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Round 5: SKOB storms home to make it 5 from 5

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FROM THE PRESIDENT

We had one of the best teams I've ever seen at SKOB last week, but it was on a Thursday night - Steak Night.

Robin Bowles led superbly and was supported on the BBQ by Ben Garvey and John Gilham. Inside Louise Wood, the driving force behind the change, was assisted by Kate Di Natale and Lisa Ginies who put together the accompanying salads and baked potatoes. We cooked 105 steaks and over 100 hotdogs - there were a lot of hungry mouths to feed!

Thank you to this well-oiled machine. I’m sure this was the reason behind the seniors comeback victory.

We have a special report from Michael Kelly below on Saturday's corker, so I won’t expand on a performance I haven’t seen since the 2015 Grand Final.  Emotionally, it was a de ju and certainly not good for the heart second time round!

Saints Premier had a great win and look setup for the season while Saints Premier Reserves fell short by a point (not enough steak) but are gelling well as a team. Under 19 Premier had a solid win sitting fourth on the ladder. Both Thirds and the other two Under 19’s unfortunately played each other which on a positive guaranteed two wins, hopefully we can get a solution by 2018. SKOB White, the third Under 19 team coached by Will Doble have been up against it each week playing three grades over where they should be but improve every week, another great SKOB team that I am really proud of.

This week we have a night game against Collegians. I urge as many of you come along, for our first game under lights (that I can remember) and second week in a row taking on an undefeated team. Reserves start at 4.30.

We still need some volunteers to put their hands up and help out on match days, so if you can lend a hand, please see myself, Daniel Kennedy or one of the committee and we can assign you a task for the day.  It maybe something little, like assisting in the canteen for 30 minutes, let me assure you - every little bit helps.

See you on Friday night - GO SKOB!

MATCH REPORT - SKOBS OVERRUN XAVS

Near perfect conditions prevailed at TH KING, for SKOB’s biggest test of the season thus far. A huge crowd was in attendance, and both sides were well supported.

The game started with a familiar combination, Plugger in the ruck tapping perfectly to Ben Dowd who gathered on the run and burst away from the centre, driving the ball deep into our forward line. 

Continually attacking, SKOB scored the first goal via a Henry Parkes snap at the 5 minute mark, but from that point on until the 25 minute mark Xavs showed their class by kicking the next 5 goals, 3 of which were kicked in quick succession.

The last 5 minutes of the quarter saw SKOB score 3 goals through a Sullivan snap, and Jamar & Schultz both converting after strong marks. Xavs would lead at the first change by 4 points. (5.1 to SKOB’s 4.3)

The quarter had its highs and lows for both sides, but the pattern of the game had been set, fast flow on football, long kicking ,high marking and tough in and under, with one side dominating for a period of time, then the other side getting the run of the ball.

The 2nd quarter saw SKOB continue to have the upper hand, and 3 goals came thru Di Natale, Schulz and Billy K and at the 7 minute mark SKOB led by 16 points.

Following a minor melee at the 11 minute mark, the momentum had swung. A number of successive frees to Xavs saw them gain control on the ground and very quickly they had kicked  5 goals and regained the lead. At half time the scores were Xavs 10.2.62 to SKOB 7.8.50.

The scoring flow in the first half, saw SKOB kick the 1st goal, Xavs kick the next 5, SKOB kick the next 6, and Xavs scoring the last 5 of the quarter.  Good players in the first half for SKOB included, Sullivan, Salopek and Dowd, and for Xavs Goss, Noonan and Margin.

The third quarter began with Xavs on fire, goaling within 30 seconds, and following that less than a minute later with another, both goals the result of clean centre clearances. 

SKOB endeavoured to shut the game down to curb run on play, and gradually forced the ball forward. A Billy K set shot from the boundary line, 45 metres out appeared to most to be a goal, but only one flag was waved. Immediately Xavs rushed the ball forward and a free 25 metres out saw Xavs score their 13th.   Three goals in 7 minutes saw Xav's out to a 30 point lead, and they had now kicked 8 unanswered goals.

Parkes ended the rot with a strong mark and accurate 45 metre kick. He repeated the dose 3 minutes later with another beautiful set shot.  A five minute arm wrestle followed, heavy tackling led to stoppage after stoppage.

A clearing kick forward by Xavs saw full forward Goss convert from close range. A minute later a miss by Handley gave SKOB much needed relief. SKOB controlled the next 5 minutes of play, and had 3 deliberate shots at goal which all missed. A rogue bounce of the ball in SKOB’s forward 50 saw the ball pushed back to the centre, where a handball got Xavs clear and a 55 metre BOMB forward saw a OX forward receive a free and a 25metre penalty from a marking duel with Chris Gleeson, and from 5 metres out he goaled, and Xavs went to the ¾ time break 30 points ahead again. ¾ time scores SKOB 9.10 to Xavs 15.3.

