Men’s Thirds Grand Final
St Mary’s Salesian 10.8 (68) def Kew 4.11(35)
Goals: N. Baxter 3, C. Feild 2, W. Douglas, D. Ryan, H. Angley, D. Jowett, C. Angley
Best: B. Peschke, N. Baxter, C. Angley, R. Williams, W. Douglas, D. Jowett
In the VAFA Thirds Division 4 Grand Final, St. Marys Salesian played four quarters of pressure football to easily account for previously unbeaten Kew by 33 points at Whitefriars College Oval, Donvale. The premiership is the first ever by an SMS Thirds team. SMS were opposed to Kew (coached by Aaron Carman.) The Bears had gone through the season undefeated, before beating Therry Penola by 75 points in the Second Semi-Final. The Saints had lost two matches (to Kew by 39 points at Glen Iris and Therry Penola by 9 points at Oak Park) during the home and away season, before beating UHS-VU by 111 points in the Elimination Final, and Therry Penola by 44 points in the Preliminary Final. The ground was damp after several wet days leading-up to the fixture (but firm underfoot), while it was a cool but mainly fine day with occasional light showers and sunshine. Both clubs had strong sides and lots of support at the Donvale venue.
SMS kicked to the Eastern or Mullum Mullum Creek end and started exceptionally well. The boys had again come to play and it was noticeable they were much sharper and harder at the ball early. Ned Baxter provided the perfect beginning with two quality goals (the first from a long snap, and the second following a handball from Dan Ryan). Ben Peschke was an effective ruckman, Charlie Angley good on the ball, and all team members deserve credit for creating pressure around the contest thus preventing Kew from doing any damage. The Bears rarely went into attack but did manage four behinds (one a poster by Josh McNamara). However, strong defence from the Saints back six led by Reuben Williams cleared the ball from the danger zone on most occasions. SMS forward Ryan coolly slotted another major after marking a pass from Will Douglas and by quarter-time the margin was 16 points.
It was expected Kew would come back strongly in the second quarter, but the Saints continued to control the midfield and defensive fifty with excellent team footy and a strong contest. Going to the Park Road end, N. Baxter kicked a valuable six-pointer after 4 minutes before Harry Angley added another soon after to open-up a handy break. Williams, Scott Walton and Harry Meiselbach were part of a miserly back six, but the Bears finally scored their first goal through Chad Watts (from a free) after 16 minutes. H. Angley took a strong mark within kicking distance for SMS but his straight set shot was touched by the man on the mark. However, when Will Douglas kicked truly late in the term, they held a significant advantage of 27 points at half-time.
A shower of light rain during the interval made scoring difficult for both teams in the third stanza. Kew added a major by Caleb Atkinson (from a free) after 4 minutes, only to see their opponents respond through Cam Feild two minutes later. SMS remained in the ascendancy with Peschke, C. Angley, Jon Yodgee, Riley Tilbrook and Rowan Nickless all effective across the centre, while Jamie Brown saved a certain goal with an excellent chase and smother. The Saints had the ball in their forward zone for much of the quarter but were inaccurate around the big-sticks. Fortunately, the Bears were not making any inroads and trailed badly by 31 points at three quarter-time.
SMS had a dream start to the final term when C. Angley goaled on the run from right half forward in the first minute. The game then became an arm-wrestle for some time until Tom Leeds scored a six-pointer for Kew at the 8 minute mark. The Bears had their chances and Watts added another major but a number of skill errors and two posters did not help their cause. Eventually, Feild booted a Saints goal (from a free) to put the result beyond doubt after 17 minutes, and when Darcy Jowett (a good player all day) slotted another (also from a free) at the 25 minute mark it was all over, the winning margin being 33 points.
From the Game:
– A wonderful team effort by all players, Ben Peschke, Ned Baxter (3 goals), Charlie Angley, Reuben Williams, Will Douglas and Darcy Jowett amongst the best. Once again the four quarter performance featured strong tackling, back and forward pressure, and intelligent use of the ball. Another fantastic rendition of the Club song on the ground after the premiership victory, and Cal Anderson kept busy on the bugle throughout the game.
– Hearty congratulations to coach Jack Byrnes (assisted by team manager Ethan Rocke) and all players on winning this much deserved premiership. The side hit peak form at the business end of the season winning 11 of 12 quarters played in three finals (the quarter lost was by 2 points due to inaccurate kicking for goal). A just reward for much hard work and the guys will remember this fantastic achievement for the rest of their lives.
