Posted in Front Page News , Weekend Wraps

By Ben Pollard

And then there were two… After preliminary final weekend, the Under 11, 12 and 13 divisions are left with just two teams battling it out for grand final glory this weekend!

Radiant Under 11 East

Prelim final: (2) East Brighton Vampires Red 4.1 (25) def (3) Mordialloc Braeside 0.5 (5)

GRAND FINAL: (1) PRAHRAN RED vs (2) EAST BRIGHTON VAMPIRES RED

A two-goal third term against Mordialloc Braeside was crucial in sending East Brighton Vampires Red into the grand final. Steven Newell-Sakkas, Samuel Maine and Tyson Kidd were the Vampire stars. East Brighton now meets the undefeated (if you don’t mind!) Prahran Red in the big one, a team the Vampires lost to by 22 points just two weeks ago in the semi finals. Prahran dominated from the start that day, so East Brighton will need to bring their A-game early. You’d have to think all the pressure will be on Prahran… The question is – will they feel it?!

Radiant Under 11 West

Prelim final: (2) Brighton Beach 2 5.6 (36) def (4) Hampton 1 1.1 (7)

GRAND FINAL: (1) EAST MALVERN WHITE vs (2) BRIGHTON BEACH 2

Hampton was no match for Brighton Beach 2 in their preliminary final, the Beach bounding out of the gates with four goals in the first quarter to kill the contest. It sets up what should be another classic battle between East Malvern White and Brighton Beach in the GF. The Beach has lost to East Malvern three times this year, but by only one point in Round 10 and three points in their semi final. How do you pick a winner? Flip a coin, we say!

Radiant Under 11 South

Prelim final: (1) Prahran Blue 1.1 (7) def by (3) East Brighton Vampires 2.1 (13)

GRAND FINAL: (2) HIGHETT vs (3) EAST BRIGHTON VAMPIRES

What a sensational win by East Brighton Vampires against Prahran Blue! Prahran finished the home-and-away season on top of the ladder, but couldn’t produce that great form in its two finals. East Brighton advances to face Highett this week in the decider. In Round 5, Highett smashed the Vampires by 35 points, with Jayden Cooke and Jonas Eccles starring. Then, in the last round of the season, Highett kept the Vampires to just one behind as they went on to win by 20 points. Jayden Cooke was again in the best, along with Cameron Blitsas. Highett would have to be the hottest of favourites, but anything can happen…

Radiant Under 11 North

Prelim final: (2) Waverley Park Gold 4.6 (30) def by (3) Ormond Blue 4.7 (31)

GRAND FINAL: (1) EAST BRIGHTON VAMPIRES vs (3) ORMOND BLUE

A very even division got even more… even, in the preliminary final, with just one point separating Waverley Park Gold from a grand final berth. Their opponent, Ormond Blue, kicked away in a brilliant four-goal-to-nothing second quarter. However, Waverley Park worked its way back. But despite holding Ormond to just one behind after halftime, they still couldn’t get there. Daniel Calabrese and Christian Woolrich stood up for the victors, who now face East Brighton Vampires in the grand final. They lost by 16 points to the Vampires the last time these teams met in Round 8, so will need to turn things around, stat!

Radiant Under 11 Blue

Prelim final: (2) Dingley Red 1.3 (9) def by (4) South Melbourne Red 5.11 (41)

GRAND FINAL: (1) NORTHVALE VS (4) SOUTH MELBOURNE RED

South Melbourne Red is playing a brilliant finals series after finishing fourth in the regular season. The Districts’ preliminary final victory over Dingley Red was comprehensive, with Tom Strauch and Gilligan Unsworth superb. Can the run continue against Northvale in the grand final? Here’s an interesting one: Northvale has only lost one game this season… and it was to South Melbourne. On that day, Sam Mulcahy was South’s best as they knocked off the ladder leaders by eight points. Makes for a potentially cracking grand final!

Under 12 East

Prelim final: (2) Beaumaris Sharks 1.2 (8) def by (3) Cheltenham 3.7 (25)

GRAND FINAL: (1) EAST SANDRINGHAM vs (3) CHELTENHAM

After only just losing to East Sandringham in a semi final, Beaumaris Sharks would be very disappointed to have been bundled out of the finals by Cheltenham. Adam Bailes was the match-winner for Chelt, bagging the team’s three goals! They’ll be the underdogs against East Sandy, losing twice in their match-ups during the season, by 16 points in Round 1 and by 42 points in Round 10. Max James bagged four goals for East Sandy on the most recent occasion and will be looking to repeat the dose on this week’s big stage.