From the first bounce of the final term, SKOB surged forward, and the ball was continually in our forward 50 for 7 minutes. It was tough football highlighted by unrelenting tackling, desperate smothering, and many short range handpasses. Finally, a great lead and strong mark to Jay Schulz, saw him kick accurately and break the scoring impasse.                                                             

Now within a gettable 4 goals, SKOB lifted their intensity. Plugger's ruck work was outstanding and inspirational. He was winning every contest against a very good opponent, either palming accurately to the onballers, or thumping the ball forward. He initiated a series of forward moves that saw Gerard Gleeson, James Strauss and Billy K goal in a 7 minute period, and then snap a true captain’s goal from a great pack crumbing effort to put SKOB 5 points ahead.

The sweetest goal of the day came at the 33 minute mark.

A ball up on the centre wing saw Plugger palm perfectly to Billy K, who drove the ball forward  where Matt Murphy gathered the ball after some great ground play by Cal Matheson and calmly kicked the sealer putting SKOB 11 points ahead, and the result beyond doubt.  The ground play of Matheson, Kanakis, Sullivan Murphy and Dowd during the last quarter had been magnificent.

Congratulations to all players on a superb exhibition of football.

Final Scores 

SKOB 15.16.106 def Old Xavs 15.5.95

Goal Kickers: H. Parkes 3, J. Schulz 3, B. Kanakis 2, G. Gleeson, M. Di Natale, M. Murphy, A. Lynch, J. Strauss, M. Jamar, L. Sullivan
Best Players: A. Lynch, B. Kanakis, S. Salopek, M. Brown, L. Sullivan, C. Matheson

OVERVIEW                                                                                                                    

For those who saw it, this game will be long remembered. It had a bit of everything that makes Aussie Rules such a great game. Both sides are to be complimented on the high standard of play, and the great spirit that the game was played in.

SKOB have not beaten Xavs since 2001; we have only played 8 times since then due to our long stint in B grade. Xavs are rightly viewed by many as the benchmark club of the amateur competition, and it was such a special win for SKOB, downing the reigning A grade premiers, after trailing by 30 points at the last change. Xavs are a very talented side with strength and skill on every line and SKOB had to produce their very best to win.

For those who are excitedly looking forward to the return match, you will not have to wait long, as due to the idiosyncrasies of the VAFA draw, we play Xavs again in round 10, just 5 matches away.    

Meanwhile SKOB must prepare to meet unbeaten Collegians next Saturday Night.

What the Papers say

St Kevin’s a contender after storming over the top of Old Xaverians in VAFA Premier blockbuster

Phil Skeggs, Progress Leader

St Kevin’s is looking every inch a premiership contender after an 11-point come-from-behind win over reigning champions Old Xaverians at T.H King Oval on Saturday.

Old Xavs were in control for most of the game, holding a 30-point lead at three-quarter time, but the Saints found an extra gear, booting six goals while restricting Xavs to just one behind in a thrilling final quarter.

Saints coach Shannon Grant said he didn’t need to make any big moves at the final change.

“They (Xavs) outworked us in the third – they played extremely good footy and we struggled to deal with it,” he said. “But we trusted in what we have worked on since November. We did a lot right in the last quarter. Our defence was solid – they (Xavs) didn’t get to open us up – and our midfield worked hard and the forwards also worked hard to keep the ball in our 50m.”

Ben Dowd, Steven Salopek and Callum Matheson were busy, controlling possession going forward, while Henry Parkes (three goals) and Jay Schulz (three) both scored important goals in the final term, as did Anthony Lynch and Billy Kanakis.

The Saints snatched the lead with about three minutes remaining and held on to win 15.16 (106) to 15.5 (95).

St Kevin’s remains undefeated after five rounds, in second spot behind Collegians, with Old Xavs third.

Grant said, while he was proud of the fighting win, there were elements of the game that “we need to learn from and get better at” if the Saints are to be genuine contenders.

Old Xavs coach James McDonald admitted his team hadn’t been able put together a full four-quarter effort so far this season.

“We have played one or two quarters and on the weekend we played three,” he said. “It’s early in the season and everyone is trying to connect – with more match fitness you’ll be able to play four quarters but it takes time. St Kevin’s probably only played one.” 

AROUND THE GROUNDS IN PREMIER

Eight unanswered goals in the third term helped University Blacks secure their first win for the season earlier today, defeating St Bedes/Mentone Tigers by 33 points at Uni Oval. Old Melburnians joined Uni Blacks for their first taste of victory in 2017 after they held off University Blues by six points at Sportscover Arena. De La Salle made it three wins from their last three starts as they accounted for Beaumaris by 23 points at Waverley Oval. Seven goals to two in the opening term allowed Collegians to maintain their unbeaten run as they defeated Old Trinity by 33 points at Daley Oval.

