Posted in Featured News , Front Page News

By Will Hunter

It’s not often these days that premiers are crowned from fourth on the ladder. However, St Peters did just that to claim the cup in the 2015 SMJFL Under 11 Green competition.

In fact, St Peters’ efforts were nothing short of remarkable. They only just snuck into the finals on the back of a 4-11 win/loss record. Yes, you read that right – a lowly win percentage of just 26.67%.

However, their Cinderella story proved that anything is possible if you hit form at just the right time of the year.

Adding to the uniqueness of the season finale, their Grand Final opponent, Highett, qualified for finals in third spot.

To put this anomaly into perspective, never in the entire 119-year history of the AFL/VFL competition have the top two sides on the ladder after the home and away season both failed to reach the Grand Final.

Nevertheless, both sides recorded upset victories over the higher-ranked qualifiers in their respective Semi Finals to make the Big Dance.

Undaunted by the challenge ahead of them, rank outsiders St Peters flew out of the blocks to knock off minor premiers Oakleigh by 20 points – undoubtedly the boilover of the season – in their Semi Final at Princes Park.

Likewise, the Bulldogs narrowly defeated Northvale to the tune of nine points in the later match to join St Peters as unlikely Grand Final combatants.

Both sides entered their premiership-deciding clash at Mentone Grammar with a win each from their two head to head matches throughout the season, and all indications were that this match would be a very tight affair.

And so it proved, with neither side able to get a decisive advantage in a low-scoring and hotly-contested first half. Both St Peters and Highett could only manage one goal each, with the former holding a slender four-point advantage at the long break.

But after the oranges the game opened up and St Peters put their foot down. Four unanswered goals in the ‘premiership quarter’ opened up an insurmountable 35-7 lead by the final change.

Despite their opponents having one hand on the cup already, the Bulldogs never gave in. They managed to kick a couple of goals and even outscore St Peters in the last quarter to add some respectability to their performance.

However, there would be no spoiling St Peters’ party, as they claimed a 27-point victory and an unexpected piece of silverware.

Alex Simpson won the medal as the best player on the ground with a sparkling display that included two goals, while Patrick Murphy also chimed in with a couple of majors for the victors.

FINAL SCORES

Highett: 3.2 (20)

St Peters: 7.5 (47)

 

You can watch this game and more from the 2015 SMJFL Finals Series at www.smjfl.tv, including all SMJFL Grand Finals from 2012 to 2015.

SMJFL TV vision is brought to you by Red Onion, our Preferred Partner for Match Day Filming & DVD.