* Please be advised that DVDs of grand final games can be ordered using the form attached below this article.
* To see photos from Highett Reserve, please visit our photo gallery under the ‘Media’ tab above.
* Professional photos from the day will also be available later this week from the following websites:
Greg Miller Photography (photos from Le Page Park, Cheltenham): http://gregmillerphotography.net.au/
Photogenix (photos from Highett Reserve): http://photogenixsports.com.au/
By Ben Pollard
Another day of superb junior footy at Le Page Park, Cheltenham and Highett Reserve capped off the 2012 SMJFL season…
Under 14 Division 1
(2) EAST BRIGHTON VAMPIRES 14.16 (100) def (4) ST PETERS 6.12 (48)
Best-on-ground medallist: Christian Hatzis (East Brighton)
St Peters’ fairytale finals run from fourth spot and a 7-7 record ended in the grand final against a strong East Brighton Vampires outfit. The Vamps won three of the teams’ four encounters this season and set this latest victory up with an eight-goal-to-two first half. Best-on-ground Christian Hatzis and Andrew McGrath did a lot of the damage, while Tom Wallace, Ryan Kreymborg and Alex Mastromanno bagged three goals each. Will Taylor, Liam McCabe and Tate Short played well for St Peters, but couldn’t bring home the flag against a better team on the day.
Under 14 Division 2
(1) SOUTH MELBOURNE DISTRICT 13.11 (89) def (3) HAMPTON 11.11 (77)
Best-on-ground medallist: Zach Benson (South Melbourne)
What a superb game of junior footy for the Under 14 Division 2 title… Hampton threw everything at South Melbourne District – who finished top and had been their master twice during the season – but just couldn’t bring home the chocolates. This was the definition of a gallant defeat for the Rovers – up by seven points at quarter-time, nine at the half and still within striking distance at the last break (just seven points behind). But, the class of the Districts shone through in the final term with skipper Zach Benson leading from the front, as Mitch Clarke and Matthew Rice sealed four-goal hauls. Gutsy premiership win!
Under 14 Division 3
(1) PRAHRAN 11.12 (78) def (2) ST KILDA CITY 4.11 (35)
Best-on-ground medallist: Oscar Don (Prahran)
For a moment, St Kilda City was matching it with Prahran… And then all of a sudden, it wasn’t. After a dour first quarter in which both sides goaled only once, Prahran exploded with a six-goal second term blitz. It proved the key quarter in their premiership victory. Big, powerful Oscar Don kicked two snags and was judged best-on-ground, but his mates Tom Baring (three goals), Taylor Bamford (two) and Matt Kirkwood (one) were all sensational.
Under 14 Division 4
(2) EAST SANDRINGHAM 9.6 (60) def by (3) HIGHETT 12.8 (80)
Best-on-ground medallist: Josh Gorman (Highett)
A deserved premiership goes Highett’s way after defeating each of its finals rivals in succession to claim glory in Under 14 Division 4. The Doggies and East Sandringham seem to like a close contest and for three quarters this was no exception… Highett got an early break, but East Sandy clawed to within eight points at three-quarter time. The game was there for the taking, but Highett was tough when it mattered, coming home with a five-goal final term. There was none tougher than Josh Gorman, who took home the best-on-ground medal for the winners.
Under 15 Division 1
(1) CHELTENHAM 4.5 (29) def by (3) EAST SANDRINGHAM 12.10 (82)
Best-on-ground medallist: Jordan Matera (East Sandringham)
What a staggering result… Check out the detailed review of this great grand final performance here.
Under 15 Division 2
(1) ST BEDES/MENTONE TIGERS 12.10 (82) def (2) MT WAVERLEY 4.3 (27)
Best-on-ground medallist: Nick Capomolla (St Bedes/Mentone)
St Bedes/Mentone was probably favoured to take home the cup and, true to form, the Tigers got stronger as the game went longer. Mt Waverley got within 10 points of St Bedes two weeks ago in the qualifying final and matched it with their opponents in the first quarter of this one, but just couldn’t keep up. Nick Capomolla took home the best-on-ground medal, while Hunter Griffin, Sam Lundy and their captain Sam Barca also played blinders. Look at the division ladder and you’ll see this was a deserved flag win.
