By Will Hunter
The 2015 Under 12 West Grand Final won’t soon be forgotten by the boys from Beauy as the Sharks stunned minor premier Prahran in a flag decider for the ages.
Both Beaumaris and Prahran were expected to progress straight through to the big dance, having finished first and second on the ladder at the end of the home and away season with Prahran two wins clear on top.
And this is exactly what eventuated, with the Sharks and the Blues recording comfortable victories over Waverley Park and East Malvern respectively in the Semi Finals to set a top-of-the-table clash for the 2015 premiership.
The Blues entered the season finale at Jack Barker Oval as warm favourites, having defeated Beaumaris in both of their previous encounters during the home and away season.
Round 3 saw Prahran sneak home by just two points in a nail-biter at Toorak Park, however the return bout in Round 10 didn’t have the same thrilling conclusion. The Blues ran rampant at McDonald Reserve, running out winner by 44 points, a margin that didn’t really reflect their dominance on the day.
Beaumaris showed early on that they weren’t going to be pushed over this time around. One goal apiece in the opening term set the scene for a hard -fought contest between the two sides.
It was more of the same in the second term, with both sides hard to split. In fact, it was Prahran’s accuracy in front of the sticks that saw them take a slender lead into the main interval, 3.0 (18) to 2.4 (16).
But as they had done all season, Prahran asserted their dominance on the contest and managed to kick away. It was a high scoring and entertaining quarter of junior footy, befitting of Grand Final status. Five goals were scored for the term (put into perspective, just five were kicked in the entire first half), with three of them scored at the Blues’ end of the ground.
Consequently, Prahran held an eight-point lead at the final change and looked like the flag was heading to Toorak Park.
From there Beaumaris pulled off one of the all-time great grand Final heists, booting 3.2 to 0.1 in the last quarter to steamroll a shell shocked Blues side.
It was a stunning quarter of football, and few superlatives do justice to the courage, spirit and tenacity shown by the Sharks in those final fifteen minutes.
Gavin Boyd and Daniel Tunbridge potted six of the Sharks’ seven goals for the day (Peter Pecer kicked the remaining goal) while teammate Mitchito Owens was a deserved winner of the best on ground medal.
Prahran 6.3 (39)
Beaumaris 7.8 (50)
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.
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