VAFA round 13 review: Not dead yet

V.A.F.A. DIVISION 1: Rd 13 Review

I have been known to enjoy a lunch or three. So it was with plenty of enthusiasm that last week I accepted an invitation to the picturesque Fearon Reserve, to enjoy the hospitality of my old club Williamstown CYMS. The attendees were entertained by the wit and wisdom of local boy made good Greg Swann, CEO of Carlton. It was a glorious afternoon for football, spirits were high amongst the CYs faithful in spite of the torrid season the club has been experiencing, and I could certainly detect a measure of confidence that the day could end as enjoyably as it had begun.

That confidence was not misplaced! In front of a huge home crowd, Williamstown got over the line against MHSOB in a thrilling last quarter to prove that they are still alive and kicking in the battle to stay in this division. The home team led at the first change, but the visitors bounced back in the second term to lead by 2 points at the main break. The game tightened in the third, with goals at premium; but in the final quarter it was the Unicorns who took charge early, continually trapping the ball in their forward half. But a late goal against the run of play brought Willy back into the contest and with two further goals in time-on, a valuable 13-point win was theirs. Best for Williamstown were midfielder Dan Calman-Orr and forwards Ben Gray and Fin Adamson. For the High School, Steve Villani was in everything, whilst Matt Hamilton-Ho (7 goals) was a powerhouse up forward.

In the other match with a bearing on relegation Glen Eira, with a 10-goal first term, got an early jump on a gallant St. John’s team. The Jocs battled on all day, but could not undo the damage done in that first quarter. In fact, the visitors outscored the Saints after the first break. A half-time rejuvenation allowed St. John’s to come out with all the run to close the gap to within 40 points, but that was as close as it would be. Defender Cam Christenson, along with mids Josh Green and Jarrod Gaget were best for Jocs. For Glen Eira, it was Evan Stuchbery and Matt Harris.

Old Geelong got off to a good start against the Monders, and continued to dominate the game despite some silly decision-making at crucial times. But, in a match in which the visitors dominated inside-50’s 71 to 37, poor kicking for goal was again a feature of the OGs’ play. Henry Johnstone was excellent across half-back, with Bayles and O’Brien dominating the middle. For Ormond, Orry Lack and Simon Kulikov were best.

At Mt. Eliza, Peninsula kicked away from Whitefriars in the final term to blow out the result to 43 points, after the Friars were a point down at the half. Best for Friars were Dan Hogan, Dan Tibaldi and Ryan Storey. For the Pirates, Stefan Barbour, Ben Southam, Vaughn Clarke and Reed Powney were the best players in a solid team effort.

Old Mentonians were competitive for much of the game, but were just not able to hang tough with NOB-SP in the pivotal moments. Particularly in the third term, when NOBs took a stranglehold on the game, kicking six goals to two.

Preview: For two weeks, the final four has looked set. But do not bank on it. With a loss at Gillon this weekend, Whitefriars could well be hanging onto fourth place by half a game. Whilst this thought will provide plenty of motivation for Friars, it would be a surprise to see North Old Boys drop one at home when they are playing so well.

Second-placed Peninsula journey to Ormond. The Pirates have a habit of kicking big scores against lower-ranked opponents, and this week should be no exception at Gunn Reserve. Likewise, Old Geelong should have too many big guns for Williamstown: the visitors will be buoyed by their gutsy win last week, but will not be strong enough for the Oggers at Como.

If St. John’s were to pinch a game on the run home, surely this would be one of the matches it has targeted. But I reckon the Unicorns will be too experienced for their young opponents at the High School. Glen Eira will also be looking for another priceless four points, whilst Old Mentonians are still eyeing off a finals spot…and why shouldn’t they? After three losses in a row, their fortunes should change for the better against the Saints today. But the Panthers will need to be on their game, as Glen Eira will throw everything bar the kitchen sink at them.

And speaking of kitchens, that reminds me of lunch. So if you are looking for someone to make up the lunch-time numbers , you know how to find me!

About Darren Dawson

Always North.


  1. John Harms says


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