PANTHERS BEAT IMPROVED SAINTS
Old Mentonians played an excellent first quarter to set-up a comfortable win over an improved St. Marys Salesian by 44 points at Keysborough Playing Fields, Keysborough. Old Mentonians Reserves won their only game of the season over SMS Reserves in a closely fought contest by 10 points.
Full Match Reports
We understand the SMS Womens team have been taking every opportunity to celebrate their back to back premierships during the past week. Peter Leman tells us the girls know how to party. For the record, the successful Saints 2018 premiership team comprised the following players – Katrina Aabryn, Alice Angley, Grace Barry, Sasha Byrnes, Holly Ellis, Joelly Firmin, Megan Furphy, Rachel Gill, Rebecca Grant, Sonya Klimpsch, Stephanie Lawrence, Eliza Matheson, Kayla May-Smith, Natarsha Rappos, Emily Roos, Katherine Selir, Nicole Shue, Chloe Soderstrom, Eliza Stanley, Madeleine Stanley, Avalon Tickle, Ruby Svarc, Annemieke Thorbecke and Sarah Yule. More exciting times are ahead for the SMS Womens teams in 2019.
The SMS Mens Firsts and Reserves completed a very disappointing VAFA Premier ‘C’ Grade season on Saturday and will be looking to re-build after being relegated (along with Peninsula) to VAFA Division 1 for the 2019 season. Apart from changes in coaching, it has become clear the Saints need (if possible) to recruit a few bigger, stronger and more physical guys to compliment our very good current list. Another wish is for the addition of an SMS Under 19 team to ensure some quality youngsters are coming through for future seasons. We don’t want to slide backwards again, so a lot of hard work is necessary for players and officials over the next six months.
Men – On Saturday, our Round 18 opponent was Old Mentonians at Keysborough Playing Fields, Keysborough. The Panthers are coached by Steve D’Andrea and were in eighth position having beaten PEGS by 25 points in their previous game.
A sensational day weatherwise to complete our year. Sunny, blue sky, and around 18 degrees made it feel like finals time, but of course we won’t be there this time. An exceptionally good attendance at the matches with Old Mentonians holding a Club Luncheon in the Pavilion at the very picturesque school playing field. Also a good roll-up of SMS personnel no doubt encouraged by the fantastic Melbourne weather and the fact it was the boys final fixtures.
As usual, David Malcolm (President), Matt Ellis, Peter Leman, Norbert Graetzer and Adam Lane led the way for the Saints. Some other faces seen were Cal Anderson, Neil Barrie, Greg Baum, Col Chipperfield, Michael Dolan (and dog), Paul Grant, Gerry Holmes, Al Howard, Geoff Lane, Michael Learmonth, Brian Ludwig, Don Malcolm, Richard Morris, Ethan Rocke, (I think) Xavier Tanner and grandkids, and also Steve Turzi. A number of non-participating players, other family members and friends were also about. My apologies to those missed.
Our sincere thanks to VAFA and Club field, boundary and goal umpires – (including Neil Barrie – Reserves goalie) – Club runners (including Nathan Evans and Jack Elliston) – Water carriers, Helpers and Training staff – at all levels.
Geoff Lane performed his usual timekeeping duties in the impressive Old Mentonians electronic scoreboard which provided an excellent view of the game from the centre wing.
The Old Mentonians Canteen did a fine job looking after large numbers of patrons with hot and cold food and drinks during the afternoon and we thank the staff for their efforts. In addition an outdoor B-B-Q offered sausages and bread, or hamburgers in a roll, for as little as $2-00 which we felt was sensational value. The large crowd provided terrific atmosphere for both games with cars parked around the boundary fence, and spectators on both sides of the playing arena (many basking in the sunshine).
On the completion of the Firsts match, Erwin Leyden addressed his players in the rooms thanking them for their support over a number of seasons and wishing them well for the future. Cam Butler responded on behalf of the playing group expressing heartfelt appreciation for the coach’s wonderful contribution.
At the ‘After the Game Drink’ reasonable numbers attended from both clubs. The Panthers spokesman welcomed Saints players, officials and supporters and best player awards were announced for both Clubs.
