VAFA: Battle for last place in A-section finals heats up

The battle for fourth position in A-section heated up further at the weekend when Uni Blues (fourth) and Collegians (fifth) both scored fighting victories over fellow finals aspirants.
On a day on which there were two victories of 100 points exactly (St Bede’s-Mentone Tigers over Marcellin and Old Brighton over Old Essendon), Uni Blues kept out De La Salle by two points at the uni oval while Collegians kicked six goals in the last quarter to defeat Old Scotch at Camberwell by 15 points.
While Old Xavs, St Bede’s and De La Salle are safe in the top three, Uni Blues (8-7, 108%), Collegians (8-7, 100) and Scotch (7-8, 100) are preparing for a tense battle over the final three rounds for the remaining place in the finals.
Uni Blues, shellshocked after a third-quarter onslaught by St Bede’s last week, clawed back from a 13-point deficit at three-quarter time against De La Salle. There was a last-quarter sensation when a head count revealed that De La had 19 on the ground.
Under VAFA rules, the Blues scored only a 25-metre penalty from where play had stopped. Blues forward Dave Paton was taken within 25 metres of goal on a slight angle but he missed his shot.
Blues captain Andrew Lowcock was quiet at half-forward for most of the match but proved the match-winner when isolated in the goalsquare in the last quarter.
The inspirational skipper took two strong marks and kicked the Blues’ last two goals. Midfielders Mark Paterson and Ben McConnell, the son of the AFL’s western Sydney manager Alan McConnell, were strong performers on a day on which the match ebbed and flowed according to midfield battles.
Collegians and Scotch, VAFA football rivals for almost a century, had a 10-minute period in the third quarter that would have been as tight and tense as any period of any match between the clubs. Collegians full-forward Fergus Watts kicked a match-winning four goals in the third quarter and five for the match, while silky wingman Tim Baxter was best on ground.
Collegians’ Nick Bobeff, playing his fourth senior match after four years in the reserves, was also among the best.

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