By Ben Pollard
Here’s the round-up of how the Under 11, 12, 13, 17 and 14 girls’ divisions are positioned after the first week of SMJFL finals…
Radiant Under 11 East
(1) Prahran Red 6.8 (44) def (2) East Brighton Vampires Red 3.4 (22)
(3) Mordialloc Braeside 2.5 (17) def (4) East Brighton Vampires White 0.3 (3)
Prahran Red’s undefeated season is still alive, with the ladder leaders earning a spot in the Radiant Under 11 East grand final! Prahran was too strong for East Brighton Vampires White all day, while Mordialloc Braeside eliminated East Brighton Vampires White with Thomas McKinley starring. They’ll be hoping for a similar result to last time against Vampires Red in this week’s preliminary final – Mordi Brae got over the line by eight points in Round 11. Prahran looms large for both teams, though…
Radiant Under 11 West
(1) East Malvern White 3.8 (26) def (2) Brighton Beach 2 3.5 (23)
(3) Waverley Park Brown 2.5 (17) def by (4) Hampton 1 4.11 (35)
It was heartbreak for Brighton Beach 2, as they again narrowly failed to knock off East Malvern White, who head straight to the grand final on a 14-match winning streak. It was tough out there – no goals were scored after half time! Hampton 1 will face Brighton Beach 2 in this week’s preliminary final after upsetting the higher-placed Waverley Park Brown by a comfortable 18 points. Hampton has also upset the Beach in their only meeting this year… Interesting!
Radiant Under 11 South
(1) Prahran Blue 0.2 (2) def by (2) Highett 7.16 (58)
(3) East Brighton Vampires 5.4 (34) def (4) East Malvern Red 3.7 (25)
Top of the table Prahran Blue were monstered by Highett in their semi final, as Luke Garnaut, Cameron Blitsas and Cameron Taylor ran amok for the victors. Prahran will now face East Brighton Vampires, who kept East Malvern Red goalless after half time in a tight win. The preliminary finalists drew last time they met, so it’s fair to say there ain’t much between them!
Radiant Under 11 North
(1) East Brighton Vampires 6.4 (40) def (2) Waverley Park Gold 4.4 (28)
(3) Ormond Blue 5.8 (38) def (4) Caulfield 4.9 (33)
Classic contest between East Brighton Vampires and Waverley Park Gold – tied on 28 after four quarters, the Vamps kicked two goals in extra time to advance to the big one. Waverley will face Ormond Blue this week now, after a Jack Dunn-led Ormond managed to hold off a late-charging Caulfield. This division could go to any team, though.
Radiant Under 11 Blue
(1) Northvale 4.10 (34) def (2) Dingley Red 1.0 (6)
(3) Ajax Stars 3.10 (28) def by (4) South Melbourne Red 5.5 (35)
Ajax Stars were so close to grabbing second spot from Dingley Red, but missed out on percentage and now they’ve been bundled out of the finals by South Melbourne Red. The Stars will be kicking themselves, too – three more scoring shots, but a seven-point defeat. The Districts will now play Dingley Red, a team comprehensively beaten by the Northvale juggernaut. Not quite sure if anyone can take down Northvale for the Radiant Under 11 Blue flag…
Under 12 East
(1) East Sandringham 2.5 (17) def (2) Beaumaris Sharks 2.2 (14)
(3) Cheltenham 3.2 (20) def (4) Waverley Park Gold 2.1 (13)
Boy, Cheltenham left it late to secure the win against Waverley Park Gold – they had just two behinds on the scoreboard to three-quarter time! Adam Bailes was their best with two of those three last-quarter goals. Chelt will now tackle Beaumaris Sharks, who lost in a tough slog with East Sandringham. After a bruising day out like this one, East Sandy will be very relieved to have earned the week off…
Under 12 West
(1) St Kilda City Red 3.5 (23) def (2) East Sandringham 2 2.6 (18)
(3) Ormond 2.7 (19) def by Prahran Red 2.8 (20)
Under 12 West was a very even division, and it showed in the semi finals. St Kilda City Red had quite a task holding off East Sandringham, but great performances from Jack Denborough, Lewis Barnaby and Thomas Foley ensured a direct path to the grand final. In the other semi final, Ormond kept Prahran Red scoreless in the last quarter but still couldn’t reel them in, going down by a solitary point. Prahran’s Elliott Spee and Harry Molnar will be hoping to repeat their great performances in this week’s preliminary final against East Sandy.
Under 12 South
(1) St Pauls 4.6 (30) def (2) East Malvern Red 0.3 (3)
(3) South Melbourne White 6.11 (47) def (4) Prahran Blue 2.4 (16)
Two lopsided semi finals in Under 12 South, with the red-hot St Pauls storming into the grand final with a belting of East Malvern Red – Benjamin Gore was superb, as was Tom Fogarty with three goals. East Malvern needs to recover quickly before taking on South Melbourne White this week, a team they lost to in the last round of the season. The Districts controlled the play against Prahran Blue all day in their semi final, with Sebastian Toohey instrumental in the victory.
