great win against opposition that tested us.
Full time score: 9 goals 12 behinds 66 to 0 goals 1 behind 1.
Best: Guss, Pattison, G Lupson, Contaxis, McBeth-Japhcott, Russell and apologies to many more.
Goal Kickers: Pattison 4, Thurman 2, G Lupson 1, C McDonough 1, E Wedgwood 1.
Grill’d Burger Award: Pattison.
Round 6 Saints Gold write up
The team arrived at the picturesque Xavier College on a fresh Sunday morning, where they were greeted with a brilliant view of the city skyline and the iconic chapel. ‘Shame it’s wasted on teenage boys’ mused B.Brittain. The change room facilities on offer were a true indication of old money, with some glorious timber put to good use. However, the walls may have been better adorned with a few images from J.Joyce’s sweater collection, one of the ones with a fine dog retrieving a mallard from a lake, instead there were some images of the early 2000’s Xavier Cross Country teams. Another image of that day that wasn’t perfect, was the absence of Head Coach, Tommy Purcell, leaving the ship in the hands of his assistants. Very early on it became apparent that they are creatures of habit, usually called to Pablovian action with the catch call of “go to your line coaches’ but today they would have to find a way to meet the opening bounce on time without his presence. Good thing the likes of Sophie Straford was there to keep them in check. Straford making her coaching debut as a defensive coach, being well rehearsed in the dark art of defence after her phone was bombarded with copious notes from the absent Head Coach, Tommy Purcell. S.Cameron stepped up during the pre-game chat, with a call to arms asking the girls to play ‘above the line’, remaining positive and embracing this opportunity that lay ahead.
Despite the coaches research and pre-game viewing, several of the predicted key match up’s did not eventuate with some Old Xav’s players out and others playing at opposite ends of the field, calling for the Coaches to wield their power swiftly by asking others to do their dirty work by shuffling players about in response. Classic stuff.
At the three-minute mark, Old Xav’s would draw first blood, with a nice clearing kick finding its way from the wing to the goals via several bounces. In response, the Saints stepped it up, with the ball bouncing back and forth between the centre and forward line, before a nice piece of soccer work from Brown found S.Cameron on the forward flank, who lofted it to a free M.Gleeson, allowing her to waltz in for goal from the empty square. The pressure around the 50-70m from the Saints goals remained fierce, with the ball needing to find its way through a wall of Saints defenders. The back and forth continued for most of the quarter, with some superb solo defensive efforts being displayed, tackles, bumps, punching the ball clear of contests, rushing the opposition player when they had the ball mixed with some good old fashioned head over the football play. Just as it looked as though the scoring for the quarter was done, B.Doyle heaved the ball forward, where G.Cropley created herself some space and sold some candy, before kicking under pressure yet another superb addition to the list of goals in the 2021 Mayor of the Pocket Award.
2.1 to 1.0
After the classic stand in coach motivational speech from R.Bowles about nice German station wagons and dim sims, I assume, I was too busy taking in the city views, the girls entered the playing field full of vigour, ready to the build on their first quarter achievements. The Whizz continued her first quarter style of play, and spoiler alert, entire game style of play, putting her body on the line again and again as she competed for the second dirtiest uniform - obviously, Doyle is a lock for this award each week. The forward line pressure was immense, with tackles being laid at a record pace. Meanwhile in defence, solid second and third efforts from the likes of G ’razor’ Byrne and Gillett Fusion were a common occurrence as they did their darndest to keep the Old Xav’s forwards honest. J.Joyce appeared where the ball was again and again, searing her finger prints in to the kangaroo leather. In the match video, you can hear some great talk from the girls, with Magz Gleeson offering superb support and instruction while she waited for her next opportunity to impress her travelling fans behind the goals. M. Baker decided to take the pressure cooker approach to her baking this week, laying several key tackles as the Saints persisted with their never say die attitude. M.McDonough fought hard, pushing the ball forward on several occasions and creating opportunities for her teammates. A stoppage in the forward fifty allowed Gleeson in the ruck to deliver the ball straight to a roving J.Joyce, seeing her kick her first major since the Grand Final day 2019. Perhaps (or perhaps not) Magz played a ‘hand’ in that one too... It wasn’t long until the goal umpire was put under pressure again as S.Cameron, leading by example and playing above the line, crumbed perfectly before kicking one for the ages from a one step, tight angle 35-40m bomb. Superb football.
4.3 to 1.1 at the interval.
As tends to be the way during VAFA intervals, the coaches found themselves cutting it fine with the cheese and wine chit chat, however still found time to talk in their respective lines -take note head Coach, Tommy Purcell. The main take away was that we were walking in to a football cliché, the premiership quarter, win the quarter and put this game to bed etc etc.
The team, clearly inspired by the half time words of wisdom, picked up where they left off, surging again and again on the search for their next mallard/goal. S.Betts, continued to showcase her talent around the field, laying tackles and winning key taps. Mid way through the term, from yet another inside fifty stoppage, J.Joyce went back to the well for a second helping of a goal, using her now trade mark outside of the right boot kick - patent pending. Elsewhere on the field, which is soon to elevated due to a ‘much needed’ underground car park being constructed, Asha Mendel was playing her new role as a power tall, despite her height, busting tackles and outmuscling her bigger bodied opponents on the regular. After M.Baker fought through a pack to get the ball forward, M.Gleeson was rewarded with a free for her arms being chopped, not off but chopped all the same, which is one of the advantages of playing in front. Kicking from around 40m, she kicked true to her fan club behind the goals launched skyward into another stratosphere, eat your heart out S.Dunell! It wasn’t all strawberries and cream, with some early pile driving for the aforementioned car park taking place, as one or two of the Saints found themselves driven to the ground, thankfully they all bounced back.
6.6 to 1.1
The Saints had one more quarter to run out and with the renowned VAFA 2019 Coach of Year, Tommy Purcell, absent, the usual third quarter time raz up wasn’t what the girls were used to. Regardless, the team still came to play in the final term. Brown continued to look for contact as she enjoyed bursting through contests, K. Fone was looking dangerous after an early scare almost saw her sidelined for the game, Stoltz running her trade mark ‘keep your feet and knock it forward’ play. The forward pressure continued (author bias be damned!) and it wasn’t long until a stoppage turned into an opportunity. Gleeson, excelling as the forward ruck, found the perfectly placed J.Osman, who would make no mistake and kicked her first major for the club. Superb centre work from the mids saw an opportunity almost converted only moments later, as the Saints were not taking their foot of the pedal. D.Edward continued to dash about the field, using her superior side stepping skills as she collected several forward fifty entries. Hay and Hodgetts played composed roles in the defence, making celebrity like appearances thanks to the limited time the ball was spending in the defensive half, while E.McLinden still found opportunities to drift in for some strong intercept marks. B/R.Joyce’s confidence was on display with her ruck work proving to be vital as many weary legs started to appear. Osman was unfortunately whipped fiercely in a tackle and is no doubt owning a rather stiff neck today as result.
As the quarter rolled on and lunch called, there would be one more major, with Cameron reading the play to perfection, crumbing a forward contest to, resulting in well-deserved yet fairly straight forward shot on goal to drive home the Saints 8th for the day.
8.8 to 1.2
After a great day for the Saints, which was only slightly soured due to Bowlsey leaving in disgust with no dim sim in hand. Maybe next week, although almost certainly not as we play at Righetti.
Double barrel flag wavers: S. Cameron 2, M. Gleeson 2, J. Joyce 2, G. Cropley, J. Osman
Well-polished boots: J. Joyce, S. Cameron, M. Gleeson, A. Mendel, S. Betts, C. Brown
GREENS SHINE BRIGHT UNDER FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS
A cold and damp Friday night clash awaited the Green Machine on Friday night against what
would be a very determined Monash Blues side that we knew would line up a little
differently than the last time we met. The trip to Clayton in the SKOB express unearthed
some amazing 90’s dance bangers for Kehoe, Murray and Howard – who would have
thought Fuzzy and the Sneaky Sound System could still hold its own in today’s music world,
but Fuzzy did enough to fire those three up for a big game – somebody in Kansas City loves
Special appearances from Nichols and Merrigan from the Golds/Blues helped us get the
early footy and debutantes Bridget Augustes, Davys, Johnson (out of retirement) and
coming back from sickness Fiorentini, all got their hands on the footy and Reis put us on the
board early. Steph Augustes loves Frearson Oval and would kick her first of four in the first
quarter, giving us a 4 goal buffer into the first quarter break.
Mauri and Slattery showed some scintillating speed at the ball to start the second quarter
and now I’m starting to lose the sequence of events as unlike Kermit Morley, I didn’t write
anything down so have no idea when anything happened. Minahan was dominant in the
ruck where she is making a very strong mark on the Greens midfield working in well with
Murray on the ruck changes and ably supported by Strafford, Condon and Robbo who were
all wondering whether the ground was dry enough to have a bounce and get a free meal.
Down back, Johnson, Lewis and Stephenson repelled any attack coming from the Blues and
by half time, we were looking good up by 53 points.
