Semi Final 2: Whitefriars vs Brunswick
It was full steam ahead as the Whitefriars Football Club completed a massive 143-point annihilation of second-placed Brunswick, to book their place in the Grand Final and also promote themselves back up to Division 1, where they came from at the end of the 2017 season. The Friars booted a colossal 30 goals to reach almost 200 points, to Brunswick’s seven majors, their biggest loss of the year. This game was already over in the first quarter when gun Friar Michael Nitas booted his second to put his side up by a comfortable four goals.
The Friars got off to a fantastic start with pocket rocket Michael Nitas and Liam Smith booting two early goals in the opening minutes of the first. By the eight-minute mark, the Friars had booted another two, coming from Nitas and Dan Wood. The Nobbers eventually steady the ship with a goal minutes later, from Sean Gales as they closed the gap to a three-goal deficit. But the Friars would not be so easily shaken, as majors came from Ciaran Hickey, Sam Kieseker and Ryan Malt, icing the first quarter with a final goal from Smith, his second of the term. Nobbers gun forward Dom Sullivan booted his sides second, but the first quarter blow out from the Friars saw the Nobbers floundering early.
It was all action down the Friars end as they ended their first quarter with nine goals to two, kicked by a variety of six goal kickers. The Nobbers struggled from the outset to shut down one key forward, as the multi-facetted forward-line the Friars are well-known for blew apart their opposition in the first term. Although Geremie Ganino from Brunswick opened the second quarter with a much-needed third goal for his side, the Friars quickly counteracted in the middle, with Friars Wood, Kieseker all adding to their goal tallies, while James Perrin got in on the party with a major of his own at the 14-minute mark of the second.
As predicted, The Nobbers backline was torn apart by the Friars and continued to be beaten in the first half, as the Friars continually presented alternate forward targets, including James Perrin, who booted three late second quarter goals.
By halftime, the Friars had not only booted 105 points, but had an impressive spread of eight goal kickers.
There was absolutely no slowing down for the undefeated Friars after half time, as they continued tearing apart the Nobbers through the middle again to boot three early goals, led by new forward targets in Angus Hands and Mark Stafford, making it 10 goal kickers for more than 30 scoring shots. They kicked 12 goals in a row between the second and third.
Three goals from the Nobbers’ Sullivan, Chris Ford and Ganino saw them get the Friars on the counterattack, but every goal was countered by the Friars.
The Friars took a 116-point lead into the final term and the Nobbers began to rest players for their all-important knock out Preliminary final next week, as the margin was too great to make up. But, the Nobbers didn’t go down without a fight, with Dom Sullivan kicking a much-needed goal.
Friar Mitch Geilings and Coach Kristian Height joined the party as the 12thand 13thgoal kickers for their side in the fourth term. To cap off a remarkable day out, Nitas and Perrin kicked two late goals to near the Friars side to 200 points.
Sam Kieseker’s five goal haul awarded him BOG votes, while James Perrin was amongst best with his six. For the Nobbers, Nick Burgin was awarded best with one goal.
Whitefriars are rightfully on their way back up to Division 1 and look to continue their perfect form in the Grand Final. For the Nobbers, it’s back to the drawing board to regroup quickly, as they face a resurgent MHSOB in next weeks’ Preliminary.
Glen Eira vs MHSOB
Semi Final 1
A plucky Melbourne High side have come out shock 11 point victors, over a highly-fancied Glen Eira side in an impressive Semi Final battle at Trevor Barker Oval.
The Unicorns got off to a bang with the first of the match, coming from Louis Phillips, but it wasn’t long before the Glen Eira boys clicked into gear and booted two goals, coming from Joel Ludik and leading goal kicker Julius Waras Carstensen.
The Gryphons had six scoring shots to the Unicorns four, but they struggled to capitalise and take an early runaway lead.
Another Ludik goal opened the second term for the Gryphons. However, Melbourne High remained strong early to counteract the roll up Gryphon game style and condensed the blistering pace that Glen Eira have been known for in the second half of 2019.
But it was Ludik striking again and only 13 minutes into the second, he had three of his sides four majors.
The Unicorns had all the power in the second, but ended their domination will 11 points from their 14 scoring shots.
