Uni A-Grade Eliminated, Two Sides Into GFs
It was a mixed weekend for the University Football Club with our league side bundled out of the finals while the C-Colts and Women’s A-Grade qualified for Grand Finals.
It was a mixed bag across the board on Saturday where we hosted five Uni games on a big double-header at the McG, with the Pirates and Dingoes both missing out on automatic grand final qualification and moving into prelims next weekend.
The A-Reserves won a thrilling contest to stay alive in the finals, while the A-Grade went down in a nailbiter too.
MEN’S & WOMEN’S FINALS
STEINEPREIS PAGANIN A GRADE
Uni 10.11 (71) defeated by North Beach 12.5 (77)
Uni’s 2018 finals campaign came to a devastating end on Saturday, losing to North Beach by 6 points in the elimination final at McGillivray.
The sides took the field in perfect conditions and the contest promised to be an intriguing one with both sides having won 1 of their 2 encounters during the regular season. As expected, time and space were hard to come by in the opening minutes as both sides applied huge pressure on the ball carrier. The Uni players nerves were evident as North Beach opened the scoring following a sloppy 50m meter penalty against Uni which was followed closely by a 2nd major, this time from a free kick. An exciting piece of play through the corridor from half forward Jarrad Stewart opened Uni’s scoring and then another major brought the scores back to level as Uni appeared to have settled into the contest. But some more nervous and unadventurous ball movement from Uni late in the quarter allowed North Beach to lock the footy in its front half late in the quarter and the visitors made the most of their opportunities, kicking another 2 goals to lead by 11 points at the first break.
The second quarter was a poor one for Uni. The North Beach midfield gained the ascendancy in the middle of the ground, winning the majority for clearances and spreading hard forward. The Uni defence did a good job of bringing the footy to the ground but North Beach’s small forwards were able to swoop on the footy at ground level and kicked several impressive crumbing goals. As the scoreboard differential increased, Uni’s energy waned and all its offensive flare disappeared. When Uni got their hands on the footy, the ball movement was invariably slow and easy to defend which played right into North Beach’s hands. 5 consecutive goals to North Beach gave the visitors a 9 goals to 2 advantage late in the quarter before Uni eventually sparked back into action. 2 quick goals late in the quarter on the back of some more exciting offensive footy brought the margin back to 5 goals at the main break, giving Uni a glimmer of hope.
Uni returned after the main break a different side. The midfield matched it with their experienced North Beach counterparts around the contest but it was on the outside that Uni started to get going. Moving the footy quickly at every opportunity, Uni tested out North Beach’s defensive running and gave Uni’s dangerous forwards numerous opportunities to work in an open forward line. Uni immediately began to make inroads on the scoreboard, kicking two early goals to lift the spirits of the players and supporter alike. By now, Uni was exerting total dominance all over the ground and were peppering the goals. Lack of accuracy in front of the big sticks was the only thing that prevented Uni from erasing the deficit before 3 quarter time, kicking 3 goals 6 to North Beaches zero for the term, leaving the sides just 6 points apart with a quarter to play.
The break came at the perfect time for the visitors who started strongly in the last quarter and were able to halt the momentum that Uni took into 3 quarter time. North Beach lifted their rating at the coal face and won the first few clearances. Again, the Uni defenders struggled to defend the North Beach forwards at ground level as 2 more crumbing goals pushed the margin back out to 3 goals. Uni weren’t done with however and the students continued to take the game on at every opportunity, moving the ball quickly through the corridor and running hard forward to create chances. Uni did all the attacking for the remaining 15 minutes but time was always the enemy. The home side did manage to convert a couple of majors to reduce the margin back to 7 points with a few minutes to spare. The final moments were tense as Uni locked the ball in its front half but struggled to create shots on goal with so many numbers crowding around the contest. A late free kick to Uni resulted in a behind on the siren, leaving Uni 6 agonizing points short of a remarkable comeback victory.
The exit from the 2018 finals race leaves an empty feeling in the stomachs of the Uni players who brought such good form and momentum into the finals series. The 5 straight goals Uni conceded in the second quarter did the damage for Uni and despite dominating the game for the majority of the second half, the mountain proved too high to climb on this occasion. The players showed a lot of character throughout the season however to fight back from a challenging start to the year which was cruelled by injury and saw some 50 players pull on the A Grade jumper. The majority of the young player group looks certain to stay together for 2019 as Uni strives to improve its footy and get back to the top of the A Grade where it belongs.