I do remember Bride Howard snapping a cracking goal in the third quarter (she would end
up with 3) and Strafford got in on the act with 3 of her own. Morgs wound back the clock
and was dominant across the middle of the ground, linking up with Hayes, Kehoe and
Merrigan to push us into attack again and again. Cullen was marking anything that came
near her across the half forward line with all under strict instruction to leave the forward
line open – this worked well as Tay Tay shook it off (see what I did there?) and blasted
another goal from just inside the 50 arc – but that may have been in the second quarter.
Whatever – by the last break we had piled on 6 goals to be up by 91 points. Remi had a
much better offer and took off to a party, comfortable her work here had been done.
By the last quarter many of us only had eyes for the warmth of the Monash bar and we took
the foot off the pedal a bit – although after much consideration, Robbo had a bounce and
the crowd went wild. Condon went down hard and we were all thinking the worst – turns
out she needs to get off the goon and start on that pickled vodka concoction Chloe Brown
has been spruiking on WhatsApp as it was only cramp – thank goodness.
The final siren sounded and the Greens had the chocolates with a 15-9-99 to 0-2-2 final score.
Monash Blues were awesome after the game and welcomed us back to the social club which
is what community football is all about. Special mention must go to all the support we had
on Friday night given how cold it was – such a festive vibe around the place!
Saints Gold V Old Trinity – Round 5
‘Twas a fine and sunny morn’ that greeted the masses as they arrived at the hallowed turf, which sits majestically under the eastern suburb’s renowned Power Lines of Prosperity, of T H King Oval. A cultural exchange took place in the carpark on arrival, a literal breaking of bread, as A. Mendel was enlightening those around her with the cuisine from her Friday evening, some ‘challah’.
Head Coach, Tommy Purcell, would again put his day job on the line as the Saints took on Old Trinity. Several changes from last week saw a number of strong inclusions, leading Head Coach, Tommy Purcell, to be talking about tigers and who knows what, but the general message from the pre-game was “let’s score more than them”.
Out on the field, the early time slot of 9.20 meant that there was no one to kick the dew of the ground, meaning the surface was a little slippery for the duration of the first half. The girls came to play and only a minute in, Rolls Royce Jess Joyce would use her signature side of boot kick to propel the ball forward. In an open goal square a Trinity defender saw an opportunity to reset the play and rush a behind. The umpire wasn’t impressed by this approach and awarded M. Gleeson a free. Just like her opponent, Gleeson kicked the ball through the big sticks, but this time it was worth 6 points. Saints on the board early. Forward fifty entries were in vogue, as was forward line pressure, Cropley starting strong and leading the way, doing the little things like rushing an opponent as they were kicking, forcing a poor kick. At the 13-minute mark, Magic Gleeson was celebrating Smothers Day by delivering a wonderful smother on the mark, creating an extra scoring shot on goal for the team, almost kicking one of the more glorious goals from a solo effort. As the first quarter drew to a close, the Saints were 1.5 to Bowlesy’s still missing donut.
The second quarter saw continued pressure on the scoreboard. J. Joyce was showing the smooth ball movement which earns her the Rolls Royce nickname. Throughout the quarter the behinds kept ticking away. Old Trinity moved the ball quickly, causing the coaches hearts to skip a beat as the Trinity forwards nearly made the most of their opportunities. In the dying the moment, on the rebound, S.Dunell linked up perfectly with her fellow forwards, slotting a nice goal from 20 odd out before launching about the same distance in to the sky in celebration. Just as she made it back to ground, the siren sounded, with the Saints up 2.9 – 0.2 at the interval.
During the break, the ladies’ feet were graced with a fresh pair of pink socks, leaving some loud sock wearing members of coaching crew feeling rather jealous. This variation in the uniform was in recognition of the superb mothers of our community, but also served as a handy aide for spectators as the two teams had quite the clash in uniforms. Hopefully the paparazzi on the side lines didn’t have to adjust their lens’ to much due to additional light reflecting off the player’s legs in the second half. Their photos must still be being developed in the dark room, as I was unable to find any online to add to the report.
As she did all day, E. Hay was showing poise, controlling the play whenever the ball dare get within 10 metres of her, long penetrating kicks, strong contests and an ability to break the line being showcased on several occasions. I would say that the socks appeared to needed to be worn in, with not too much report in the third quarter, only 3 behinds added by the Saints. 2.12 – 0.2 at the end of the third.
Whilst Head Coach, Tommy Purcell, was in the middle of his now infamous weekly third quarter time razz up, where he demanded that the girls win the quarter, Spewy Cameron was off the back of the pack living up to her name. Perhaps she just needed to clear some space for some chest marks she planned on taking in the final quarter.
The fourth quarter started strong, with the mids clearing the first bounce. J.Osman competed well from an S.Betts kick before linking with S. Dunell 60 meters out. Moving the ball on quickly as she often did throughout the day, she pushed the ball to a nice lead from Gleeson. After a brief fumble, no doubt just for added effect, Gleeson returned the ball to the running Dunnell allowing her to slot her second for the day. A pretty good day out for someone who at the start of the day was unsure which end of the ground the forwards usually stood at, having spent most of her Saints career in other parts of the field.
In general, there were some saw some superb link up plays during the fourth, finding a little more space on the rebound. Whilst they didn’t all result in goals, there were plenty of superb points, if there is such a thing. However, the goal scoring was not done. With the R. Gillett Foundation starting the play by making a contest on the wing, collecting the ball and kicking long to centre half forward, allowing Hay to make some whilst the sun shined. With the support of a vital Gleeson shepherd (the bump, she’s not that in to sheep), Hay kicked long to a one on one. Trinity would attempt to clear the ball as it hit the ground, but Gleeson was back at it, smartly handballing to Councillor Opley, Mayor of the Pocket, who moments earlier was in the prime crumbing position. After a superb day of forward line pressure, Cr.Opley did what Cr.Opley does, grabbed her loom and weaved some magic. After receiving the ball, she doubled back on herself 6 maybe 7 times, side stepping several opponents to find herself in the coveted Cropley Pocket. This was just the right spot to slot 6 of the best points you will see on a Saturday morning. The editor-in-chief would highly recommend watching that play from the 11-minute mark, a great piece of teamwork allowing several teammates to shine, even better if you remember this is the fourth quarter, with the Saints showing there was still plenty of run left in those pink socked legs.
To steal a line from T.Straford, who is eagerly be awaiting the return of S.Straford, B.Doyle “took the bails off” for the day with about 7-8 minutes to go. This was after yet another superb display of footballing prowess. She leads the way with her physicality and ability to win a contested football and continues to show ‘It’s the hard ball not the set’ that gets the job done.
As the siren sounded, strangely this week at the correct 20-minute mark, the scores were 4.14- 1.2. A W and 4 points to the Saints.
Post-match, Bowlsey, no doubt thrown by the early start time or was that simply that the canteen had not opened (?) tested out the TH King entry to the VAFA Dim Sim of the Year Award. Unfortunately, TH King has been removed as a contender due to Robin’s unwavering love for all things SKOBFC. Regardless, he seemed satisfied, once again leaving the real winner in this tireless pursuit of steamed perfection to be R.Bowles himself.
Managing to run out 5 goal winners, despite only kicking four goals is quite a stat. Some great pressure all day, superb lateral movement and showed an ability to adjust our game play. Do make sure you all get to training early or hang back late to have set shots and shots on the run at goal. Regardless of your usual position, you never know what will happen when E.Straford is working her magic on the magnet board. You may just find yourself 30 out, on the run with the ball in hand. You’ve got this.
Heel Spinners: S. Dunell 2, M. Gleeson, G. Cropley
Pinkest socks: S. Dunell, D. Edward, B. Doyle, E. Hay, J. Joyce, C. Brown
Saints Blue V Old Trinity – Round 5
After a tumultuous week, the Blues finally had a ground and time to play Old Trinity. Or did
we? 15 minutes prior to the scheduled start of the game we still had not seen the opposing
team. Coaches were starting to wonder whether we had the correct ground; which was a bit
on the small side. Change room facilities consisted of two portables and the closest toilet was
back at the main pavilion; a 2 dim sim walk away. A marvellous day greeted us as one coach
decided to follow the example Dr Meataxe and wear thongs. Now just need to get Kaz
From the first bounce it was evident that the mids were on. Guss gathered the ball dodged,
weaved and ran past 3 opposition players; with the full bench yelling kick it, kick it, she
inturn handballed the Sherrin. In the next play, Guss kicked it (as she did for the remainder of
the day) to a leading Thurman who converted. Elise everywhere passed to C McDonough
who marked and converted. The mids consisting of Contaxis, Guss, Jacka and Langton were
winning clearance after clearance giving the forwards plenty of opportunity. The warm
conditions meant that the mids needed to be rotated frequently. Condon, Snell, M. Howard
and Lupson continued to feed the forward line, bringing the ball down the corridor. Thurman.
C McDonough and C Straford were the recipients of this hard work and kicked the remainder
of the sausage rolls this quarter. Backline tackling pressure was immense which contributed
to OT not scoring.