Under 12 North
(1) Bentleigh 15.8 (98) def (2) St Bedes Mentone Tigers Blue 2.4 (16)
(3) Beaumaris Hammerheads 4.10 (34) def (4) Ajax Jets 2.2 (14)
Bentleigh surely has one hand on the trophy after disposing of St Bedes Mentone Tigers Blue easily; Matthew Foster was dominant and Jake Haw booted four snags for the victors. In the other semi final, Beaumaris booked a preliminary final date with the Tigers by overcoming Ajax Jets. The Hammerheads will have to overturn a 38-point loss to the Tigers suffered in Round 12, though… It won’t be easy!
Under 13 Division 1
(1) East Malvern Gold 2.7 (19) def (2) Beaumaris Sharks 0.2 (2)
(3) East Sandringham 5.9 (39) def (4) Mt Waverley 3.2 (20)
East Malvern Gold saw off the only team to have beaten them this season, Beaumaris Sharks, in their semi final. The door to grand final glory is now very much open… The Sharks next meet East Sandringham, who did it comfortably over Mt Waverley behind a best-on-ground performance from Charles Constable. The two preliminary final opponents have each taken the honours once in their clashes this season, so it’ll take a brave fan to call the result of this one!
Under 13 Division 2
(1) St Kilda City 3.6 (24) def (2) Ajax Comets 2.9 (21)
(3) Cheltenham 3.9 (27) def (4) Prahran 1.3 (9)
They say bad kicking is bad football… Ajax Comets may have thrown away a chance to topple ladder leader St Kilda City with inaccuracy in the last quarter of their epic clash. With scores level at three-quarter time, St Kilda’s ability to put it through the big sticks when it mattered was the difference. Instead of a clear ride to the grand final, the Comets now face Cheltenham in the preliminary final, a team they lost to (comfortably) in Round 11. Danger time!
Under 13 Division 3
(1) Mt Waverley 6.4 (40) def by (2) Murrumbeena Gold 6.5 (41)
(3) Caulfield 9.8 (62) def (4) St Bedes Mentone Tigers 4.8 (32)
What an incredible way for Murrumbeena Gold to knock off Under 13 Division 3’s number 1 team and qualify for the grand final… Down by 29 points at three-quarter time, Murrumbeena put in an amazing final quarter effort to reel in the rattled Mt Waverley right at the death. Liam Kirk-Williams and Jarryd Raffa were brilliant when the pressure was on. Mt Waverley lost to their opponent this week, Caulfield, back in Round 9 and will be praying they aren’t bundled out in straight sets!
Under 13 Division 4
(1) Dingley Red 4.5 (29) def (2) East Malvern Blue 2.2 (14)
An impressive final quarter from Dingley Red against East Malvern Blue delivered them a grand final berth. Down by four at the last change, Dingley kept their opponents scoreless in a great defensive display. Dingley’s James Tulley was great, as were the team’s pairs of Scotts and Smiths.
Under 14 Girls
(1) St Peters 3.2 (20) def by (2) East Sandringham 5.5 (35)
(3) Mordialloc Braeside 0.0 (0) def. by (4) East Brighton Vampires 12.16 (88)
The East Sandringham Zebbies are through to Victoria’s first-ever Under 14 girls’ grand final! St Peters were no match in their semi final, as East Sandy broke away early and never gave up the lead. St Peters will be keen for a rematch, but must get past East Brighton Vampires, who will be fresh after a week off. Great to see the passion and enjoyment of girls’ finals footy in the SMJFL!
(1) Cheltenham 16.8 (104) def (4) Beaumaris Sharks 5.7 (37)
(2) St Peters 13.10 (88) def (3) Ormond 8.9 (57)
(5) St Bedes/Mentone Tigers Blue 9.8 (62) def by (8) Ajax 11.18 (84)
(6) St Bedes/Mentone Tigers Red 5.10 (40) def by (7) South Melbourne District 15.16 (106)
Cheltenham and St Peters are both straight through to preliminary final week after qualifying final wins. Beaumaris was no match for top-of-the-table Cheltenham, staring at a 36-point deficit by half time. It only got worse as the game went longer, as Chelt’s Nathan Papatsanis went about compiling seven goals; Matthew Lovejoy and Ryan Keating also instrumental for the victors. Ormond had their noses in front of St Peters at half time in their qualifying final clash, but a 6.4 (40)-to-nothing third quarter from St Peters shot the game to bits. Ashley Munday was brilliant in the win, while Harrison Zaia kicked three crucial goals.
Beaumaris will now meet Ajax in a semi final next week, after Under 17 Division 2’s second-ranked team rolled St Bedes/Mentone Tigers Blue in their elimination final. Joshua Jones and Tal Kedar were the best for Ajax. It was a dark day for the Tigers all round, with St Bedes/Mentone Tigers Red also going down to another strong Division 2 team, South Melbourne District. Joshua Dickinson and Matthew Mandile (four goals) were on fire for the Districts, who will now face an Ormond team on the rebound in the semis. Meanwhile, Cheltenham and St Peters rest up before the preliminary finals with a vital week off.