After 94 games over a long and brutal season, it is the UHS-VU boys who are crowned the Division 2 Premiers in what was a near perfect 2018, after defeating Old Paradians by 55 points in the Grand Final.
The Vultures have completed the perfect double-jump, just 12 months after their Division 3 Premiership.
Let’s see how the Grand Final went down…
Michael Deligiorgis was at full back, taking on competition Best and Fairest Brandon Jackson.
While at the other end, the Vultures’ James Ford had the job on key forward Michael Boundy.
Old Paradians started tight, packing every contest, flooding the backline and attempting shut down the Vultures dominance from the middle.
Tom Waters was dominant early with four marks, finally converting UHS-VU’s first goal at the 16-minute mark.
Andrew D’Souza was soon to fire back with the Raider’s first to bring his side’s momentum up.
The Raider’s Will Gilmore went off injured as Uni High’s Tom Waters kicked his second.
An elusive running goal from Raider James Kandilakis in the dying minutes of the first quarter brought Old Parade back into the game.
UHS-VU forced the Raiders wide and blocked up the corridor to keep the ball in their half for the first quarter. However, it was Parade who capitalised on their rare forward opportunities, with limited forward 50 entries resulting in 2 goals.
Uni High’s wasted opportunities resulted in the Vultures going into the first break 2.4 to 2.0, only four points up after controlling the first quarter.
UHS-VU’s Brandon Jackson missed another key shot to open the second term, but redeemed himself with a big running goal after a Dustin Martin style fend-off from a quick transition minutes later.
Small forward harassment and pressure around every contest in Uni’s forward 50 forced the Raiders to turn the ball over and give Jackson his second of the quarter.
The Vultures lifted again half way through the term with their pressure and pace, led by James Dimattina across half forward.
Matt Derham converted for the Raider’s third and minutes later, Byron Walton scrapped one off the pack and booted it around the corner from the boundary, giving their side half a sniff going into half time.
But Waters took one back for the Vultures and kicked a hard-running goal from just outside fifty to push the lead back out to 12 points.
Minutes later Nick Devereux marked and kicked truly for the Vulture’s sixth going into the main break.
The Vulture’s went into half-time with eight more scoring shots, but only led by 18 points.
The Raiders came into the third quarter with all guns blazing, booting the first goal in the first minute.
Minutes later a Michael Mahoney set shot goal reduced the Vultures lead to only five points.
UHS-VU however were not backing down, with a big Waters mark and goal lifting them again.
A big quarter from Vulture Essa Ramsey was vital as he booted a key goal from a stoppage.
David Huntley was moved onto Brandon Jackson in the third and quietened down the Divisional Best and Fairest.
UHS-VU forced key forward Michael Boundy up the ground in search of possessions and removed his impact in the third term.
Parade’s Rob Valente exited the field with what looked to be a serious knee injury and was put straight on the ice to end the third quarter.
The Vultures’ Aaron Christensen snapped one off the pack and stretched the three-quarter time margin to 20 points.
Brandon Jackson kick started the Vultures last term when he converted his third and extended his sides lead to 26 points.
Waters then goaled again after the Vultures locked the ball in their territory.
The spotlight was back on Jackson with his monster fourth goal from outside 50.
Not long after it was Christensen, Dimattina and Devereux who added final quarter majors for UHS.
UHS-VU managed to break open the game in the final term, putting Parade to the sword, booting five unanswered goals (and nine to two after halftime) to seal their Premiership victory.
For the Raiders, David Huntley and Ryan Jeffrey battled hard across the backline, while Byron Walton was gallant up forward.
Tom Waters walked away with five goals, along with Jackson’s four goals for the Vultures, while Nick Devereux was awarded the A.R Fellows Medal for his best on ground Grand Final performance.
Overall, the game was won on the back of discipline of team structure and team work from all of UHS-VU Coach Brendan Payne’s men, who only dropped one game all season.
RESERVES GRAND FINAL: WHITEFRIARS vs MHSOB
Favourites Whitefriars defeated a gallant MHSOB side at Coburg City Oval by 22 points in the Division 2 Reserve Grand Final. The Friars kicked away in the third quarter to seal victory.
Charles McWhinney was best for the Unicorns in what was a tough day.
Tom Gaston kicked two for the Friars, while Corey Dineen booted three goals and was awarded the Best On Ground Grand Final Medal.