Goals: M Davies 4, B Taylor 2, D Mumford, C Flint, B Evans, D Lake.
Best: H Murray, B Evans, M Bentley, M Davies, T Curtin, J Stewart, T O’Hara, A Vaughan, S Bentley.
A-Grade go down by 1 goal to North Beach & are eliminated from the finals pic.twitter.com/nf0v8Gbwk6
— University Footy (@UWAFC) August 25, 2018
CF DIRECT A RESERVES
Uni 9.1 (55) defeated Scarborough 8.6 (54)
Fresh from the previous week’s weekend off for this scribe, sunning himself at CB and hanging around with the cream of Perth socialites in Broome for the Broome Cup, all roads headed to the G for week one of A Stream finals.
Despite missing the excitement of the Skinny Maskiel Cup at Wembley and seeing both A Grade and Ressies record strong victories in front of the big Wembley crowd, and missing seeing what shape 8 bucks ended the day in given he was so excited about the lunch and his 40th A Colts reunion he had been camping out at Wembley Sports Park since the previous Tuesday, yours truly thoroughly enjoyed switching coaching duties for hanging around the Mumm Champagne tent, playing two up and holding fort at the Sunset bar at Cable Beach. It did, of course, make a huge difference to be able to inform the locals that I was coach of Broome’s favourite son, Jesse Cox. The doors that opened using Coxy’s name in Broome was amazing and I found myself holding fort at the Sunset Bar at CB and around the pool at the CB Club, surrounded by beautiful women who were all asking me questions like; “How is he going?, the little darling”; ” is he still a spunk?” , “Has he broken as many hearts in Perth as he broke here in Broome”, “He really is a Pearl, Jesse”. “Is he still a roorly good footballer?”, “How I wish that I was Jesse’s girl” etc, etc. Honestly Coxy is to Broome what Marjorie Jackson was to Lithgow, Imran Khan is to Lahore, Kevin Clune is to Carnamah, Bogus is to Tambellup, Ollie O’Meehan, Pup and Gazza are to Borden. Local bloody legends. I felt like Kevin Sheedy at the Tiwi Islands and was treated just as well.
Back to the footy, it was just as well I arrived early at the G because the carpark was as full as a state school. There was a massive crowd in attendance and it was only 11am. Footy was flowing on both McG 1 & 2 with Uni proving once again, with all seven sides contesting finals, just how strong a club we are. We started with a strong line up and the boys were keen to get a win on the board. The Surfers, Scarborough, however had come to play and started very strongly. Urged on by their considerable support, including as usual, a line-up of Martins, WAGs and girlfriends resembling a miss West Coast pagent, they were in front at quarter time. The Uni backline, led by Brad Mumford, Champ Hutton, T Ferg and Snicko, were holding strong and Puppy McFarlane was individually keeping us in the game up forward. The second quarter continued similar to Q1, our midfield and followers, led by Big Juice Tommy Bowering, Chooka, Brownie and Captain Shackles were keeping us in it and we had not kicked a point, so accurate kicking was assisting us stay in touch.
The usual half time rest under the tree of enlightment and wisdom help relax the boys and we came out firing in the third. We were nearly equal with the Surfers at three quarter time and they sensed it and you could see they were starting to panic a bit with the thought of another famous UFC come from behind finals victory. By this time Kelly had tuned in for three goals and we were up and about.
The last quarter was a rousing affair with Uni getting in front thanks to a long Brown goal and some great work by Taco, Chooka, Del and Jesse Cox out of the middle; kicking out to an 8 point lead before nearly blowing it in the last ten seconds with a late Scabs goal followed by a final Scabs attacking move resulting in a miss by a bees to the right of the big sticks and the Uni boys hanging on to win by a solidary point. They say champagne thins the blood and it was therefore just as well this scribe knocked off 9 bottles of Vintage Mumm the previous Saturday because every drop was needed to stop him having a cardiac arrest in that final nerve racking two minutes.
So we live on and maintain the rage into week two of finals. Bad luck to our A Grade brothers; we will miss them not sharing the battle with us this campaign. Good luck to the other Uni teams in the finals and especially the girls in the GF this weekend.
Goals: Kelly 3, McFarlane 2, Browne 2, Harding 1, McLeay 1
Best: Bowering, T Ferg, Snicko, Champ Hutton, Delroy, Taco, Pup, Shacks
— University Footy (@UWAFC) August 25, 2018
STEINEPREIS PAGANIN A COLTS (Phil Scott Colts)
The A-Colts had the weekend off having finished top and will play North Beach at Millington Reserve on Saturday from 10:40am.