Under 12 West

Prelim final: (2) East Sandringham 2 6.8 (44) def (4) Prahran Red 3.2 (20)

GRAND FINAL: (1) ST KILDA CITY RED vs (2) EAST SANDRINGHAM 2

East Sandringham 2 dominated Prahran Red after quarter-time in their preliminary final, on the back of great performances from Morgan Dennis and Nicholas Bancroft (with two goals), and has now set up a rematch with St Kilda City Red in the granny. St Kilda defeated their grand final opponent twice this year, but two weeks ago in a semi final it was a very close contest, with just five points the difference. Jack Denborough, Lewis Barnaby and Thomas Foley stood out for the Saints that day, but they’ll be nervous about meeting such a closely-matched rival again…

Under 12 South

Prelim final: (2) East Malvern Red 9.10 (64) def (3) South Melbourne White 2.2 (14)

GRAND FINAL: (1) ST PAULS vs (2) EAST MALVERN RED

East Malvern Red did it easy against South Melbourne White in the preliminary final, with Bailey Smith, Daniel Tompa and Lachlan Ward all instrumental. It’ll be tough for them in the big one against old foe St Pauls though… St Pauls has had the best of them twice this season, most recently in a semi final, where East Malvern was held to just three behinds for the day. It’ll take a big effort to overturn that result, but the strangest things in footy always seem to happen in the last game of the year!

Under 12 North

Prelim final: (2) St Bedes/Mentone Tigers Blue 8.4 (52) def (3) Beaumaris Hammerheads 3.2 (20)

GRAND FINAL: (1) BENTLEIGH vs (2) ST BEDES/MENTONE TIGERS BLUE

St Bedes/Mentone Tigers Blue was very impressive in dismantling Beaumaris Hammerheads on the weekend, Jordan Cole leading the charge with three snags, along with Ryan Vaux and Daniel Larson. But, put simply, you can’t see the Tigers toppling Bentleigh in the decider this week. Bentleigh’s 72-point win over St Bedes in their semi final was nothing short of a smashing; Jake Haw, Hugo Ferdinand and Nicholas Lawrence kicked 10 goals between them, and Matthew Foster ran riot. Understandably, they’ll be big favourites.

Under 13 Division 1

Prelim final: (2) Beaumaris Sharks 5.13 (43) def (3) East Sandringham 4.4 (28)

GRAND FINAL: (1) EAST MALVERN GOLD vs (2) BEAUMARIS SHARKS

Beaumaris Sharks could’ve ended their preliminary final against East Sandringham very early on if they had kicked straight – the Sharks were down by four points at halftime with six more scoring shots! Eventually, Finlay Callanhan, Hayden McLean and Will Armstrong helped power them to a 15-point victory and into the grand final against East Malvern Gold. Beauy was the only team to defeat East Malvern during the season, but the Gold ground them down most recently in their semi final by 17 points. Could go down to the wire, this one…

Under 13 Division 2

Prelim final: (2) Ajax Comets 5.9 (39) def (3) Cheltenham 4.4 (28)

GRAND FINAL: (1) ST KILDA CITY vs (2) AJAX COMETS

It was tight and tough all day, but Ajax Comets scrambled over the line and into the granny with a close win over Cheltenham. A crucial goal in the final term provided the only real space Ajax had against their opponents all day. Jeremy and Matthew Bassat provided a superb double act for the Comets, who now meet St Kilda City in what should be a ripper! St Kilda has gotten the better of Ajax twice in the last three weeks, but by a total of just eight points! Ajax was very inaccurate in that semi final and will be looking to make up for those mistakes on the biggest stage.

Under 13 Division 3

Prelim final: (1) Mt Waverley 6.5 (41) def by (3) Caulfield 8.5 (53)

GRAND FINAL: (2) MURRUMBEENA GOLD vs (3) CAULFIELD

Top-placed Mt Waverley has had a heartbreaking finals series… Beaten by a point after an amazing final-term comeback by Murrumbeena Gold in a semi final, they exit in straight sets after Caulfield outplayed them for most of their preliminary final. Caulfield were smashed by its grand final opponent, Murrumbeena, in Round 6 by 44 points, but still look to be a bit of a wildcard in the division. Don’t count them out here. Look out for Liam Kirk-Williams, too – he was great for Murrumbeena in their exciting semi final win and was also their best when they last met Caulfield.

Under 13 Division 4

Prelim final: (2) East Malvern Blue 8.6 (54) def (3) St Pauls 2.2 (14)

GRAND FINAL: (1) DINGLEY RED vs (2) EAST MALVERN BLUE

East Malvern Blue put in a big final quarter to dispatch St Pauls in their preliminary final, with Lachlan Fish, Mitchell Stephens and Sam Turner the best on the day. East Malvern now sets up a rematch with Dingley Red in the GF, after losing to them in a semi final. It should be a ding-dong battle too, with East Malvern the only team to knock off Dingley this season (in Round 2) and having led them at three-quarter time in the semi. Dingley was well served by James Tulley, Liam Scott and Corey Scott that day, and will need them to step up again.