Quarter time score. 5 goals 3 behinds 33 to 0.
The OT coach must have given his players a real old fashioned bake, as they came out firing.
OT commenced the quarter with an extra person in defence; which we could not penetrate;
while they managed on several occasions to move the ball deep into their forward line. Our
rock star backline stood firm. Sullivan, Russell, S Viti, Bland, Betts, Stephenson and Doble
were under immense pressure; standing tall, they repelled OT’s advances. It wasn’t until the
second half of the quarter that we managed to get on top. The wingers K Viti, Lupson and
Merigan were propelling the ball forward with poise while keeping OT’s star red head, quiet.
We were being tested which was reflected by the scoreboard. Clever play, tap ons, strong
tackles and marks kept us in front. Mounas was stealing the ball from the opposition like
taking candy from a baby. Russell and the Viti’s were marking anything that came their way.
Half time score. 6 goals 8 behinds 44 to 2.
A few of the players had to take the 2 dim sim walk to the loos during the break and could
not get back in time for the start of the quarter and with the game in hand, Coach Strauss
started playing checkers with the magnets. Some players found themselves in unfamiliar
positions. S Viti, Bland, Russell played at various stages in the forward line. Sam was
rewarded when she snagged her first ever goal in her illustrious career. We could see her
beaming smile from the bench. The twin turbos; C and M McDonough and Pattison were
running a muck and contributed more goals. Pattison must have been at her niggling best, as
her opponent threatened to body slam her if she did it again. Langton who was part of the
running midfield, suffered a head knock which ended her day. “Who can get pass me”,
Sullivan copped a shoulder just below the throat and had to come off breathless. Stephenson
had also copped a knock and was done.
Three Quarter time score. 10 goals 11 behinds 71 to 2.
Down to three players on the bench and the warm conditions was going to test our fitness and
resilience. So players were further shuffled around to help the mids out. Threatening rain
loomed: but the only rain came from further goals, strong tackles, long clearing kicks and
marks. I ran out of fingers trying to keep track of how many marks Elite Elise had taken in
the game. We continued to pepper the goals, but inaccuracy was starting to creep in. Pattison
scored a set shot goal finishing off a comfortable win.
Apologies for any inaccuracies- mental note taken; if writing match report, take better notes.
Full time score: 12 goals 16 behinds 88 to 2.
Best: C McDonough, M McDonough, Thurman, K Viti, Guss, Mounas and apologies to
Goal Kickers: Thurman 4, C McDonough 3, Patterson 2, S Viti. C Straford 1, M McDonough
Grill’d Burger Award: Thurman.
Saints Green Match Report v Old Scotch - Round 5
With a bye initially scheduled for this weekend; there was a bit of a scramble by Greens players to reschedule work, camping plans and of course, scour the leafy eastern suburbs for the much needed volunteers. No real surprise though that the Greens were able to present 20 players – these Greens love their footy; the coach however does not love the new apple diet; special shout out to @Cakes.by.Soph (get around her on Insta) for the delicious cake off cuts. With Coach Lewis on day party duties, Kermit inspired the Greens and following a sensationally positive warm up it was on to the game.
In coaching women’s football, I have seen, heard and experienced many firsts in my footballing journey and on Saturday another first was added to the list. The Greens were made to wait to use their interchange bench until a local resident had completed her series of photographs of an empty glass bottle. Upon asking ‘Was this for the local council?’ the five minute dribble reply of artistic nonsense was enough to ensure this scribe doesn’t attend the gallery for this photographic presentation. The humour did continue on the ground as well, the players from both sides confused about who was going which way, luckily umpire Stu blew time off, allowed for a brief confirmation of direction and migration of backs and forwards to their appropriate ends.
From the opening bounce, Minahan proved an inspired choice as ruck; knocking the ball to the 2 o’clock position for a ball hungry Crough to gobble it up. Juliet proved it wasn’t just her ruck expertise she was bringing to the game, as she mastered the ‘Don’t Argue’ as well pushing off an opponent with ease. Kehoe’s clean collection and ball use was on display early – and was a quick indication she was keen for another ‘Grill’d Player of the Day Award’. Old Scotch launched an attack, led by a player who looked a lot like our own Jess Joyce; and despite our best defensive efforts, the Greens fond themselves a goal down. Atkin, Stephenson and Ward were laying bone crunching tackles; Cullen’s work on the half forward line was helping ensure the Greens kept the ball in the forward line; and with the resulting pressure and team work, Mauri was able to snap truly and kick her first goal for the Greens!! McIntosh felt she needed more protein, and swallowed a fly; although did spit it out upon tasting it. And just as the first quarter was ending, Greens superstar Liv Crowe went down to a cruel knee injury; the support by the SKOB and Old Scotch trainers was a terrific show of community football – with a special shout out to Mikayla Dohnt, who was quick on the scene and used her nursing skills to lead the team in getting Liv on to the stretcher appropriately; ensuring the best care was given to Crowe; Liv we wish you well and can’t want to see you back on the field!! Quarter time Saints Green 1.1-7 v Old Scotch 2.2-14.
Kehoe’s start to the second quarter was brilliant – taking the game on with energy and enthusiasm. Condon down back was proving to be rock solid; well supported by Deng and Atkin. The greens were under attack, with coal fired Old Scotch breaking through to kick a goal. The goal sprung the Greens into action – as they proceeded to dominate the remainder of the quarter, Mauri’s collect and movement of the football was terrific to see, Croagh took the game on bouncing the football to ensure she eats for free on Thursday. The forward line pressure led by Augtustes and Reis was fantastic, as Robinson burrowed into dig out the football – handballing to McIntosh; with Viking genes and fly protein powering her; Tess knocked over three Old Scotch opponents with ease to kick a goal. As the quarter continued, sadly the Greens were unable to convert their dominance into goals; Old Scotch ran the ball down to their forward line; Lowe provided an initial goal saving smoother; with the ricocheting resulting play seeing Old Scotch collect and kick a goal against the run of play. Half time Saints Green 2.4-16 v Old Scotch 4.4-28
The Greens had a confidence about them as we started the third quarter; perhaps best personified by Robinson who had taken to sticking her hand up in the air after every mark she took – just making sure umpire Stu was rewarding her appropriately. Sadly Dohnt’s knee injury worsened, and Mikalya was unable to play on after half time. Blissfully unware of the lack of rotations for the remainder of the day, the Greens pushed on, the excellent forward team work with Ward and Mauri combining to give to Augustes was awesome; Steph’s shot on goal from a tight angle was one of best kicks ever, looking to sail through for a goal, when all of a sudden the goal post jumped out and stopped the ball’s momentum – well that’s how I saw it anyway. Another contender for point of the year. Ward’s clever work with the ball on the ground was helping the Greens keep the pressure on, Atkin was so committed to winning; she let the ball hit her square in the face for her first falcon. Lowe and Deng were taking lead from Condon and proving unstoppable down back – with Slattery being rewarded for her strong tackles as well, linking up nicely with Lewis and Robinson as the Greens moved the ball from back to forward. Cullen practiced her Harlem Globetrotter routine as she wrapped the ball behind back – confusing and impressing onlookers. Lewis and Slattery repeated second efforts in defence were great support for Condon and Lowe – as again the Saints pressed on for an elusive goal – sadly the behinds were all that the Greens could muster. Mid way through the term, McIntosh fell victim to a pot hole and a nasty rolled ankle was the result. McIntosh was heard wording how she would drive her manual car home post-match – limping around the back streets in second seemed the first option. Minahan continued to dominate the ruck – constantly hitting to the advantage of Croagh and Kehoe; Britt not happy with a just one free dinner, completed a second running bounce, proving she was playing a game within a game. The Saints Green dominated the third quarter playing most of the term with 17 players, three quarter time Saints Green 2.9-21 v Old Scotch 4.4-28
The Saints Green were excited for the challenge presented to them, and started the last quarter full of positive intent lead by Mauri and Deng; Croagh continued to take the game on and attempted 2 further running bounces, thankfully for the coaches bank account, they didn’t bounce back – Britt still owed two dinners. Ward was showing energy levels normally displayed by the energizer bunny as she chased a ball down in the forward line, tapping it backwards to save it going out of bounds, Em then commando rolled back on the ground as the ball was picked up by an Old Scotch player, as she readied herself to kick, Ward pounced like a Tiger, winning a free kick. Ward kicked straight to Augustus, who played on and kicked a goal, in what was easily the Grill’d Play of the Day!! Minahan kept winning the ruck contests, Robinson sensing a win was on the cards lifted her work rate, Kehoe kept breaking tackles with ease, displaying the odd ‘Don’t Argue’ as she kept moving the ball forward, McIntosh who was now boundary rider, commenting ‘Kehoe’s Champion Data ranking must be off the charts!’. Look out Abbey Holmes, Tess is after your job. The pack tackles by Saints Green continued, Stephenson looked like Sam Kerr as she volley the ball out of mid-air into open space, Mauri Collected and handballed to constantly running Kehoe. Condon went down with a nasty calf injury, and with the saints being 2 field players down, 3 points down on the scoreboard – Robinson took the game on! Receiving a handball from Holden, Robbo sprinted from the mid-field, took a bounce (free dinner Thursday Robbo), accelerated, ran into the forward line, feeling the pressure coming from a chasing pack, Robbo kicked for goal; the crowd held their breath as the ball tumbled, and bounced end over end crossing the line for a point… Another worthy contender for point of the year. As the Saints pushed for that elusive goal, Augustus took a mark about 40m from goal on a nice angle; the sun came out almost as a sign from above, Steph struck the ball well and gave the ball everything she had in her tired legs that had run 4 quarters. The ball was on target but sadly feel just short of the line. Old Scotch aided by 2 extra players on the field moved the ball forward – Ward and Lowe provided initial resistance – supported by Lewis and Slattery – sadly though despite the Saints Green dominance and effort, Old Scotch scored a goal, absolutely against the run of the play. Final Score Saints Green 3.10-28 v Old Scotch 5.6-36
In a performance by the Saints Green that deserves superlatives like extraordinary, amazing, phenomenal, sensational, mind blowing – as a coach, I use PROUD, to be my word to describe the efforts of the Greens. We hold our heads high and know Old Scotch are not a team we fear.
