Are Old Geelong the real deal?

V.A.F.A. Division 1 – Round 8 review

It was a win that made the rest of the competition sit up and take a bit more notice of the men from Como Park. A victory over the previously unbeaten Peninsula, who are notoriously difficult to overcome on their own patch down the coast. What also made the pundits pay a bit more attention was the manner in which Old Geelong achieved the win: twenty-five points down at the final change, the visitors came storming home to snatch four precious points on the road at the toughest away venue in Division 1. Peninsula certainly fought all the way to the end of a thrilling match, and a wasteful 1.5 in the third term certainly did not help their cause, but in the end it was a day for Old Geelong to celebrate. Best for the victors were Tom Burchell, Charlie Fairbairn and Callum Wood with five goals, whilst for the Pirates it was Alex Wood, Reed Powney and Stefan Barbour among the better players.

Ormond, coming off what club insiders called a “gutsy” loss to the afore-mentioned Pirates, hit the road again, this time to Williamstown. Down by twenty-five points half-way through the third term, the Monders showed plenty of fight to, firstly, claw their way back into the contest and, secondly, run over the top of a fading CYs team to post a comfortable four-goal win. Best for Ormond were wingman Ryan Martin, who had over thirty touches and kicked three goals, along with youngsters Henry Simon and Joss Holdsworth. For Williamstown, Fin Adamson and Ben Gray were towers of strength.

Glen Eira got away to a good start at Gillon, and actually led by a point over North Old Boys – St Patrick’s at quarter time. But from then on, NOBs probably just did what they had to do in gaining the ascendancy over the Saints, eventually powering away to an eleven-goal win. Glenn Maxton, enjoying a solid year, Tim Brady and Matt Keown (again) were in NOBs’ best, whilst Tom Paterson, Andrew Spink and Jarryd Bloink were Glen Eira’s stand-outs.

Old Mentonians journeyed back up the Yarra to Melbourne High School, and put the previous week’s defeat behind them with a resounding win over MHSOB. With the amount of ball they had early, the Panthers should have been further to the good than 20 points at the first break. The second and third terms were also an arm-wrestle, with play constantly being bottled up in the pockets. In a lack-lustre match, best for the Panthers were Tim Speers (dominant on the wing), rover Sam Johnson and flanker Elliott Macquire. For the Unicorns, better players were Kane Smith and Heath Taylor.

A relieved Whitefriars returned to the winners list with a 98 point demolition of an under-strength St. John’s at Donvale. Aided by the return of a number of injured players, the Friars booted the first four goals and then never looked back. Despite a spirited opening to the second term by the Jocs, the home team kicked another four to blow the game wide open. Emille Abdullah was instrumental in setting Friars alight and big Rowan Mattinson also proved a handful for defenders when he was resting up forward. James O’Meara chipped in with four goals. For St. John’s, best were Jarrod Gaget, Josh Green and Corey Ely. 

Preview: A couple of interesting matches on offer this week. Peninsula will be keen to put last week’s aberration aside when they travel up the Nepean to Mordialloc. But, in what would be a “mini” upset, I reckon the Panthers might be a little hungrier at this point in time. Whitefriars – still a game and a half out of the four – will be looking to make up for lost ground and should comfortably defeat the Saints.

It will be almost like a home game for Old Geelong when they travel to the High School, and I expect them to build on last week’s important win. Ormond host a NOBs team who are really flying at the minute, and I expect the visitors to triumph at Gunn. And at Doveton, a real “eight-pointer” looms: the loser of this St. John’s v Williamstown contest will probably consigned to the drop. I am tipping the visitors in a close one.

Correspondents: Please note that my deadline is Monday evening, so contact me by email at [email protected] (or twitter @smokiedawson) with all your info.

About Darren Dawson

Always North.


  1. Smokie – do you reckon the Friars are back as contenders?

  2. Dips,
    Wjitefriars seem to be coming through a tough period in regards to injuries, so I suspect they will be much stronger in the second half of the year. However, a couple of narrow defeats have left them a game and half outside the four.
    With the top 4 teams all travelling well, there is certainly no room for error for the Friars.

  3. Spot on Smokie.

    Key players are returning for the Friars but all outfits cop injuries from time to time.

    Everyone is well aware of the task at hand but the only focus right now is on Glen Eira tomorrow.

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