SAINTS RESERVES OUTPLAY PEGS RESERVES TO REACH GRAND FINAL
In the Twos Preliminary Final, St. Marys Salesian Reserves finished strongly to register a ‘gutsy’ come from behind victory over PEGS Reserves by 11 points at Waverley Oval, East Malvern. Consequently, Ormond will play the Saints in the Reserves Grand Final (early game) next Saturday. In the Ones Preliminary Final, PEGS proved too good for Ormond winning by 27 points. As a result, St. Marys Salesian will play PEGS in the Firsts Grand Final next Saturday.
Reserves: Preliminary Final
St Mary’s Salesian 12. 12 (84) def PEGS 11. 7 (73)
Goals: J. Tanner 3, N. Baxter 2, J. Strangward 2, M. Op’t Hoog, J. Ryan, J. Steiger, X. Leonard, J. Barrie
Best: A. Pathirana, L. Hawkins, J. Strangward, J. Tanner, B. Semmler-Farr, N. Ludwig
Ground: Waverley Oval
AROUND THE GROUND
With St. Marys Salesian Firsts enjoying the week’s rest before the Grand Final, the spotlight was on the SMS Reserves playing Penleigh and Essendon Grammar School (PEGS) Reserves in the Preliminary Final at Waverley Oval, East Malvern on Saturday. We finally got some decent weather for the Preliminary Final matches with sunshine and little wind the order of the day. Waverley Park, East Malvern – the home of De La Salle AFC – was the chosen venue and ground conditions were excellent. There is a slight downhill slope to the Sycamore Street end and a spacious pavilion provided reasonable facilities for players, officials and supporters.
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SECONDS MATCH REPORT
In the Twos Preliminary Final, St. Marys Salesian Reserves finished strongly to register a ‘gutsy’ come from behind victory over PEGS Reserves by 11 points at Waverley Oval, East Malvern. Consequently, Ormond will play the Saints in the Reserves Grand Final (early game) next Saturday.
Ananth Pathirana was the only inclusion in the SMS side. In the two previous encounters, PEGS had beaten the Saints by 49 points in Round 6 at Keilor Park, and by 36 points in Round 18 at Glen Iris.
It wasn’t an ideal start to the day with Saints Ben Semmler-Farr and Josh Tanner having a collision in the pre-match warm-up – Ben breaking his nose and Josh hobbling with a bad knee. Semmler-Farr was declared OK to play, but Tanner almost ruled out – thankfully, after a few minutes Josh recovered and was able to take his place in the team.
In addition, there was a mix-up with the Waverley Park dressing rooms. Ormond Firsts requested the home team room, causing SMS and PEGS Reserves teams having to swap rooms at the last minute.
In the first quarter, SMS kicked to the Sycamore Street end and played the better footy early. In a high standard contest, the Saints were able to win possession and drive the ball into attack only to have it returned by the determined PEGS defence. Eventually, Ned Baxter snapped a six-pointer, but unfortunately, a number of set shots were missed close to goal. The Bombers settled and used their skills well to boot a couple of majors through Tom Black and Matthew Semini. Josh Steiger kicked truly from a free 30 metres out on the siren enabling SMS to lead by 3 points at quarter time.
Both teams moved the ball well in the second stanza. The Saints went forward on a number of occasions only to see PEGS switch play and use their marking and kicking skills to move the ball into attack from left half forward and the centre corridor. Ben Caminiti, M. Semini and Black were accurate around the big-sticks and the Bombers added five majors with quality football. SMS also played some reasonable footy and were able to goal through Xavier Leonard – following a pass from Ollie Baxter, and James ‘Baz’ Barrie – a soccer effort. Trailing by over two goals late in the term, six-pointers from Jack Ryan – a long kick which bounced through, and Tanner – after receiving a handball assist from N. Baxter, reduced PEGS advantage to 4 points at half-time.
In the third term, PEGS looked more polished with Ryan Andrews and Liam Fitzgerald kicking the opening two goals. To their credit, the Saints steadied and refused to give-in. The back six tightened-up with Kaine Reynolds exceptionally good. Ben Semmler-Farr led well at the ruck contest, while Ananth Pathirana, Lewis Hawkins and Michael Howard were effective across the centre. Scoring was the problem, N. Baxter missing a set shot – his miskick failing to score, and Reuben Williams off-target with a behind. Experienced Jackson Strangward produced some running magic late in the quarter. His first major was immediately cancelled out when the Bombers replied through Andrews, but his second quality goal cut the PEGS margin back to 11 points at orange-time.