Goals Augustes, Mauri, McIntosh
Best: Kehoe, Condon, Minahan, Atkin, Croagh, McIntosh,
West Brunswick V Saints Gold - Saints prevail in thriller
The weather Gods were a little kinder this week, presenting an unseasonably warm 24 degrees. Perfect weather for the Grand Final Replay taking place on the north side of the kale curtain against West Brunswick.
Two players were given their hoops in the Golds, with the pre-game jersey ceremony seeing K.Fone and M.Baker the worthy recipients. Bowlesy really phoned it in for Fone’s presentation, while O highlighted that Baker was the first player this season* to play across all three Saints teams.
Coaches were little concerned the pre-game the girls were slightly flat compared to last week, but thankfully out on the field the girls were all business. Forward line pressure started strong, rewarding the mids by locking the ball in. It wasn’t long before a cracking piece of play saw McLinden kick long down the wing, G.Byrne smartly link in M.Gleeson who shot a swift handball to Asha, who would hit up first gamer Fone. Fone then sent the kangaroo leather to S.Cameron on a strong lead. S.Cameron, showing her poise, went back on her mark, which was on quite a tight angle before kicking a quality set shot to start the scoring for the day. An unfortunate landing/bump combo on the far wing would see E.Wedgewood go down for the day and require a visit to the emergency ward. Fingers crossed all is well.
1.1 to 0.1
West Brunswick stepped up their efforts in front of goals during the second quarter, making the most of their limited opportunities despite the Saints having their hands on the ball more than their worthy opponents. The Magpies managed two goals for the quarter to the saints 2 behinds. A good sign from the second quarter hustle was E. McLinden pulling down her 27th mark for the half, aiming to set a new league record.
1.2 to 2.1 at the major break.
Half time saw some bizarre scenes. McLinden breaking out the female version of Lynx Africa and spraying it as if she was trying to put out a fire, while, Head Coach, Tommy Purcell, was so enthused that names were merging, Carah or was it Sameron (??), the new proud #20 captain for the Saints. I guess this is slightly more civil than K.Fone’s nail clipping during the great man’s pre-game words.
Bowlsey rose to the suburban football challenge, finally obtaining some of Brunswick’s entry to the VAFA Dim-Sim of the Year Award. Sadly, they scored poorly, leaving Bowles less than impressed.
The third quarter was like a Halo Beriti - Natural – Ethiopia, a classic grind. Contest after contest, the ball was burrowing its way around the ground just like the boring machines currently working their way along St Kilda Road in readiness for the Melbourne Metro. After some solid pressure from all three lines, the defensive effort was rewarded. D.Edward, cornering her opponent demanded a holding the ball decision. Right on the cusp of her distance, displaying a vital skill of a polished player, which is knowing what her set shot capabilities are, she went back and converted from somewhere between 35 and 85m. This was enough to set the West Brunswick bench alight. Thanks to some questionable camera positioning, the West Brunswick Runner can be seen throwing his hat in despair.
2.4 to 2.1 Saints way at three quarter time
Head Coach, Tommy Purcell, blew away any literal or metaphorical roofs, as he launched in to a speech fit for the ages in an effort to get the team ready for the final 20 minutes.
A lightening fast goal to the city end at the start of the quarter would see West Brunswick take the lead. Then it was all grind, grind, grind. There were several ghosts of Round 2 floating about the field in the afternoon sun. Was this going to be Marcellin all over again? Saints controlling the play, hands on the ball, but behind on the scoreboard?
Vital defensive skills were on display around the field. Mother Stoltz’s most loved Stoltz was laying some keys tackles on the defensive wing, Rolls Royce Jess Joyce chasing down more opponents than players on the field, Doyle stopping only to film footage for her ‘how to lay 100,000 tackles in a season’ Instagram page, painful smoothers from Oh My Gosh G.Byrne and L.”Rambo (because of the head band)” Hodgetts kicking 50m barrels out of defence. But alas with all this hard work, the Saints were still behind.
In the dying minutes, a siren was heard for the 17th time for the day and the game was called! However, there was still 2 minutes to go. After much hoo-ha and praying to the football Gods, play recommenced. Moments later, first gamer Baker laid a brutal tackle with only 90 seconds remaining. From this stoppage, B. Joyce would win the tap, seeing B.Doyle clear the pack whilst under immense pressure.
Now, just let us pause here and quickly rewind to the three-quarter break. A fellow ‘fresh’ out of the hills of Kilmore, with a couple of black labs, let’s call him “Frank” whispered in Head Coach’s Tommy Purcell, ear “send McLinden to the forward line” as he sauntered back to his viewing nook in the middle distance.
Now fast forward back to the ball leaving Doyle’s boot again and hit play.
Enter E.McLinden, hands fully bandaged and likely septic due to a shocking case of leather poisoning. War paint beneath her eyes as she strode through the mist to collect the ball to run the final gauntlet. 48 black and white jumpers stood between her the goals, a hill and a 70km an hour wind, in both the blaring sun and the pouring rain. As she stepped around the last player, several players hanging off her, at break neck speed, she propelled the ball long. The ball would sail through the air and time slowed. The faint whistle of a metro train could be heard as it’s carriages rattled along the track, with the ball spinning end over end, a pitter-patter of boots and muffled yelling before the smack of the leather met the hands of S.Cameron as she rose above her opponent, to pull down a specular mark before thudding into the turf, ball still in hand. Whilst only a short distance from goal, this was no sure thing considering the circumstances. The goal still needed to be kicked. In the match video, a Brunswick West supporter/player can be heard saying “don’t f%*k it up!” as she made her final steps towards destiny.
AND KICK IT SHE DID! Sarah “put me down for 2” Cameron slotting it through the middle to see the Saints hit the lead in spectacular fashion. As the players scrambled back to their positions, the siren would sound, 7, 8, 9 times before the whistle was blown. Saints victorious!
3.4 to 3.1
Successful Set Shots: S. Cameron 2, D. Edward Bluest Shorts Awards: E. McLinden, S. Cameron, E. Hodgetts, B. Doyle, D. Edward, M. Gleeson
*not the first to have played for all three across multiple seasons
West Brunswick V Saints Blues
It was a day suited more to a picnic in the park than a game of footy with the mercury reaching the mid 20s. The three Saints teams were excited to be playing the clubs first triple header at McAllister oval against quality opposition in West Brunswick. The last time we played at the oval, we shared the rooms with a number of BBQs and it was good to see they had been banished to the junk pile outside.
The pre-game warm address completed, the Blues ran onto the field cheered on by the Greens. The siren sounded (well we thought it was ours) and the Saints started strongly kicking with the wind; it was clear that the game was going to be hard fought. Nolan started in the ruck and whilst the Magpies cleared, a strong tackle by K Viti resulted in a turnover. This was closely followed by a run-down tackle by Guss earning her a free. Russell showed her strong marking ability and the backs of Sullivan, Stephenson and Fiorentino were under a bit of pressure and the Magpies surged forward with quick ball movement. Howard and Jacka were running hard and despite West Brunswick peppering the goals, they couldn’t convert. In the last 30 seconds of the quarter, G Lupson was awarded a free for a high tackle and slotted the goal after the siren.
Qtr Time West Brunswick 1-5-11 Saints 1-3-9
The second quarter started with the same intensity as the first and C Straford continued her intensity at the ball and her opposition. The mid field of Jacka, Langton and Merrigan continued to put pressure on and managed to stem the ball movement of the Magpies. The heat was having an impact and the coaches were managing the board to keep the players fresh. The Blues knew that their pressure was leading to fumbling by the opposition and they didn’t really like the attention. The Blues midfield were working hard to deliver the ball to Pattison and Cropley but the Blues were also finding it hard to convert. We all knew that this wasn’t going to be a high scoring game but the intensity at the football was evident. A couple of shots hit the woodwork and the Blues were unlucky not to be further in front but kept the Magpies to a solitary behind.
