2022 OPENCORP FINALS WEEK 3
UNDER 14 – 18 GRAND FINALS
SUNDAY 4 SEPTEMBER
U17.5 BOYS DIVISION 1
Division One of the Under 17.5 Boys competition has concluded with Beaumaris coming out on top after defeating St. Peters Bulldogs by 25 points at Boss James Reserve.
The Bulldogs were undefeated against the Sharks throughout the year as Beaumaris fought their way from third place into the Grand Final.
As the siren sounded, signaling the start of the game, the intensity was felt instantly with the two very first kicks leading to a goal for Beaumaris.
This was followed by the Bulldogs firing back immediately, kicking two goals themselves all within the first five minutes of play.
The rest of the quarter was highly contested as the ball continued to find its way to packs, with next to no kicks hitting open targets.
“Finals footy is all about keeping pressure and playing one on one footy, so we made a point of just sticking to the basics since it’s what got us here in the first place,” said Beaumaris coach Tom Spencer.
The second quarter kicked off with Beaumaris establishing their dominance, holding the ball in their forward 50 for some time, securing the lead off three straight goals.
St. Peters seemed to have no answer for the Sharks’ ability to clear the ball at each centre bounce as it kept finding its way to Beaumaris’ forwards.
“The willingness to attack and keep pushing the ball forward is what has set us apart through these finals,” Spencer continued.
Heading into the clubrooms at halftime, Beaumaris found themselves up by twelve-points and they carried the same ferocity into the second half, immediately booting two goals within the first few minutes.
St. Peters made sure to match the intensity and nailed three unanswered goals for themselves to see out the period, cutting the deficit to just seven.
Coming into the final period, St. Peters were controlling the ball for most of the quarter as they attempted to claw their way back in front.
However, they were slow to get back and reset whenever Beaumaris got the ball into the midfield, resulting in easy scoring opportunities for Beaumaris.
As a result, the Sharks were able to expand their lead and edge out the opposition to bring home the flag for the 2022 season.
“At the start of the year I honestly didn’t think we’d be in this position, but once we made it to finals, I knew we’d be able to reap the rewards and go all the way,” Spencer concluded.
U18 GIRLS DIVISION 1
The top division in the Under 18 Girls has come to a thrilling conclusion after Mordialloc Braeside secured the victory against East Malvern at Boss James Reserve.
The Mustangs have come off a very impressive season and come into the finals as favourites after remaining undefeated throughout the home and away season.
However, the Knights have given Mordi-Brae a close game or two throughout the year, and the Grand Final was no different as the top teams put on a show for the crowd.
Mordi-Brae did well to hold possession in their forward fifty for most of the first quarter but struggled to convert as East Malvern’s backline remained staunch in defence.
Centre clearances were at the forefront of Mordi-Brae’s success today as they prevented several forward entries for the Knights.
“We’ve done a lot of work on stoppages and clearing the midfield which is always hard to execute but I feel really showed today,” said Mordialloc Braeside coach Patrick Torpey.
However, the second quarter got off to an interesting start as East Malvern fired off back-to-back goals, closing the gap and cutting the margin to just a couple of points.
The second period concluded with Mordi finally putting another goal on the scoreboard after the Knights backline continued to force rushed behinds, resulting in a five-point margin in favour of the Mustangs.
Tropey got the girls focused and back on track during the main break as they came firing out the gates, hitting all their targets and covering ground quickly.
“I spoke to the team about when they don’t get the result they want, the other girls will rise to the occasion and we will always work hard to back each other up,” Torpey continued.
They fired off two goals in the third as East Malvern struggled to get the ball passed the midfield and towards their forwards.
Heading into the final quarter, the ‘Stangs were up by 19 points, whilst they continued to control the ball, the Knights did a fantastic job preventing scoring opportunities.
Unfortunately for East Malvern, the efficient centre clearances sealed the game and Mordi-Brae, eventually came out victorious winning by three goals.
“Woman’s football has come a long way, it’s not just girls playing a boys game anymore, they really have their own style of play and are always determined to learn more about the sport.”
OTHER SMJFL GRAND FINALS
It was a huge day of Grand Finals in the SMJFL, with six venues hosting Grand Finals for the remaining U14-18 Divisions.
Congratulations to all who participated on the day, with all games being played in terrific spirits, with special congratulations to Beaumaris FC, Bentleigh JFC, Brighton Beach JFC, Caulfield Bears JFC, Dingley JFC, East Brighton Vampires JFC, East Malvern JFC, East Sandringham JFC, Hampton Rovers JFC, Oakleigh JFC, Ormond JFC, Prahran JFC, South Melbourne Districts JFC, St. Bedes/Mentone Tigers AFC, St. Kilda City JFC, St. Paul’s McKinnon JFC, and Waverley Park Hawks JFC on winning premierships in their respective age groups and division.
The league would like to also thank Cheltenham JFC, Hampton Rovers AFC, Mordialloc-Braeside JFC, St. Bedes/Mentone Tigers AFC, St. Paul’s McKinnon JFC and Waverley Park Hawks for hosting these Grand Finals at their venues.
Written by Joel Micari.