The first five minutes of the final quarter was an arm-wrestle with neither team able to break through. Eventually, Josh Tanner marked and goaled for SMS from the 45 metre arc at right half forward. This stirred his teammates into action and every player lifted their intensity at the contest. ‘Baz’ was strong in the ruck, and all players began running and creating opportunities for the forwards. Ned Baxter goaled from a set shot at 40 metres, before Tanner again marked and kicked truly from 45 metres putting his team clearly ahead. The Saints defence worked really hard to spoil and run the ball clear, Nick Ludwig and Jake Evans leading the way. With more than 25 minutes played, Mitch Op’t Hoog kicked a fine set shot goal from 45 metres at left half-forward to increase the SMS lead. He had the chance to soccer another when a teammate kicked the ball over the top, but overran the ball in the goal square. PEGS fought the game out well but could only add one six-pointer and two behinds. The siren sounded after 28 minutes with the Saints most deserving 11 point winners in a thriller.
From the game –
– It was a very high standard Reserve Grade game between two evenly matched teams. PEGS looked to be in control at certain stages, but SMS always fought back admirably. Ananth Pathirana, Lewis Hawkins, Jackson Strangward and Josh Tanner amongst the best. Tanner was the most effective forward with (3-2), Ned Baxter good for four quarters but a little inaccurate with (2-3), while Strangward slotted (2-0).
– The Saints were dominant in the final quarter adding (4-6) to PEGS (1-2). The four SMS goals were set shot kicks from beyond 40 metres and under pressure. Tanner (2), N. Baxter (1) and Mitch Op’t Hoog (1) can be well-pleased with their efforts.
– Although delighted with the victory, Coach Ant Murphy would realise much hard work is ahead during the week. The Saints Reserves will take on undefeated Ormond Reserves in the Grand Final next weekend.
Scores (Twos) –
St. Marys Salesian 2-4 6-5 8-6 12-12-84
PEGS 2-1 7-3 10-5 11- 7-73
SMS – Goals – Josh Tanner 3, Ned Baxter 2, Jackson Strangward 2, James Barrie, Mitch Op’t Hoog, Xavier Leonard, Jack Ryan, Josh Steiger.
SMS – Best – Ananth Pathirana, Lewis Hawkins, Jackson Strangward, Josh Tanner, Ben Semmler-Farr, Nick Ludwig.
PEGS – Goals – Tom Black 3, Ryan Andrews 2, Matthew Semini 2, Ben Caminiti, Liam Fitzgerald, David Forest, Ed Kline-Marantelli.
PEGS – Best – Jarrod Cant, Chris Caminiti, Brad Roscoe, Ben Caminiti, Ryan Andrews, Tom Memery.
Next weekend – Reserves Grand Final – Ormond play St. Marys Salesian – please see front page of this website for date, venue and starting time.
In the Ones Preliminary Final, PEGS proved too good for Ormond winning by 27 points. As a result, St. Marys Salesian will play PEGS in the Firsts Grand Final next Saturday.
Scores – (Ones) – Preliminary Final –
PEGS 2-6 5-8 8-12 12-14-86
Ormond 1-1 4-2 6- 8 8-11- 59
PEGS – Goals – Adrian Romanyk 5, Hugh Schiavello 2, Cam Livori 2, Brett Hannah, Jarryd Rogers, Trent Skurrie.
PEGS – Best – Robert Baddeley, Tylar Vujanic, Brett Hannah, Andrew Khallouf, Daniel Ryan, Jackson Young.
Ormond – Goals – Robert Chisholm 2, Sam Mason 2, Chris Coghlan, Luke Duthie, Matthew Martinov, Isaiah Tahana.
Ormond – Best – Ethan Hanley, Henry Simon, Tom Stach, Boyd Upstill, Matthew Martinov, Hamish Ramsay.
Next weekend – Firsts Grand Final – St. Marys Salesian play PEGS – please see front page of this website for date, venue and starting time.