Match Reports: Uni Qualifies For A-Grade GF
Uni claimed a famous A-Grade win to qualify for another Grand Final while the Dingoes also progressed to the big dance in the D1-Reserves.
SEMI FINALS REPORTS
STEINEPREIS PAGANIN A GRADE
Scarborough 6.8.44 def by University 11.8.74
Uni booked a ticket into the 2019 A Grade WAAFL Grand Final with a 30 point win over reigning premiers Scarborough last weekend.
Uni were forced to make a number of changes to their winning Qualifying Final side, with midfielder Basti Ashford and defender Matt Hannagan unavailable through injury, whilst star on-baller Brendon Lim missed due to off-shore work commitments. But having knocked of Scarborough at Millington Reserve in the final home and away game, Uni entered the contest confident that their best footy was good enough to get the job done. Uni started in positive fashion, doing much of the attacking in the early stages and peppering the goal mouth. Sean Trombetta was the first to open the account for the visitors, kicking the first 2 majors of the game including a classy snap from the boundary line. Scarborough fought back, kicking 2 goals of their own late in the quarter to share the honours for the term. Injuries to utility Cameron Wilson and midfielder Max Bentley would limit Uni’s ability to rotate the interchange, threatening to derail Uni’s running advantage.
The Uni midfield continued to match it with their experienced Scarborough counterparts around the contest in the 2nd term. Ruckman Hamish Murray and Dwayne Lake were influential around the stoppages, while the spread from the likes of Ryan Donaldson, Nick Winmar, Chaz Flint and Seb Bentley was a feature.
Uni’s speed and mobility in the forward half was also testing Scarborough, with runners Jarryd Stewart, Tom Curtin, Daniel Hug and Angus Vaughan enjoying the wide open spaces of Millington Reserve. Trombetta remained Uni’s sole goalkicker when he converted his 3rd before Matt Davies joined the party by getting on the end of a slick passage of play down the outer wing. A 2 goal to 1 quarter gave Uni a 5 point advantage at the long break in a low scoring affair.
The premiership quarter was always going to be a critical one, with Scarborough looking to make their most of their last chance kicking with the strengthening southerly breeze. Uni’s mettle was tested as the footy spent long periods in Scarborough’s front half. Key defenders Tim O’Hara and Brent Evans performed brilliantly in the air against quality opposition whilst small backs Nathan Stewart, Matt Goyder and Ben Taylor fought tirelessly at ground level. But Uni were able to create chances of their own at the other end on the back of hard forward running from the midfield fleet. The highlight of the quarter was a brilliant individual effort from Nick Winmar which included multiple involvements from half back, a dash down the wing and ultimately ended with him taking strong contested mark and converting from deep in the forward pocket. A pumped up Uni managed to preserve their 5 point lead at the last break.
The opening stages of the final quarter were an arm wrestle, as both sides threw themselves at the contest to win the footy. Fresh off a month of WAFL action, midfielder Chaz Flint rose to the occasion, extracting the ball and bursting out of congestion to get the game back on Uni’s terms. The visitors opened the scoring with a gutsy goal from Max Bentley who was on one leg with a badly sprained ankle. Another major to the in-form Jarryd Stewart gave Uni the belief that they had Scarborough in the ropes. As the term wore on, Uni had all the running and gaps began to appear in Scarborough’s defences. The result was put beyond doubt following a classy snap from Matt Davies whilst defender Matt Goyder chimed in with his first goal for the season to put the icing on the cake of a character-building win for Uni.
The win adds to growing belief of the group which has dragged itself into contention from 7th on the ladder after round 6. Uni now was a chance to freshen up after a testing back half of the year before going into battle one last time on the big stage of Bassendean Oval on Saturday week. Uni will play off for silverware against the winner of the preliminary final between Scarborough v CBC in what promises to be a huge challenge.
Uni calls out to all UFC supporters to make the trip and get behind the boys who will hopefully be joined by the A Colts and A Reserves who both play off in preliminary finals this Saturday.