HT West Brunswick 1-6-12 Saints 1-7-13
The cool of the change rooms bought welcome relief to the players as they headed back to the rooms for the half time address, Snakes and oranges were distributed and the energy levels soared again. The message was simple – be accountable for your player, keep the voice up and maintain the pressure on the ball carrier. The Blues came out strong with Langton winning the centre clearance and delivering the ball to Thurman. Mounas, C Lupson and C McDonough were presenting strongly and added to the forward pressure despite the Blues finding it difficult to convert. The Viti sisters linked beautifully and pushed the ball in to the forward line and Cropley continued to take on the opposition and push her way forward. Bland executed a textbook tackle and deliver the ball to C McDonough again the Blues were unlucky to convert. R Betts continued her strong form in the back line and with 3 minutes to go was rewarded for a strong tackle. Sullivan saved a certain goal with a run-down tackle and the Blues managed to again restrict the Magpies to one behind for the quarter.
3rd Qtr West Brunswick 1-7-13 Saints 1-9-15
As the Saints moved to the shade for the last quarter huddle, the message was simple – leave everything out there; this game was ours for the taking. The Blues were kicking with the breeze and wanted to continue to play the game on our terms. After taking a hit to the nose in the 3rd, Nolan was moved to the back line and showing her versatility, Thurman was hrown into the ruck. Betts was also out in the last quarter due to a foot injury. The Blues needed to dig deep but continued their dominance on the ground with strong ball movement and Thurmans mark and shot for goal was touched on the line. The kick out resulted in a beautiful take by Cropley who delivered to Pattison but again the Blues were again denied as the ball was rushed. C Straford continued her tackling pressure and intensity at the ball. The Blues again surged forward with Cropley channelling her grand final form with a successful shot at goal from the pocket resulting in the match winner.
After a bit of confusion with the siren – did it go, or was it the other game – the umpires signalled the end of the game with the Blues running out winners by 9 points
Final Score West Brunswick 1-7-13 Saints 2-12-24
Best - C McDonough, J Mounas, C Russell, C Straford, C Sullivan, K Viti
Goals - G Lupson 1, G Cropley 1
Match Report: Saints Green v West Brunswick
Saints Green headed to their round 4 clash undefeated and knowing another major challenge faced the team; with a range of players unavailable due to selection in Blues/Golds, cross country
championships, work and a day party – which on upon further investigation is just a party during the day. An additional challenge was presented when Coach Morley split his pants kicking a footy in the warm up – perhaps the morning’s Mighty McMuffin wasn’t needed? Stick to Apples coach.
With 1 on the bench for the Greens and a warm day looming – the challenge was real with West
Brunswick showing the strength of their club – having 6 on the bench; all keen to hunt the ladder
leading Greens. First ruck Carr, had turned to watching You Tube clips of ruck work; highlighting the clear lack of depth from the actual coaches; and it was working with Carr’s V12 ruck work impressing the crowd. West Brunswick were on the attack right from the first siren – or was it a train horn?
Stephenson’s kick outs from full back were able to clear the wall of magpie players; but West
Brunswick’s pressure around the ball had jumped the greens and it wasn’t long before the Westy’s
were celebrating their first of 4 goals for the quarter. Stirred into action Kehoe was fierce with some tackles – inspiring Dohnt who was also displaying perfect tackling technique, Lewis showed attack on the football – good to see mum’s genes on display – winning a free kick in the back line. Deng and Minahan’s work rate in defence was extreme. Straford and Ward combined well with a number of link up hand balls and run and Hayes’ tackling was also noteworthy.
Quarter time Saints Green 0.0-0
v West Brunswick 4.4-28.
Following some inspiring words from the coaches and reassuring smile from Kermit the Frog, the
Greens started the second quarter with renewed vigour. Robinson lead from the front winning the
football in the middle along with compliments from the umpire, Lewis’s marks across half back were stopping momentum from West Brunswick. Holden’s multiple efforts in contest was an indication she was on premium fuel for the day. Deng’s punch from defence was an early candidate for the golden fist award. Cullen took lead from others with multiple repeat efforts around the ground, Ward’s Wing is proving to be regular thing for the Greens, Dohnt moved to ruck showing genuine versatility of the Greens. Hayes received an errant elbow spilling some quality 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon; the knock sparked Lucy in action returning to the field playing like a player possessed. Minahan’s efforts down back were scientifically proven, McIntosh’s tackling was leaving opposition players in a crumpled mess. A wonderful quarter of pressure football from the Greens, sadly we were able to score, but the Greens showed they would not lie down.
Half time Saints Green 0.0-0 v
West Brunswick 4.5-29
As the day continued to warm up, the ruck rotation continued, McIntosh moved into the ruck, her
efforts in ruck might prove her Viking ancestry. Mauri’s efforts across half forward were proving
inspiring, Ward’s tackling on her wing was leaving a body count James Bond would be envious of; a noted feature of Emma’s game is how she incorporates a gymnastics routine, executing a perfect backward roll out of a pack, complimenting her forward roll last week – 9.6 from the sideline judges. Deng showed skills Lionel Messi would be proud of as she nutmegged an opponent in the midfield, Dohnt’s tackling continued from earlier, and Minahan showed a clean set of heels to Westy player as she sprinted forward. Crowe was working hard, but clearly still hampered by corkie that resembled a Dulux colour wall of purple. Holden’s turbo charged efforts in the midfield allowed Hayes and Kehoe to keep pushing forward. Kehoe’s efforts in the third quarter were nothing short of fantastic – involved in 4 repeat contests, picking up the football, giving a ‘don’t argue’ to an opponent. The ball spent the majority of the quarter in the Saints forward line, an out of bounds on the full decision the Saints way, saw Howard come from the other side of ground to convince the umpire she was closest the free kick was hers. The ensuring kick from Howard saw a scramble in the forward line, including a presentation of tunnel ball Crowe’s grade three class would be proud of, Murray was playing with such anger, coaches and team mates were scared of the angry eyes. After a couple of behinds being kicked, Ward kicked a goal – a deserved reward for team effort.
Three Quarter time Saints Green
1.2-8 v West Brunswick 5.6-36
Sadly Carr was garaged for the day with a foot injury; Coaches Morley and Lewis did their best
Statler and Waldorf (one for you to google ladies) as they displayed their complete lack of bedside manner in trying to diagnose the issue. With no one available on the bench, the weather reaching an unseasonable high 20’s on the 1 st of May, the Greens fitness was showing strong, McIntosh’s run from defence sent the ball forward, Deng ran back with the flight of the ball and took a courageous mark. Augustus picked up the football on the forward flank, took a bounce (dinner for you Thursday Steph), sold some candy and kicked forward, Wardy collected and centred the ball with text book precision for Hayes to mark and goal. The greens continued to push forward and lock the ball in the forward line, Ward had a shot on goal that appeared to be sailing into the car park, manager Michelle screaming ‘don’t hit my car!!!!’. Thankfully gravity took over, and the ball landed safely for a behind. West Brunswick continued their rotations in the warm weather, Stephenson and Minahan were rock solid in defence, Lewis executing strong tackles in support. Holden’s work rate right to the end was proof the engineered turbo charged engine was worth its value.
The siren sounded – or was it a train horn again – either way the game ended Saints Green 2.3-15 v West Brunswick 6.8-44.
A wonderful team effort, take away the first quarter where the Saints were ‘jumped’ and it was a
very even game and one were everyone contributed and played a wonderful game – much to like
and look forward to for the coaches and club.
Goals: Ward, Hayes
Best: Kehoe, Straford. A, Deng, Holden, Ward, Hayes
Round 3 – Saints (Gold) v St Mary’s
R.Bowles arrived at the hallowed turf, Spaghetti Oval, donut and dim sim free. This must have been a special day. In fact, it was a huge day for the club, as the 2019 Premiership flag was to be unfurled to a capacity crowd of the finest creatures, dogs. Thankfully many of their owners were also there to witness this historic moment too. Prior to entering the playing arena, the team welcomed three new players to the Gold Crew, with J.Osman, I.Stutt and R.Betts receiving their hoops.
Out on Spaghetti, Club President, Michael Doble, took the stage, using his way with words to paint a picture of that day way back when in August 2019. The flag was raised, the crowd was amped, the dogs were happy, and the first siren was moments away.
The first quarter saw the Golds controlling the play, starting with a number of inside 50’s that results in minor scores before G.Byrne, burnt her opponent, to get create a piece of play that on the match video will fit for “Front and Centre 101 Class”, then using her sublime foot skills to make a difficult shot, seem easy, kicking her first major for the club and the Saints’ first for the day.
1.4 to Bowlesy’s missing donut at the first break
Second quarter saw the Saints lift the temp. M.Gleeson used her body well in another inside fifty stoppage, resulting in a free being paid her way. She went back for a set shot, walking in with confidence to split the middle of the goals for her first for the season, no doubt many more to come.