It was set up to be an intense second half as the score lay at 29 a piece at half time, as Unicorn star James Tran created amazing movement through the middle in the first 50 seconds and booted an early goal to snatch the lead. But Gryphon Waras Carstensen came back loud and clear and levelled the scores. But two quick goals from Unicorn Bryce Hall and Mason Fennessy-Kent dragged their side to a 13-point lead, the biggest so far of the game.
The rain hit hard and heavy and the game slowed right down, with both sides readjusting their styles to lock the ball in. Glen Eira’s Todd Richardson broke through with an 18-minute mark goal to put his side less than a goal behind.
The Gryphons missed two late shots to take the lead, seeing them trail by only three points at the final break.
Melbourne High’s Wijakumara burst through the pack in the first 40 second of the last term to take his side out to a 10-point lead. His goal would be the only one for both sides in the final term, as the defensive battle ensued to carry the Unicorns over the line in this gusty win, which sees them take on
That’s the end of a strong home and away season for Glen Eira, who will stay put in Division 2 next year. They take away a win in the gal kicking, with Julius Waras Carstensen prominent all year in front of goal.
Ashan Wijayakumara was best for the Unicorns with two of the seven team goals. For Glen Eira, Chad Kadish was BOG.
Whitefriars vs Brunswick
In the first Semi, Whitefriars started off an incredible day with a 37-point win over Brunswick in the reserves. This knocks Brunswick out of the Reserves finals race. The Friars were held goalless in the first quarter, but went on to boot 10 goals after the first quarter, while holding the Nobbers to only one goal up to the last break, before they added three goals in the final term. Lewis White was awarded best for the Nobbers, while for the winners, Jason Spencer booted four majors. Whitefriars now go on to take on Glen Eira in the Reserves preliminary next week.
MHSOB vs Glen Eira
In the second semi-final, MHSOB had a great six-point win over Glen Eira. It was a tight tussle all day, with the Gryphons taking an early second-quarter lead, but the Unicorns fought back. Despite missing 11 points, Melbourne High dominated and kept the ball in possession long enough to take the win. Ben Rose was best for the Gryphons, who have a chance next week to right their wrongs against an exciting Whitefriars side looking to go back to back. MHSOB gave votes to Tran, as they take the week off and prepare for a big Grand Final showdown.
Brunswick vs MHSOB
This game, which many would not have predicted, is showcasing the second-placed Brunswick and the surging Melbourne High School in a do-or-die Preliminary final
These sides will be playing for Division 1 promotion, with a chance to take on the all-conquering Whitefriars in the big dance.
The goal for the Nobbers? Simply bounce back from last week’s horror loss. They’ve got to depth and the game plan to beat MHSOB. On both home and away outings this season, the Nobbers have come home victors, in Round 2 by 99 points and by 9 points in Round 12. Obviously, the Nobbers first outing saw them flex their muscles and prove their ability and strength, but their telling win in the wetter month of the year, shows they can and should be able to weather this storm against the Unicorns. On paper, the Nobbers, behind Whitefriars, are the best defensive side, as they have only allowed the Unicorns seven and four goals in previous meetings. The issue however lies in the midfield for both sides, as the game will be decided through the middle. Last week, James Tran and Wijayakumara were seen bursting through the packs in the middle, proving their fitness at the pointy end of the season for MHSOB. This fast movement in the midfield will match against the prominent ball movement that the
But, at the other end, the Nobbers are wiping the slate clean and should bounce back quickly from their loss. Dom Sullivan, Jacob Adkins and Chris Ford and ready to right their wrongs and apply major scoreboard pressure against a smaller MHSOB side.
The one benefit for the Nobbers may also be their experience on bigger grounds, which may see their fitness on a larger ground prevail. But, don’t be surprised if Melbourne High turn the game into a condensed midfield battle, forcing the Nobbers to every contest instead of playing their typical wing run-and-carry.
Will James Tran from the Unicorns dominate the midfield and force the Nobbers to play a slower game? And will the Unicorns continue their red-hot form they’ve been in? Or will the Nobbers come back as if their loss never happened?
Glen Eira vs Whitefriars
This game will be a battle of the forwards, as both teams this year have been kicking strongly. The Friars Senior side have a rest, so all focus is turned to their 2018 Reserves Premiership side. Corey Dineen has bene firing all season in front of goal for Friars, so he’ll be a worry for the Gryphons. However, the Gryphons roll up line game has allowed them to roam freely up forward, so don’t be surprised if they crack the game open early and make it a high scoring affair.