VAFA: Round 9 wrap

By Paul Daffey

Old Xaverians and De La Salle have stamped themselves as clearly the best two A-section teams at the season’s halfway mark after notching further impressive victories at the weekend.

Xavs demolished Collegians by 100 points at Toorak Park in a match that said as much about the losers as the winners. On recent form, Collegians are the worst team. Having played in the grand final last season, they look likely to be relegated.

The team that defeated Collegians in last year’s grand final, St Bede’s Mentone, lost its third game in a month when it fell to De La Salle by 41 points at Mentone.

St Bede’s started impressively in an opening quarter that onlookers said was as tough they’d seen in amateur footy. De La faltered under the intense pressure and halfway through the second quarter its score was only 1.8 (14).

But the visitors rallied to dominate the rest of the match. One explanation for St Bede’s recent stumble is that it’s catching its breath after three years in which it become the first club to win the C-section, B-section and A-section premierships in consecutive years.

University Blues are the team to watch after entering the four with a 50-point win over the enigmatic Old Scotch. Blues teams, like most student teams, have a history of starting slowly and improving as the season goes on.

The Blues’ fortunes have been boosted by the early-season return of 2004 premiership star Matt Torney and the recent return of Alistair Neville.

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