Coming off a superb tagging performance in round 2, Asha ‘the glove’ Mendel (did I spell it right this time Asha?) found her self in a prime scoring position, the best position off all, first swiping at the ball but not getting enough purchase, before channelling her inner Sam Kerr to put the ball in the back of the net for her first goal of her career. Following her elaborate celebration, which iced a good 5 minutes of the game, she alerted her opponent to the fact this was her first goal. I am informed that her opponent was suitably impressed to be involved in such an occasion.
50* gamer, El “The Wedge” Wedgewood, after slamming in to the post earlier in the quarter, took a strong mark mere meters from goal. Unfortunately, the umpire decided to test out his year 8 protractor skills and somehow managed to put her line on goal behind the goals. There was some uncertainty from the coaches’ box (cage covering some sort of council assets) as her approach suggested she was going to apply the old school drop punt approach from this position. Coaches had to eat their own words, unlike Bowlsey’s missing donut, as The Wedge slotted an impressive goal from the hardest of angles. There was still time for another before the break, with first gamer, I.Stutt, again demonstrating her fine skill and general football intelligence around the ground, finding herself in a great position, in front, to take a nice overhead mark delivered off the boot of J.Osman. Stutt would then waltz back and convert from 25m with the poise of a 300-game full forward. 4 gaols in a quarter, enough to make a forward line coach cry tears of joy.
5.6 to 1.0 at the intermission
Third quarter saw the Salesians step up and take it up to the Saints, controlling the vast majority of the 20 minutes. Defenders were in high demand as the ball was pushed into the defensive fifty at regular intervals. Head Coach, Tommy Purcell, was threatening to take the field and play on No.10 himself if no one picked her up.
Against the run of play and to the Strawberries and Cream end (Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club end), A.Mendel and E.Wedgewood both kept their feet, combining to get the ball to the dashing D.Edward, who would sidestep the Salesian in her path, then whilst under great pressure, kick a vital goal from right on the arc. This was yet another player adding her name to the list of those kicking their first for the club.
Despite the Salesians being clear winners of the play for the quarter, both teams added 1.1, seeing the ¾ time score 6.7 to 2.1
Showers had threatened all day, but in the last quarter, the heavens opened seeing many supporters taking cover to protect their puffer jackets and R.M.Williams.
L.”the Whizz” Wardlaw looked dangerous in the forward fifty, using her superior pace to break free on multiple occasion, almost kicking a couple of beauties, but it wasn’t to be this week. Get the feeling there might be a few shots on goal for the Wardlaw in the future.
Rolls Royce Jess Royce was in full swing, threatening to go down with a major case of leather poisoning while getting her second game boots across ever blade of grass on the field. Meanwhile, B.Doyle continued to show her elite tackling skills, while taking several strong marks. Ever the smart player, she decided to use her head, literally, in one particular play, showcasing her world game skills, head butting the ball off the boot of an opponent, a moment that would find her with a nice little shiner on her eye lid.
McLinden read the play for four quarters, providing plenty of run and carry off the backline, stopping the Salesians run on several occasions. J. Osman’s football intelligence was very apparent, looking to switch, linking up well, reading the play and getting in the right spots to create scoring opportunites.
The oracle, Head Coach, Tommy Purcell, said in frustration “Somebody smart needs to drop back to the square!” Somebody did. Cue S.Cameron drifting back as Stutt, via Osman who roved Gleeson, guided the ball in to her well placed hands, before she punished said ball, by unleashing it towards the club rooms through the big sticks. Only moments later, I.Stutt would again be involved, clearing from the defensive half, finding Gleeson on the forward wing who centred nicely to a two on one. S.Cameron, read the play better than her opponents, allowing the forward trio to combine nicely for the second, and last, goal for the quarter. The siren would sound at the 20 minute mark, which it often does, with the scores at 8.10 to 2.1, leaving the Saints taking home the 4 points.
In the rooms the first gamers were subjected to the Gatorade shower, as the Saints song was sung with great gusto, even allowing King Louis XV to enter the first gamers inner circle to represent the mass of dogs in attendance.
Those sheltering from the rain post match, manage to spot S.Cameron with a camera crew, posing for shots and signing autographs in the goal square. More to come on this story no doubt.
Sausage Roll Recipients: S. Cameron 2, E. Wedgwood, M. Gleeson, A. Mendel, I. Stutt, D. Edward, G. Byrne
Notable Performances: I. Stutt, B. Doyle, J. Joyce, E. McLinden, L. Wardlaw, S. Cameron
*at the start of the game before the siren, she had played 50 games
Saints Green Match report v Melbourne University
The Saints Green were ready for a challenge this round, with a number of Green players from last week called up to the Golds and Blues; the Greens were able to recruit 4 new players and name a side with only one on the bench to face a strong Melbourne University team. There were other challenges as well, one coach took the ‘team green’ mantra a step too far, tipping in multiple green cans on Saturday night, waking up with a green face and needing 500cc of egg and bacon McMuffin stat, before even contemplating coaching.
The weekly GPS challenge continued this Sunday, as Melbourne University chalked an oval outline in an inner city paddock, leaving many green players to ‘get lost’; rumours a big night for a few players may have also contributed to some tardiness.
The greens settled nicely into the redbrick pavilion a short stroll from the oval, Captain for the day Robinson; set the bar high early by providing SKOB cookies for all the girls and coaches; a really nice touch, followed by a reminder – not to eat the biscuits until after the game.
A capacity crowd were filling the stands nicely, great to see so many Gold and Blue players and coaches. From the first ball-up Carr sideswiped the ball nicely into the path of Baker and the Greens were away early into the forward line. The ball ping ponged around the ground early on as both sides struggled to gain any ascendancy; first gamer Hayes clearly wasn’t an umpires favourite, as a blatant push in the back was missed, Dohnt on the sideline made sure the umpire knew what he had missed. A hushed crowd waited nervously as Sam Viti went down holding her knee, thankfully it was just an awkward knock and she returned to the ground soon after. Carr was putting on a showroom of ruck work, Atkin pouncing on the ball to propel it forward to Reis who marked nicely, her kick forward found Sam Viti whose shot on goal narrowly missed, but the Greens were on the board. Slattery’s tackles were proving difficult to break across half back, Condon picking up the loose football to find Kehoe who was loving the football in a paddock concept. The Greens were dominating possession, and aside for two very fluky goals to Melbourne University; it was a quarter than pleased the coaches immensely.
Quarter time Saints Green: 0.1.-1 v Melbourne University 2.1-13
With positive reinforcement ringing in the Greens ears; Deng led from the front early in the second quarter, straight lining contest after contest, Kat Viti continually found herself in space, and Baker, who thanks to her Nike roster was in Greens was again was likely to be accused of bring her own football. McIntosh moved into the ruck, continuing the Green dominance in the midfield. Robinson showed she wasn’t just a bake boss, smothering opposition kicks with ease. The Mafioso Viti sisters, weren’t out of place in this close proximity to Lygon St, as the Viti’s handballed and shepherded for each other like they were errr… sisters…. A Viti kicked forward for Baker, who turned, accelerated and goaled. Atkin and Straford were dominating the half back – repelling multiple attacks forward from our opposition. Hayes, Viti (no idea which one) and Reiss combined like an AFLW team, moving the ball from defence to the forward line, where Baker again popped up like bread out of a toaster to kick her second, the Saints Green were starting to be allowed to play their game. Condon moved to the back line, taking lead from those who have been there before her, as Emily started to be a force down back.
Half time Saints Green 2.4-16 v Melbourne University 2.1-13
Whilst tempted to eat their SKOB biscuits at half time, the Greens stuck to the lollies and recharged for the second half. Reminded of their fitness dominance, the Greens were egger right from the start of the third quarter. With the first forward movement for Saints, Kehoe won a free kick and was able to kick her first goal for SKOB. Atkin continued her brilliant game finding Sam Viti, or was that Kat, no it was Sam, Kat was on the bench. Ward was enjoying the open space of paddock footy so much, she started selling acreage on her wing, no stamp duty for first home buyers with Ward & Co. Condon’s dominance of the game continued, with some brilliant plays; Kehoe proved she wasn’t just a goal kicker, smartly shepherding for team mates. Deng kept running from half back and winning every contest she was involved in; Mauri was solid across half forward. Holden and Sam Viti opened a catering business as they sandwiched a poor Melbourne University player. As the quarter neared a conclusion, Melbourne University had a shot on goal, the defence swung into action, channelling popular 1980’s TV show, ‘Aerobics Oz Style’; with a co-ordinated 6 player star jump routine working as a perfect distraction, causing the University player to kick a point from dead in front; the only thing missing was the ‘Let’s Get Physical’ backing track. Well done ladies – Oliva Newton-John would have been proud.
Three Quarter time Saints Green 3.8-26 v Melbourne University 2.2-14.
