BY DYLAN BOLCH AND MAE JAMES
All 25 SMJFL member clubs came together both on and off the field to commemorate ANZAC Day in Round 2 of the 2021 season.
Clubs paid their respects to the men and women who fought for our country and showed solidarity across the South-Metro region.
Highett JFC was one of many SMJFL clubs that commemorated ANZAC Day.
Following the day’s fixtured games at Highett Reserve, a bugle rendition of Last Post took place. Shortly after, a kids-take-parents match commenced which has become an ANZAC Day tradition for Highett JFC in recent years.
The novelty game was a nail-biter to watch, with the kids team securing a narrow victory over the parents with a goal after the siren to win the match.
Highett JFC kids and parents get ready for their annual ANZAC Day hit-off
Later in the day, Highett JFC President Jason McGrath presented chosen players who embodied the spirit of the ANZAC with medals to recognise their performances.
A special-edition ANZAC Medal was awarded to a player on each of the Doggies’ teams, with each selected played having demonstrated the “sprit of the ANZAC” in their respective games, said Mr McGrath at the ceremony.
(L-R) Highett JFC President Jason McGrath with Tom, Tyson, James, Albie, Luke and Lucas
Another club that showed the ANZAC spirit was Port Melbourne Colts JFC.
Vice President and Port Phillip City Council Councillor Peter Martin coordinated the ANZAC Day festivities at JL Murphy Reserve.
Mr Martin said it was a big team effort organising the activities to commemorate a special day.
“I left a dawn service to get down here at 7:30am to get the cones out for the AusKick and the modified rules games, make sure the rooms were clean, get all that set up,” he said.
The day was a huge success, with Deputy Mayor Marcus Pearl attending the official ceremony.
Mr Martin spoke about the excitement at Port Melbourne Colts JFC getting back into the season.
“Last year was the first time in over 50 years I haven’t had football on a Saturday or a Sunday and it killed,” he said. “Absolutely killed.”
Port Melbourne Colts JFC Vice President and Port Phillip City Council Councillor Peter Martin
SMJFL kids paid their respects on Sunday 25 April
Despite not having the wet-weather footy that was forecast, the SMJFL kids were still more than happy to get back out on the field.
Aspiring AFL player U11s Johnny Mallon from Prahran JFC 1 were excited to be amongst it, despite a loss.
Prahran JFC U11s Mateo and Johnny
“Last year sucked because it wasn’t as much fun and on Sundays,” said Johnny. “You were just stuck at home, and you’d really want to be out on the footy field.”
There were also many excellent performances throughout the day.
James Mikhael from Murrumbeena JFC U14s spoke to SMJFL media and highlighted the importance of teamwork.
“Seeing the faces of all the boys, all happy, was probably the most pleasing thing,” said James. “Everyone had a go today and we won as a team.”
Here is the Round 2 Monday Monash Review.
Under 17 Boys Division 1 – U17 SPMJFC SPJFC Xav’s Central Saints vs Mordialloc Braeside JFC U17 Div 1
Mordialloc Braeside secured their second win of the season on Sunday, overcoming the St Paul’s McKinnon JFC / St Peters FC side by 35 points. Mordi Brae showed why they are one of the best attacking teams in the division, kicking 12 goals. They now have the highest team score in both rounds so far. Ben Hempel was a standout yet again booting six majors and was well supported by Jake Harding with three. Hempel is a clear leader at the top of the goal kicking charts for the division, with ten goals across the first fortnight. St Paul’s McKinnon JFC / St Peters FC had a bye in Round 1, so no doubt will have enjoyed getting back into the swing of football.
Under 17 Boys Division 1 – St Kilda City JFC Inc. vs East Sandringham Rovers
East Sandringham bounced back from last week’s loss to Beaumaris to defeat St Kilda City JFC by 31 points. The Rovers got off to a flying start, with an eight goal to zero opening half, before the Saints worked themselves back into the contest. Sam Marshall was a key player for the Rovers, kicking four goals. Oliver Horigan also kicked two goals for East Sandy.