MATCH REPORTS

SAINTS (2) JUST FALL SHORT

We showed great heart in fighting back from three goals down at ¾ time and almost pulled off a great win. Our run when we got the ball in space and our pressure on the ball carrier was too much for Swinburne during the last half. However, we shouldn’t have been in that situation in the first place. For the second time in three weeks we played only three quarters and didn’t come home with a win.

Swinburne jumped us at the start and got out to a three goal lead quickly. We were constantly second to the ball and struggled to stop their run and long kicking. We let them get possession and then tried to rely on our tacking pressure to turn the ball over. After quarter time we settled and a quick goal by Red got us going. LM, Chlo, AJ and Morgs down back closed any space Swinburne had in their forward line and really limited their opportunities. Tina, Britt and Liz in the last quarter, marshalled the midfield and worked hard to get the ball out in to space in our forward half.

When we got it in our forward line we looked dangerous with Nic, Steph, BA and, in the second half, Snell, all getting opportunities to score. In the second and third quarters we kept the ball locked in really well and made it difficult for Swinburne to move the ball. Our tackling pressure through Eb, Mel, AJ and Sare helped with turnovers.

Swinburne taught us a lesson in clearing the ball from packs by getting a handball out backwards to a free player who had time and space to move the ball in their direction. We struggled to clear the ball from these packs and this something we will work on during the week. Swinburne also created space through sheparding which again game them time to move the ball.

Overall, there are some encouraging signs from a very young team and can’t wait to see us put four quarters together again.

Look forward to seeing you all out on the track on Tuesday and Thursday this week.

Final Scores: Swinburne 6.7.42 def SKOB Saints 6.6.42

Goals: 2 B Augustes, 1 each to F. Gasparini, S. Augustes, B. Snell, N. Aldridge

Best: C. Lloyd McDougall, T. Lang, N. Aldridge, B. Augustes, C. Hunt, B. Snell, S. Minahan

SAINTS DELIVER THE GOODS IN WOMEN'S PREMIER

The Skob Saints ventured over to Brunswick to play Melbourne Uni on a perfect day for football with no breeze and mild conditions.

Captain "Fantastic" Dunell won the toss and the Saints were ready for business. It was obvious from the outset that the Saints fought hard when the ball was on the deck. They knocked the ball on, toe poked or handballed out of packs and used their pace to move it quickly down to Georgie "Jesse Hogan" Lupson who kicked 6 for the day - an outstanding effort at full forward.

The Skob Saints backline once again refused to let anything past half back - an incredible effort as Melb Uni did not score for the entire day. Led by Wardlaw and Joyce, they formed an invincible wall as they moved the ball forward. "Superboot" Cropley, Eliza Straford and Sam Viti were dictating terms in the centre of the ground while McLinden and Browny were continually kicking long to the forward line. Great support by Fink, Sullivan, Stoltz and Kat Viti saw the Skob Saints have 34 shots on goal. A great all round effort leaves the saints with an incredible percentage of 681.82. The Saints were extremely pleased to get over 100 points for the first time in their short history. Next week Saints play top of the ladder Old Trinity 2.00pm at the Basil St Reserve.

Final Scores 14.20.104 to 0.0.0

PREMIER THIRDS - SKOB GOLD TRIUMPHS IN THE DERBY

Our biggest game for the season and it was SKOB Showdown #3 as we took on the fast paced Greens in perfect conditions on a sunny Saturday morning. It was a tale of new v old, pace v strength, and two stark game plans which had all the setting of a blockbuster at the King.

In a frantic first quarter, it was an arm wrestle as both teams struggled to gain any real control of the game. The contests were fought hard, and no easy ball was being won. James Betlehem opened the deadlock up forward with his sidekick Julian Gambaro to give the Gold boys a slight lead in the first break.

The second quarter saw our big men take control of the match. Luke McDonnell, Nick McArdle and James Betlehem once again were all causing headaches to the younger SKOBBERS, who were starting to struggle to keep up with the SKOBBERS of old. A nice flurry of goals gave Gold a handy lead going into the main break.

The third quarter was similar to the third. Pat Rhodes was dominating the river side wing, and our defence was once again brilliant, rebounding any high ball that came into our defensive zone and staying composed under any fire.

The final quarter to the Green boys credit they fought back hard, kicking a goal in the opening minute and a second soon after, piling on four goals to bring the margin down to a 21 point victory to SKOB Gold. With still a lot to work on and with multiple star players to enter the line up, we acknowledge we are still a work in progress and that the 2017 competition is going to be strong, but we will continue to make sure we are up for the challenge every week for the remainder of the season, and that SKOB Gold is well and truly alive. 

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