With VAFA officials looking on Baker continued to brush off allegations she had brought her own football moving the ball forward with Straford taking a great mark. The following play saw Melbourne University try and move the ball out of defence, only for the ball to fortuitously land in the path of Straford, who picked up the footy and goaled. Holden who had been idling for bit took off like an illegal drag racer in Dandenong South, kicking the ball long at each opportunity. Lewis moved into the ruck and showed skill her father could only dream of. Denng, Hayes and Condon were winning every contest in defence, pleasing the coaches and capacity crowd. Reis was finding more space as the University team tired, snapping into the path of Sam Viti; with the ball in dispute, a strong McIntosh channelled her Scottish highland ancestry, fending off 3 tacklers to kick a goal. Melbourne University showed they are a proud club, and moved the ball forward, Slattery and Stephenson were having none of it and stopped multiple attacks in their tracks. Atkin’s work rate in the last quarter was immense, with one coach noting ‘she is going to be sore tomorrow’; Baker will also be looking for an ice bath as her three repeat efforts on the half forward line were appreciated by her team mates.
Final Score Saints Green 5.8 38 v Melbourne University 2.2-14.
A win that highlights the resilience and friendship of the Greens, one that team mascot Kermit the Frog would be proud of. Well done Greens; a great win, where you overcame multiple challenges and achieved success.
Goals Baker 2, McIntosh, Kehoe, Straford. A
Best Condon, Baker, Viti. K, Deng, Atkin, Straford. A
Saints Gold v Marcellin Match Report
After a picturesque drive along the world renowned, no doubt future heritage listed, Eastern Freeway, the Saints found themselves on the vast plains of Bulleen. Bowles broke tradition (superstitious anyone?) and arrived with some quality jam donuts and a couple of coffees, opting to steer clear of the Marcellion branded dim sims. Said jam donuts will be the subject of a full investigation, after he left one to enjoy at a later moment, only to discover when that later moment arrived that someone had enjoyed it for him.
J.Joyce arrived in a hurry after the classic ‘my dog at my footy boots’ moment, with a new set of kicks. Unlike like R. ‘the flash’ Gillett’s boots, she opted for the traditional black boot with a dash of blue. While we are on the topic of Joyces, the club rejoiced with the addition to the of B.Joyce, who lined up for the Golds after an impressive preseason and round 1. After an inspiring welcoming for her first game by Head Coach, Tommy Purcell, and the Wedge definitely not celebrating her 50th game this week, opting for the abstract 51st game celebration approach, the team took to the field.
A hot start from the Saints saw S.Cameron maintain her run of kicking “all the goals” with a strong mark deep in the fifty, thanks to a D.Edward delivery, leading to an inspired shot on goal to open the scoring for the day. Marcellin would return fire before the forwards were at it again, with S.Cameron snagging her second for the game. Moments later, the classy run and carry of B.Doyle saw her place a nice left footer through the big sticks for the Saints’ third. Whilst this was great news for the scoreboard, it is rumoured that S.Cameron will not be making any small talk with B.Doyle until she pays her back for breaking her ‘all the goals’ status, requesting 3 lace out kicks that result in shots goals. In the dying moment, Marcellin would capitalise on an opportunity, leaving the Saints up at the first break 3.1 to 2.1
The contest heated up in the second with the teams evenly matched for the majority the term. C.Brown, ever the creative player, managed to pluck one from a stoppage and trouble the scorers for her first major for the year. S.Betts continued to be a safe bet, getting to the contests and creating opportunities, really showing some class in just her second game in the Golds. Marcellin found themselves kicking 1 goal straight for the quarter, with the teams heading to the major break 4.2 to 3.1.
The third quarter was an arm wrestle, with S.Cameron going down briefly with a rib injury, only to recall she is a vegetarian (I think), so her rib order could be left for someone else to endure. A.Mendal continued to wear number 7 like a tailored glove (A.Mendal only does bespoke, nothing standard order for her) and was a pain for A.Pane to deal with. For those of you playing at home, this is a good gag as number 7’s name is A.Pane.
Unfortunately, Marcellin made the most of their limited inside 50’s, kicking to two more to the Saints 1 behind, taking a 4 point lead in to the last quarter.
The last quarter saw the Saints controlling the play, however were unable to turn the solid midfield pressure in to shots on goal. With one scoring shot for the quarter, the Saints managed to reduce the margin by only a single point, leaving Marcellin to prevail by 3 points – 5.1 – 31 to 4.4 -28
E.McLinden, who I am pretty sure never reads these - perhaps next week I will do it as a reel to appeal to her, one of those ones where I dance to a song and just point at words? I digress, she played a strong game, taking home the chocolates for best afield thanks to solid team management from T.Straford. Unfortunately T.Straford did break his run of not repeating any turn of phrases, with many ‘riding them like a beaten favourite’ uttered throughout the day.
Head Coach, Tommy Purcell, was right, that one should burn. However, three-point loss to a team that gave it’s all should remind us that we are capable of much better things. All-in-all, not the greatest of days, suffering our first loss in 658 days (June 29 2019 v Marcellin OC) and Bowlesy lost a donut – full enquiry to be launched #DonutLeadsOnDonutTheft.
Goal Kickers: S. Cameron 2, B. Doyle, C. Brown Best Players: E. McLinden, B. Doyle, S. Betts, J. Joyce, C. Brown, A. Mendel
Round 2 Marcellin v Saints Blues
It was another early start for the Blues heading out to Bulleen to take on Marcellin. After a few ‘what’s app‘ messages that the gates were locked at the school, Chloe Brown saved the day pinning the ground and showing the way for the team.
The ground was a little bumpy and the centre cricket pitch covered with artificial turf, looked more like a landing strip at Essendon Airport than a footy field but it was a beautiful morning for footy; a little overcast and not breath of wind with the head coach grounding himself with the oval. The hot air balloons also thought the ground must have been in good condition and were there for an early landing.
Victoria and Fadia (from the Youth Mentoring Program) made their debut as boundary umpires after a last-minute change to the volunteer schedule and a crash course in boundary umpiring, they were set to umpire their first game.
The energy in the room was high and the message from Christian (Dr Meataxe) was simple; Big voice, focus on 1%ers and play one-on-one footy. Before heading on to the ground, Molly Howard addressed the team – we’ve earned our stripes – play for each other, play for the jumper. The Blues were ready for battle.
1stQtr - The first 2 minutes of the game saw Contaxis win tap and the Blues cleared the ball through Fone who bullied her way through the pack to deliver the ball to Pattison. After a trademark Paddo mark, she slotted it through to open the account for the Saints. Merrigan showed she was here to play with strong tackling pressure and run through the middle of the ground. Guss almost knocked herself out in a bruising tackle taking the Marcellin player down in a show of strength. Viti showed she was there to play; her run and tackling pressure immense. Russell took a blow to the nose resulting in the claret running, with the trainers trying to stem the flow and she had to sit out the remainder of the quarter. The Blues had most of the play with G Lupson unlucky not to score and the forwards not quite finding the goals. In the dying seconds Contaxis tapped the ball to Baker who delivered beautifully to Pattison, slotting through the second for the Blues.
Marcellin 1-0-6 to Saints 2-3-15
2nd Quarter – After a slow start in the 1st quarter, Marcellin seemed to be a different team and found their run and carry, dominating the second term and taking advantage of the breeze that was blowing towards the scrub end of the ground. Contaxis continued to dominate the ruck, but Marcellin had the better of the clearances. Fiorentini was thrown into the back line to try and stem the flow. Hodgetts was showing good form with her smooth kicking style but took a knock to the knee and had to sit out the game. R Betts, Stephenson and Russell had their work cut out for them as the breeze came up and Marcellin took advantage, kicking 3 goals 3 for the quarter. Langton showed her strength in the back line and helped stem the flow a little. Bland’s kick outs were a sight to behold but unfortunately for the Blues – they couldn’t break the lines and were left scoreless for the quarter and headed in to the half time break 12 points behind.
Half time Marcellin 4-3-27 to Saints 2-3-15
3rdQtr - At the halftime break, Meataxe reminded the team of the focus for the day– one-on-one footy, voice and 1%ers. That rousing half time speech certainly swung the Blues into action. Jacka showed why she earned the Tic-Tac Tackle award in 2019 and continued her strong tackling form and K Viti scored in the first passage of play. The midfield found their running form with Snell and Fone continuing their strong running and tackling, Mounas, Baker and Guss all proving their midfield talents and the Blues were back in the game. G Lupson showed some class with an attempted scissor kick that Lionel Messi would have been proud of but was unable sneak it through the big sticks Merigan, Howard and Thurman battled hard, to bring the Blues back into the game. Marcellin were limited to 1 point in the third and it was game on; Blues trailing by 6 points going in the final term
Marcellin 4-4-28 to saints 3-4-22
4thQtr – Against the breeze, the Blues started with a flurry and despite the breeze blowing in their faces, managed to play most of the game in their forward 50. Marcellin tried to help the Blues for the second time in the game kicking to the wrong end of the ground. McDonough led well and the lack of Grippo was blamed for a couple of marks not sticking. G Lupson fought hard and took some good grabs. The Blues lost their dominant ruck with Contaxis sitting out the rest of the game with a dislocated finger. Thurman was thrown in to ruck and did a fine job carrying momentum. C McDonough almost snatched the game with a last-minute goal but the ball shaved the goal post on the way through for a behind. Jacka was infringed 20 metres out from goal with a clear push in the back however was not awarded the kick. Marcellin cleared the ball with 30 seconds to go - the Blues going down by 6 points in a low scoring game
Final Score Marcellin 4-6-30 def. Saints Blues 3-6-24 Best: Contaxis, Fone, Goss, Langton, Russell and K Viti Goals: M Pattison 2, K Viti 1
Saints Green v Monash Uni Match Report
A picture perfect day greeted the Saints Green, an oval in pristine condition, an oval of similar
dimension to the MCG in a location that can well challenge even the best GPS, bring back the
Melways one coach was heard saying, Google ‘Melways’ ladies – you’re in for a treat…. Coach
Morley continued the random pre match dulux colour wall review, introducing inspiring words from Kermit the Frog, I mean who else knows more about being Green? With a late weather report from Jane Bun of it raining goals – it was on to the game.