– The Saints Thirds premiership team was – Rowan Nickless and Scott Walton (co-captains), Charlie Angley, Harry Angley, Ned Baxter, Ollie Baxter, Jamie Brown, Beau Connick, Steve Cunningham, Will Douglas, Billy Duncan, Cam Feild, Darcy Jowett, Tom Kittson, Matt Lockie, Harry Meiselbach, Martin Newman, Ben Peschke, David Postma, Iggy Quin, Dan Ryan, Riley Tilbrook, Reuben Williams and Jon Yodgee.
The match commenced at 12-00 noon and was exceptionally well attended by both SMS and Kew supporters who had to pay an entry and car parking fee. Of course, Kew vs. SMS is very much a City of Boroondara local derby and it was good to see our mate Dick Pickles amongst a number of identities from Kew AFC. SMS were well represented with Matt Ellis, Adam Lane, David Malcolm (Past President), Norbert Graetzer and the trainers amongst strong numbers.
Our sincere thanks to non-participating Saints players, Womens teams players, parents, family members, friends, and others who made the journey to Donvale to support the boys. We always get good numbers of supporters at SMS finals matches and are grateful to you all. The atmosphere, barracking and noise was much appreciated by Jack Byrnes and team members. In addition, our thanks to Whitefriars College for hosting the fixture at their school oval in Donvale. A very fine sporting facility with a new Canteen in full operation for those seeking refreshments during the day.
Following the premiership win, Brian Goodman (VAFA) hosted the ‘Presentation Segment’ on the ground. VAFA premiership medals were presented to coach Jack Byrnes and all (24) Saints players by Norbert Graetzer. Jack congratulated Kew on their fine season and setting the benchmark for other clubs, before acknowledging the efforts of his own team. Ben Peschke won the umpires award for (BOG), and the Premiership Cup was presented to SMS co-captains Rowan Nickless and Scott Walton, before the team posed for a photograph.
In the rooms after the match, Jack Byrnes presented premiership medals to Ethan Rocke (the popular team manager), Peter Georgiou, Sam Kidd, Andrew Morton and Hugh Morton and acknowledged the contribution of more than 70 guys who had played in the Thirds team during the season. Of course, some of them such as Tom Ham, Hugh Morton and Hayden Tilbrook had suffered long term injuries. The premiership belonged to everyone involved !!
Celebrations continued for the premiership team back at the Ferndale Park clubrooms in Glen Iris on Saturday evening, where the guys enjoyed one another’s company, while watching AFL and also a DVD of their own VAFA match. A B-B-Q, drinks and snacks were enjoyed by those in attendance, and a small presentation was made to coach Jack Byrnes by the players. Lots of highlights for this very close-knit Saints premiership playing group. Well done, guys !!
A final note to our Club President Greg Baum covering ‘The Ashes cricket’ in England – congratulations Greg, you are now a St. Marys Salesian AFC VAFA premiership President !!
Scores – (Threes) –
Grand Final Final –
St. Marys Salesian 3-2 6-3 7-8 10-8-68
Kew 0-4 1-6 2-7 4-11-35
SMS – Goals – Ned Baxter 3, Cam Feild 2, Charlie Angley, Harry Angley, Will Douglas, Darcy Jowett, Dan Ryan.
SMS – Best – Ben Peschke, Ned Baxter, Charlie Angley, Reuben Williams, Will Douglas, Darcy Jowett (and whole team).
Kew – Goals – Chad Watts 2, Caleb Atkinson, Tom Leeds.
Kew – Best – Bronson Paech, Jon Ramsay, Chad Watts, Tom Leeds, Adam Lawrence, Matt Vlahos.
ONES – UHS-VU was successful in the Preliminary Final played at the weekend.
Scores – Preliminary Final –
UHS-VU 1-2 4-7 8-12 10-21-81
Peninsula 5-1 7-3 10- 4 12- 6- 78
Preston Bullants will play UHS-VU in the Grand Final (and both clubs win promotion to Premier C grade).
Grand Final – Preston Bullants vs. UHS-VU – at day, venue and time to be confirmed – see VAFA Results website for final scores next Saturday.
The (10) clubs to compete in VAFA Division 1 in 2020 will be – Brunswick NOBS, Kew, Oakleigh, Old Camberwell, PEGS, Peninsula, Prahran Assumption, St. Marys Salesian, Therry Penola, Whitefriars.
TWOS – Peninsula was successful in the Preliminary Final played at the weekend.
Scores – Reserves Preliminary Final –
Peninsula 5-3 8-5 11-9 14-12-96
Therry Penola 1-1 3-3 3- 3 6- 6- 42
Kew Reserves will play Peninsula Reserves in the Grand Final.
Grand Final – Kew vs. Peninsula – at day, venue and time to be confirmed – see VAFA Results website for final scores next Saturday.