Under 15 Division 3
(1) ORMOND 9.12 (66) def (3) EAST SANDRINGHAM 6.9 (45)
Best-on-ground medallist: Reece Behnke (Ormond)
Much respect for the way Ormond got to work and dug out the premiership victory in this one… It was fitting the hard-at-it Reece Behnke claimed the best-on-ground medal, as he typified the attitude shown by the whole team after quarter-time. East Sandringham had bolted to a 13-point lead at the first break, but Ormond soon got to work, levelling things up at halftime and going on with it in the second half. Mitch Strooper, Joe Wackett and captain Will Robertshaw were also crucial in the win.
Under 16 Division 1
(2) EAST MALVERN GOLD 9.8 (62) def (1) ORMOND 8.9 (57)
Best-on-ground medallist: Marcus LaGreca (Ormond)
East Malvern teams appear to be the masters of the final quarter comeback… The Under 13 Division 1s did it in amazing fashion last week and the Under 16 Division 1s produced a barnstorming last-quarter to bring home the premiership this week. Ormond broke away after a tight opening with a second quarter onslaught, heading to the main break 14 points up. The lead was still 10 at three-quarter time, but the Knights suddenly flicked the switch – five goals later and the flag was theirs. It was a captain’s game: Marcus LaGreca led from the front in Ormond’s losing cause, but his team let opposition captain William Paine off the leash again for four big goals. This East Malvern group has now claimed back-to-back premierships after dominating Under 15 Division 1 in 2011. A great effort, considering many key Knights missed large chunks of the 2012 season due to school football commitments.
Under 16 Division 2
(2) CAULFIELD 12.12 (84) def (1) DINGLEY 7.8 (50)
Best-on-ground medallist: Will Barker (Caulfield)
The Dingley boys will be having nightmares about this Caulfield group… Dingoes coach James Cullen urged his troops to claim that elusive premiership at three-quarter time (“It’s our turn!”), but as hard as they tried, they couldn’t overcome the brave Bears. Caulfield bolted away from Dingley with a second quarter burst, but behind the gritty resilience of captain Craig Sterling, the Dingoes drew within nine points at the last break. Following the coach’s passionate rev-up, Dingley slotted the first goal of the final term, but a big mark and goal from Jack Wallace and a superb end-to-end team goal were the answers Caulfield was after. The Bears piled on four goals in the fading minutes to blow the margin out and claim the flag, with Will Barker brilliant throughout.
Under 16 Division 3
(2) MORDIALLOC BRAESIDE 10.5 (65) def (4) SOUTH MELBOURNE DISTRICT 7.19 (61)
Best-on-ground medallist: Kurt Lopo (Mordialloc Braeside)
South Melbourne District was in hot form leading into this one, but inaccurate kicking had been an issue… It may now have cost them a flag. Despite 11 more scoring shots, the Districts lost a heartbreaker to Mordialloc Braeside. Mordi was brilliantly served by best-on-ground medallist Kurt Lopo, who, after conquering Under 16 Division 3, will now look to conquer Everest (according to this week’s SMJFL record). In fact, the record provides a great insight into these teams – “All round champion” Sam Kelly was unsurprisingly South Melbourne’s best in the loss, while Mordi’s Nathan Peterson might even find it in his heart to like “cousin Kevin” after experiencing the joy of a junior premiership.
Under 17 Division 1
(1) CHELTENHAM 5.13 (43) def by (4) BEAUMARIS 9.5 (59)
Best-on-ground medallist: Matthew Zagni
We couldn’t have asked for a better game to finish off the 2012 SMJFL season at Highett Reserve… Our detailed match review is right here!