Captain Croagh lost the toss, proving the Greens are human. Crowe was dominant in the ruck, with Croagh, Lupson, Atkin excitedly pushing the ball forward, and it wasn’t long before first gamer Pip Stephenson was kicking her first goal. Pip wasn’t happy with just one goal, soon after adding her second as the Greens stamped their dominance on the game early. Rotations were coming quick and fast for Greens, Condon, Mauri continuing the midfield authority; soon after goals to Saints veterans Augustes and McIntosh we nicely placed on the scoreboard. Doble and Deng were loving the open space on the wing repelling multiple Monash forward movements. Quarter time Saints Green 6.7-43
v Monash Blues 0.0-0
Crowe who controlled the ruck in the first quarter was nursing a bad corkie, opening an opportunity for Minahan to show her skill as a ruck – and pleasingly for all, Juliet continued the ruck supremacy. Robinson entered the midfield and ably found Deng who was showing serious skill on the wing. The forward line showed they don’t just kick goals, they also tackle – Lewis, Straford x2 and Atkin hunting like a pack of Greenies at coal convention; keeping the ball locked in forward 50 or inside the rainbow as it was on this oval. Nolan showed her game dominance is not limited to the midfield, pushing forward to open he goal account, soon followed by long goal from Straford A. Robinson laid some impressive tackles across the ground, and early candidate for the infamous tic-tac tackler award, and Cullen showed she can actually play everywhere, back, mid and forward – with Sophie kicking an impressive goal. Calls for a concussion test for Lewis were knocked back; confusion was deemed the reason the forward pocket was lining up on the half back line.
Half time Saints Green
12.9-81 v Monash Blues 0.0-0
Half time arrived and sadly Minahan, who controlled the second quarter had succumbed to a
hamstring strain and was put on ice – literally. Creativity was clearly the theme of the magnet
placement on the board as many Green players were introduced to new spots on the ground. Many players covertly coming to a coach ‘asking for some advice’; sorry ladies, we aren’t those sort of coaches, Kelly Green will make a great feature wall though.
The Greens showed what a classy team they are, the link up handballs, voice, shepherding and
tackles were being demonstrated with high levels of execution. Crowe who was on one leg, showed true grace to kick two goals and create multiple other opportunities for the forward line, including Augustes who kicked her third goal. The Holden Carr forward line was running on premium high octane as both ladies duly converted during the third quarter. Murray was flowing like a river in the midfield, finding Condon in space, Condon handballed to Augustes who kicked an early candidate for point of the year. With the offer of a free Thursday night dinner on offer from the coaches for those who have a bounce, Lupson’s half bounce effort was deemed null and void by the sideline judges, her sentence; five minutes on the bench to practise bouncing. Holden received a late call up to join a manufacturer’s party and sped off just before three quarter time.
Three quarter time Saints Green
17.16-118 v Monash Blues 0.0-0
Creative magnet placement continued for the start of the last quarter as Straford A, McIntosh,
Murray and Mauri all had a go in the ruck. Crough found space, and decided it was the perfect time to execute a running bounce; her reward will be a free meal on Thursday. Deng found Atkin by hand, Atkin continued her highly skilled game finding a prestige Carr, who turned and goaled like a well-oiled machine. Straford C, was showing high energy in the forward line. Augustes completed her name change to Goals Augustes as she kicked her fourth. Doble aka Tom Brady, saw out her dominant game on the back flank, acting like a quarter back starting multiple attacks forward, Condon accepted a late invite to the goal party adding her name to a long list.
Final Score Saints
Green 20.21-141 v Monash Blues 0.0-0
Saints Green continued their dominant start to the season – with a number of injuries in Golds and Blues across the past few games, the Greens depth will be tested in the coming weeks. The score lines are impressive, but the game play that leads to that score are pleasing the coaches more.
Goals: 4 Augustes, 3 Atkin, 2 Carr, 2 Crowe, 2 Nolan, 2 Stephenson, Cullen, Condon, Holden, McIntosh, Straford. A
Best: Nolan, Atkin, Augustes, Crowe, Condon, Straford A
SKOB Saints v St Mary’s Match Report
In a first for SKOB, three ladies teams took to the field, with the history achieving Greens making their first appearance. Ferndale Park was the venue for the this momentous occasion, as our Saints Green were up against the Saints of St Mary’s; Catholics really need to invest in a marketing agency for their team nicknames, there are more options than Saints people.
Prior to the match we celebrated 12 new players to the Saints sisterhood, including 4 girls playing their first ever game of AFL. The pre match address saw the coach discuss psychology of the colour green, leaving many girls scratching their heads, curious if the coach had been watching ‘Half Baked’ the night before? Tim Straford conducted the ground inspection, looking for Doberman droppings, more likely to be Golden Retrievers in Glen Iris; thankfully Tim approved the ground and the game could go on.
The rain cleared and the sun was out with inaugural Greens Captain Dohnt leading the ladies out, the opening play was a text book centre clearance for The Greens with Joyce, hitting to Baker, on to Crough who kicked forward for McDonough to kick the first goal for the day. A first goal before the capacity crowd had sat down. Goals from Nolan and then McDonough again had the Saints with 3 Goals before 5 minutes had passed! St Mary’s sprang into action and moved the ball forward, defenders Carr and Fiorentini excitedly entered the action forcing a point. Cullen’s resulting kick in found Joyce, who found, Doble, then Murray and ended with Atkin opening her goal account; a football movement at the standard of AFLW. Nearing the end of the quarter, first gamer Robinson collected the ball on the wing, ran past one tackler, easily avoided a second and a third, probably was on track to run a sub 10sec 100m, before being called for running to far – easily the fastest 20-30m sprint seen. Quarter time Saints Green 7.2-44; St Mary’s 0.1-1
Langton, Baker and Crough were enjoying Joyce’s ruck dominance and goals continued through Nolan, McDonough and Murray. Cullen moved to a wing and was the beneficiary of a smart tap by Atkin into space, kicking a smart goal, dubbed ‘play of the day’ by boundary rider Tim Straford. Mauri’s work around the stoppages was helping clear the ball, Deng was proving herself as a smart footballer, Carr was revving up from half back and Dohnt ably moved into the ruck as the Greens continued their match dominance. It was smiles all round as the rain started right on the half time siren. Half time Saints Green 11.3-69; St Mary’s 0.1-1
The rain conveniently cleared as the third quarter started, with the Greens taking this as a sign from above that it was the Green’s time to rain; rain goals. Howard showed the way first – improving the angle smartly after a great mark, kicking straight through the middle. Augustes heard about the pending goal party a duly joined in, with Nolan, Baker, Joyce, McDonough and Atkin all RSVPing to the party as well. Tired of playing in defence, McIntosh rubbed grippo in her eye, coming off to plead her case to play forward – it worked. Robinson and Crough continued their in and under work rate at the stoppages; Langdon often first receiver from their work. Carr parallel parking her way in to join the goal party – a 9 goal quarter of football – are you kidding me!!!! Three Quarter time: Saints Green 20.8-128; St Mary’s 0.1-1
To start the last quarter it was clear the only real issue for the coach was, what to have for lunch? (Fish tacos for those playing at home). The magnets were reshuffled, and after dominating defence all game, the Straford cousins both enjoyed kicking their goals, Caroline particularly busy in the final 20 minutes, kicking 1.3. Langton, Cullen and Doble were all excellent across the midfield pushing the ball forward, Augustus, McIntosh and Murray marking everything near them. Baker added her fifth goal, a pending enquiry looms with rumours Meg brought her own footy to the game. McDonough channelling her inner Nick Riewoldt, ran back with the flight and took an amazing mark, played on – had a bounce, in the wet if you don’t mind, and kicked forward for Joyce to convert.
Final Score Saints Green 24.17-161; St Mary’s 0.1-1
A history making day for the Saints; our new team, The Greens have arrived and are hungry for success.
Goals: Baker 5, McDonough 4, Joyce 3, Nolan 3, Atkin 2, Augustes, C. Straford, Carr, Murray, Cullen, Howard, A Straford
Best: Baker, Joyce, McDonough, Croagh, Nolan, Langton