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It was a huge opening week of the 2019 Pepper Money Finals Series, with some teams winning straight through to Grand Finals, others who will need to back up for a preliminary final and others who kept their seasons alive.

Here’s this week’s Monday Monash Review, thanks to Monash University.

Under 18 Girls Division 1

East Malvern won through to the Division 1 decider with a hard-earned 16-point win over St Bedes/Mentone Tigers at Hurlingham Park. A couple of goals from the Knights in the second term broke the game open, as they took a 14-point lead into the half time break and were then able to keep the Tigers goalless in the second half. They will be a tough side to topple in the Grand Final in a couple of weeks’ time.

St Peters showed its dominance in the other semi final on Sunday, smashing Ashwood by 97 points to bring the Magpies’ season to an end. Some inaccurate kicking in the first half meant the deficit was a not unachieveable 32 points for Ashwood, but six-third quarter goals for St Peters slammed the door shut on any chances of a Magpies comeback. Sarah Hartwig was the star for St Peters, booting five goals to help keep their season alive.

Under 18 Girls Division 2

Beaumaris sent a shockwave through the Division 2 finals as they brushed aside Mordailloc Braeside at Murrumbeena Park. The Sharks led by a commanding 46 points at half time and that margin only increased, Beaumaris booking their spot in the Grand Final with a 52-point win. The Mustangs had no answers for their opponents and will need to regroup quickly as they face Prahran on Sunday.

Prahran ousted St Kilda City from the finals race, recording a 34-point win in the first semi final. The first half was a real tussle as both sides tried to gain the ascendancy, Prahran taking a four-point lead into half time. The Blues came out firing in the second half, kicking four goals to City’s none to book a spot in this week’s preliminary final.

Under 17 Boys Division 1

Mordialloc Braeside is through to the Division 1 Grand Final after a come-from-behind win over Bentleigh. The Mustangs trailed by 13 points at the half time interval, but kicked six goals while keeping the Demons goalless in the second half to book themselves into the big dance in two weeks’ time. Louis Hanson and Corey Barden kicked three goals apiece for the winners.

St Bedes/Mentone pulled off a massive upset in the other semi final to eliminate St Peters from the premiership race, winning by 27 points at Boss James Reserve. Winning four less games during the home and away season meant nothing to the Tigers, who led at every change to keep their season alive. Ethan Hale, Matthew Dunne and Jack Cain were the multiple goal kickers for the Tigers.

Under 17 Boys Division 2

Minor premiers Caulfield Bears won their way through to the Division 2 decider after a high-quality encounter with St Kilda City. Amazingly the Bears led by three points at quarter time, half time and three-quarter time, before keeping their opponents scoreless in the final term to eventually extend the winning margin to 23 points. George Ganavas finished with three goals for the Bears.

Waverley Park Hawks and Cheltenham played out the match of the weekend at Hurlingham Park, with the Hawks winning by the narrowest of margins in a Division 2 thriller. Taking a 12-point lead into the last break the Hawks appeared to have the momentum, but the Panthers were not quite done yet, kicking three final quarter goals to almost snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. Ultimately it was their inaccurate kicking (8.14) which cost them. The Hawks will take on St Kilda City in next week’s preliminary final.