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SKOB advance to Premier Grand Final
St Kevin’s booked a grand final spot with a 23-point victory over University Blues at Trevor Barker Oval today. Leading by 14 points at three quarter time, SKOB ignited with six goals to four in the fourth on the back of an inspired performance from Steven Salopek. Jay Schulz top-scored with three goals while Gerard Gleeson and Lachie Sullivan continued their outstanding individual seasons with a bevy of disposals for SKOB. Tim Geappen kicked five goals for the Blues and Dale Hinkley gave his best performance for the season, but they suffered their first loss from their past 11 outings.
The Blues will now face off with the winner of tomorrow’s elimination final between Collegians and De La Salle.
Final Scores: SKOB 15.12.102 def Uni Blues 12.7.79
Goal Kickers: J. Schulz 3, S. Gilham 2, L. Sullivan 2, G. Gleeson, J. Salopek, B. Kanakis, T. Jok, M. Brown, J. Holden, J. Wallis, H. Parkes
Best Players: S. Salopek, G. Gleeson, L. Sullivan, W. Coates, J. Wallis, T. Jok
VAFA Premier: St Kevin’s has a shot at first top flight premiership after beating Uni Blues in semi-final
ST KEVIN’S is a red-hot chance to claim its first top flight VAFA flag after a 23-point semi-final win over University Blues at Trevor Barker Oval in Sandringham on Saturday.
Any doubts about SKOBs’ ability to withstand finals pressure were put to rest as they systematically wore down the Blues in an epic second half on the way to a 15.12 (102) to 12.7 (79) win.
Opening term nerves soon settled and the contest became a fast-paced shootout in sunny, windless conditions. St Kevin’s led by nine points at quarter-time but was unable to build on that advantage as the Blues increased their tackle count and gained control of the centre corridor in the second term.
The Blues hit the front at the 12-minute mark after Tom Quinn got on to the end of a swift transition out of the back half and a handball from Tim Geappen to charge into an open goal.
Jay Schulz marked and goaled from 30m at the 22-minute mark to put SKOBs back in the lead but, within five minutes, the Blues regained the ascendancy after Marc James goaled from a free kick. Mitch Brown then snapped a goal from close range to give SKOBs a six-point lead at the half.
Both sides missed opportunities to convert amid solid defensive pressure early in the third term and it was 20 minutes before Schulz marked a pass from Gerry Gleeson and goaled. Jack Holden was then on the receiving end of a pass from Callum Matheson and he gave SKOBs a 14-point lead at the final change.
Blues’ Tom Quinn soccered a goal in the first 20 seconds of the final quarter before SKOBs produced its own wizardry minutes later after a set shot from Jack Holden fell short in the goalsquare and was soccered through on the half volley by Lachie Sullivan.
Two goals in two minutes (Gerry Gleeson and Henry Parkes) bumped the margin out to 25 points before Jason Salopek threaded a set shot from 40m.
But Geappen pulled down strong marks to deliver two goals in three minutes for the Blues to cut the margin to 18 points before SKOBs sealed victory with quick goals from Thomas Jok and Sullivan.
Coach Shannon Grant said he was proud of the way his players dug deep when challenged by the Blues and they would appreciate a fortnight’s rest ahead of a chance to make club history.
“It was a tight contest all day and the game was in the balance for long periods of time,” he said. “The boys deserve the break – there’s a few sore bodies.”
Grant said two players who were left out of the semi final line-up – co-captain Nick Wood and Mark Jamar – will be in contention for grand final selection.
MEANWHILE, De La Salle bowed out of the Premier finals race after a 15-point defeat at the hands of Collegians in the first semi-final at Trevor Barker Oval on Sunday, 16.5 (101) to 12.14 (86)
SKOB Gold in a thriller
St Kevin's Premier Thirds side advances to the big dance in a fortnights time, defeating Old Xavs Red by less than a kick at Trevor Barker Oval. In a low scoring game, SKOB led at every break to record a five point win.
Final Scores: SKOB Gold 5.9.39 def Xavs Red 5.4.34
Match report to follow.
Under 19 Premier Reserve
Pearce boots 8 as SKOB advance to GF
It was an inspired Ben Pearce performance that saw the Under 19 Premier Reserve side keeps its premiership aspirations alive with a hard fought 34 point over Xavs. Eight goals from the youngster saw SKOB home in a match that they led from start to finish. They will meet De La Salle in next weeks Grand Final.
Final Scores: SKOB (2) 14.13.97 def Old Xavs 9.9.63
Goal Kickers: B. Pearce 8, L. Bown 2, J. Langton, L. Sfetkidis, T. Norris, H. Hopkins
Best Players: H. Hopkins, J. Doyle, J. Langton, T. Andriske, B. Pearce, L. Bown
Match report to follow