Under 17 Boys Division 1 – Beaumaris FC U17 Boys Sharks vs PMSMD U17 ½ Boys Div 1
PMSMD continued their terrific start to the season with a 26-point victory over Beaumaris. Alex Black and Cooper Hollway were fantastic booting three goals each and Mitchell Geraerts chimed in with two of his own for PMSMD. Beaumaris had seven individual goal scorers – a very even spread of contribution. PMSMD are one of only two remaining undefeated sides in this division. It is sure to be a hotly–contested season given how even the teams all are.
Under 17 Boys Division 2 – Waverley Park Hawks U17.5 Boys Gold vs Cheltenham JFC U17 Boys
A run of six straight goals in the second term has seen the Cheltenham Panthers win their first game of the 2021 season. After last week’s loss to Dingley, the Panthers travelled to Columbia Park where they responded in style. Matthew Cross kicked a bag of four goals to lead the way for Cheltenham with four more players kicking two goals apiece. Liam Ragas-Judd was very influential, kicking two goals in 90 seconds as a part of the Cheltenham onslaught in the second quarter. For Waverley Park, Ayden Rubino kicked two goals in the last quarter but ultimately Cheltenham were 58-point winners.
Under 17 Boys Division 3 – DJFC Under 17 (Thomas) vs Bentleigh JFC
Bentleigh have affirmed themselves as the team to beat early in the season, winning by ten goals against the Dingley Dingoes in Round 2. Bentleigh put forward a comprehensive display, limiting Dingley to just one goal for the match. Bentleigh spearhead Harry Richards kicked four goals, as the Demons struggled to convert. Dingley are now 1-1 following last week’s win over Cheltenham and will certainly go into next week’s game with a fire in the belly.
Under 17 Boys Division 3 – Ashwood JFC vs Ormond JFC
Ashwood had a change of fortunes on Sunday with a brilliant 79-point win over Ormond. Mitchell Wain snagged seven goals for the Magpies, a dominant display proving a key factor in the outcome of the match. Wain, now an Ashwood veteran, is definitely one to watch as the season progresses. Ormond are 0-2 but have shown spirit and determination in both of their loses and a win could be just around the corner.
Under 18 Girls Aqua – Ajax Under 18 Comets vs East Brighton Vampires JFC Low
After a solid 72-point loss in Round 1 the Ajax Comets finished their Round 2 match against the East Brighton Vampires on a very different note. On their home ground Princes Park, the Comets had 31-point win. The Comets only had one goal to show for themselves by the end of the first half, but after the break they proceeded to kick three goals and left no room for the Vampires to score any. The goal kicking was shared equally between the Comets with their four goals spread out between the team.
Under 18 Girls Aqua – Oakleigh JFC vs St Kilda City JFC Inc.
Oakleigh proved why they are the team at the top of the Under 18 Girls Aqua ladder after a 138-point win against St Kilda City at WA Scammell Reserve. Scoring an astounding 21 goals and 12 points unanswered, the Dragons seem like a team to fear this season.
Under 18 Girls Aqua – U18 SPMJFC / EMJFC Youth Girls vs Mordialloc Braeside JFC U18 Girls Aqua
In what was the tensest game so far this season, the St Paul’s McKinnon JFC / East Malvern JFC Doggies and Mordialloc Braeside Mustangs fought to the very last second. Mordi Brae star Rebecca Thompson returned with three goals on the board in the first quarter. It seemed like the game was well and truly over for the Doggies, but the girls bit back in the final term. At the start of the final quarter, the Mustangs were 16 points up. The Doggies needed a miracle and that came in the form of Charlotte Finster, who booted two goals in a comeback attempt. Mordi Brae managed to hold on to the lead and the Doggies fell one point short of the win (25-26). This hitoff was certainly one of the games of the season so far.
Under 18 Girls – Prahran JFC U18G Suriano vs East Brighton Vampires JFC Kerrison / Day
After a bye last round, the Vampires were more than ready to get out there and officially begin their season. Heading to Prahran’s Toorak Park for the 3:35pm clash, the Vampires showed they were a team to watch. Duo Chloe George and Kayla Green scored five between them and aided their team in a 53-point win, putting them in third place on the ladder after just one game.
Round 3 will take place next Sunday 2 May with the Monarch Community Umpire Round. Along with other leagues across the country, the SMJFL will celebrate its umpires and the Monarch SMJFL Umpire Academy. Stay tuned for the upcoming SMJFL Round 3 preview for more information.