SMS personnel then returned to the Ferndale Park Pavilion in Glen Iris for the Best and Fairest counts. The evening got under way just after 7-00 pm and was well attended by Saints players (Men and Women), officials and supporters. A very enjoyable time was had by all with Best and Fairest winners named as follows –
Men’s Seniors Best and Fairest and Evan Evans Medal: Louie Holmes
Women’s Seniors Best and Fairest: Ruby Svarc
Men’s Reserves Best and Fairest: Tom Whittle
Women’s Reserves Best and Fairest: Tempany Wightman
Men’s Thirds Best and Fairest: Rowan Nickless
Women’s Thirds Best and Fairest: Kate MacFarlane
In closing, I wanted to write a short Tribute to our departing coach, Erwin Leyden –
“Erwin’s first game as coach of SMS was against Old Paradians (then coached by David Boundy) at Garvey Oval, Bundoora in April, 2012. We were in VAFA Section 2, and this was the season which would set-up the next seven years for our Club. A number of new recruits had joined, and a successful Saints U/18 – U/19 team had been going for a few years.
In Round 1, SMS 14-8-92 d. Old Paradians 6-17-53 – some of the guys to excel in that game were Sam Autio (our first Palm-Mary indigenous Darwin recruit and a pretty handy player), Andrew Baird, Tom Clancy, Jackson Finlay, Jack Flynn, Brett Gatehouse, Stef Gusts, Jos Op’t Hoog, Sid Jones and David West.
In Round 2, Erwin was introduced to Gold Saints members at the Annual Luncheon at Ferndale Park, and said he looked forward to staying at the Club for a while and hoped to get to know some of the supporters better. We were then smashed by a powerful opponent – Bulleen Templestowe 24-19-163 d. SMS 5-9-39 – this brought coach and players back to reality in a hurry.
In Round 7 – we saw an extra-ordinary individual performance again at Ferndale Park – SMS 20-12-132 d. Emmaus 16-14-110 – and Sam Autio kicked an amazing 16-2 for the Saints.
However, it proved to be a roller-coaster season, featuring a mixture of gutsy wins and heavy losses by a very young and inexperienced team. With one round to go we needed to win the last game against Emmaus on a wet ground at Bennettswood Oval to avoid relegation.
Round 18 – SMS 7-6-48 d. Emmaus 4-15-39 – some of the guys to excel in that game were Nick Baum, Brett Borland, Luke Childs, Jake Evans, Matthew Maschette, Luke O’Shannessy, Jackson Strangward and Henry Wong.
This win was crucial as it kept us in VAFA Division 2 and ensured a successful time ahead.
In brief, this is what we achieved under the guidance of Erwin Leyden thereafter –
2013 – Erwin Leyden coach – Firsts finished third losing to Therry Penola at Northcote, U/19’s premiers under David Malcolm.
2014 – Jess Sinclair coach – Erwin assistant – Firsts runners-up losing narrowly to Kew at Casey Fields (East Cranbourne) – promoted to VAFA Division 1, Reserves premiers under Damian Sutherland, Thirds runners-up to St. Kevins.
2015 – Jess Sinclair coach – Erwin assistant – Firsts finished fourth losing to Old Geelong at East Malvern.
2016 – Jess Sinclair coach – Erwin assistant – Firsts finished sixth, Reserves premiers under Anthony Murphy.
2017 – Erwin Leyden coach – Firsts runners-up losing narrowly to PEGS at Box Hill – promoted to VAFA Premier ‘C’ Grade, Reserves runners-up to Ormond, Women (1) premiers under Damian Sutherland.
2018 – Erwin Leyden coach – Firsts finished tenth – relegated to VAFA Division 1 – Erwin resigns as coach , Women (1) premiers under Damian Sutherland.
So an outstanding era for our Club between 2012 and 2017 thanks to wonderful contributions from many people, but in particular from our coach Erwin Leyden.
On behalf of the players, the committee and supporters, we would like to thank Erwin for his outstanding contribution to the development of our club and the senior team. Erwin has become a true St Marys Salesian person, and we look forward to seeing him at matches in 2019 as a club supporter and at the experts table on Thursday nights.”
That’s all from me folks – I look forward to renewing acquaintances – and a more successful season ahead in 2019 – Go Saints – Cheers, Ron.