Goals: Trombetta 4, Davies 2, Vaughan, Winmar, M Bentley, J Stewart, Goyder.
Best: O’Hara, Winmar, Flint, Evans, Trombetta, Donaldson, Goyder, Davies.
CF DIRECT A RESERVES
Uni Bulls 6.6.42 def by North Beach 10.4.64
The Bulls ventured out to their new home ground , Millington, to play North Beach in the second semi-final of the A Ressies. I say new home ground because we played there last game of the home and away, played them in the second semi and we are back there again this Saturday. So as you may now realise, we were unable to beat the Beach who’s experience probably outweighed our youth and exuberance in a fairly hard fought battle.
It was a warm day in front of a big crowd. Parking was at a premium and the bank was packed as the Uni faithful flocked to see all three A Stream teams in action.
I would hate to be backing Captain Shackles at the two up ring because we lost our 20th coin toss for the season and the beach, with canny surfing based local knowledge of wind conditions, electing to kick into a slight breeze. The first quarter was hard fought with neither side giving much up. The battle of the mids was intense and neither side was able to score much and we certainly did not take advantage of a couple of goals breeze that was picking up. The Beach took a slender 1 point lead into the first break.
The second quarter was a bit of a nightmare for us. With the “Scarborough doctor” picking up its intensity, they managed to get over our press a couple of times at kick outs and go end to end for goals and the momentum really swung and by half time we were barely hanging in there by the skin of our teeth. Beach up by four goals 6.3 to 2.3.
We were impressive in the second half, kicking 4.3 to their 4.1 and really looked as good as them but the gap was too big to close down and they had an uncanny knack of managing to score immediately after we had scored which did not allow us to get any sort of run on or momentum and eventually we went down 10.4-64 to 6.6-42.
Anyway, like all good Bulls , we live to fight another day. We play CBC again this week at Millington and the big ground should suit our team. We will be hoping to win and also hope the A Colts get up to set up at massive Grand final day the following week involving all three Uni A Stream sides, most likely at Steel Blue (Bassendean). We will need to bounce back strongly but as sure as your bum points to the ground, the mighty Bulls will be up for the fight.
Congratulations to Browney and the A Grade on their magnificent victory. Another A Grade Grand Final for many of these lads, I make it six A Grade GF’s now in nine years, with four wins, which is quite an effort but none will be sweeter than 2019, especially given all of the young guys in the team who will be trying to win their first senior premiership. A very big Bulls best of luck for Super Saturday for the Pirates, Dings and the Gulls; bring home the bacon boys, we look forward to sharing some winners drinks with you Saturday night.
Goals: Dent 1, Durward 1, Harding 1, Evans 1, Chapman 1, Carmichael 1
Best: Orr, Dent, Donovan, Evans, Harris, Mantaras, Shackles
STEINEPREIS PAGANIN A COLTS (Phil Scott Colts)
Uni 6.8.44 def by CBC 8.8.56
Things went pair-shaped early in the first quarter of our semi final clash with CBC, with star onballers Jacob Oakes and Connor Spinks each coming off with hamstring concerns. Regardless of injuries, CBC were the better team for the duration of the first half, with Uni’s only goal coming from Connor Smallwood in the shadows of the main break. Alex Donaldson led the backline during a trying half, with the opposition dictating most of the play.
DISTINCTIVE HOMES PIRATES (D1 Grade)
BDO DINGOES (D1 Reserves)
North Beach 6.4.40 def by Uni 9.5.59
The Dingoes got the choccies and book a spot in the 2019 GF after a tight tussle at Fremantle Park on Saturday. We seemed to have control most of the day but couldn’t shake off North Beach, trailing by a point at the final break. But buoyed by a slight breeze, we ran away with the contest, led by Eggman who had a day out. Next up we try to reproduce another Miracle on Grass against Curtin Uni Wesley in the GF.
BRUCE APPAREL C COLTS (Brett Jones Colts)