DISTINCTIVE HOMES PIRATES (D1 Grade)
Uni 7.11 (53) defeated by Fremantle CBC 9.6 (60)
The Pirates have started off their finals campaign for season 2018 on a disappointing note losing to Fremantle CBC by 7 points. Pre-game it was emphasised this would be a physical contest, with a good start going ways to settle any jitters had before bouncedown. Unfortunately, whilst the physicality was matched, CBC settled early kicking 3 goals in the first 10 minutes. The second half of the first quarter remained tight however, with Chaps kicking one just before the break to bring it back within 2 goals.
The second quarter saw Uni play some really good passages of footy forcing the older CBC side to work across all areas of the ground, but we never capitalised on our opportunities going forward. Kicking 1.4 for the quarter was not ideal, adding to the fact CBC added another couple in the quarter they took a 14 point lead into the main break.
Coach Day discussed the importance of a response in games like this and in the third quarter the Pirates chipped away at the lead early. However, like all good sides do CBC responded with one bloke kicking a goal on the junction in front of the very vocal Dingoes – fair play to that bloke. With this goal CBC maintained a 3 goal advantage going into the final quarter.
Uni again started the quarter off well kicking early goals to bring the margin back under a goal. A somewhat dubious downfield free kick extended the lead of CBC making the equation 3 goals in 4 minutes. Con added one after taking a big dangle, but it was all in vein as the Pirates went down by 7 points. It was a physical, skilful game where CBC showed they are a quality side. They took their chances going forward kicking 9.6 on the day, with Uni kicking 7.11.
For the Pirates it is a matter of regrouping and not looking past the challenge that is North Fremantle this week – but that’s changed slightly with NF kicked out for fielding ineligible players, replaced by North Beach who haven’t beaten us this year. If we bring a similar intent like the one from this preceding weekend there should be no doubts about us getting the job done. Congratulations are also in order for Stewey who plays his 150th, so make sure we’re not only getting around the Pirates next week, but also this legend of the club.
Goals: 2: Chaps & Jibba; 1: Con, Caldow, Ricey
Votes: 5 – Bails; 4 – Stewey & Elliot; 3 – Bando & Dykes; 2 – Con; 1 – Steveo & Chaps
BDO DINGOES (D1 Reserves)
Curtin Uni Wesley 14.8 (92) defeated Uni 7.3 (45)
The Dingoes missed the chance to automatically qualify for the grand final after a 47-point loss to the minor premiers. The boys pushed hard and narrowed to within a kick or two at three-quarter time before a big last quarter from Curtin blew out the result. We’ll learn from this and hit back harder, with a prelim final against CBC from 12:35pm Saturday.
— University Footy (@UWAFC) August 25, 2018
BRUCE APPAREL C COLTS (Brett Jones Colts)
University 12.10 (82) defeated North Beach 3.9 (27)
The C-Colts became the first Uni side into a grand final this year with a commanding win over North Beach on Saturday. Congrats to the boys!
CROSSING LAW WOMEN’S A-GRADE
Uni Stormers 3.8 (26) def Curtin 2.4 (16)
The Stormers went into Prelim week having the week off and having our opponent confirmed as Curtin, the minor premier, after they lost the 2nd Semi Final. Curtin were the only team we hadn’t beaten all year, however, we were never able to put up our best team for either of the games and were confident that we could send the minor premier out in straight sets.
The game was back out at Lighting Park, where we have a good routine going now and we geared up to play the game how we wanted to play it.
The first quarter started well and we managed the first goal through Loz who elegantly slotted the ball on the run from the boundary after Gov took a diving mark to set up the opportunity.
The second quarter was a real let down for us, as we had plenty of the ball in our half, but couldn’t get the goal on the board, however, the intent shown by all ensured that we still went into the half with a small lead.
The third quarter was impressive, Buzza slotted a great set shot and Bash snapped another goal from the boundary and we went into ¾ time with a handy 16 point lead.
The fourth was a battle and even though we gave up the first goal, we were able to hang on to a relatively good winning margin and book ourselves a spot in the GF next week.
Everyone played really well and we go into the GF confident that if we bring our best intent that we can bring home the flag.
Goals: Loz 1, Buzz 1, Bash 1
Best: 6th – Gov & Liana, 5th – Bash, 4th – Cleansheets, 3rd – Nikko, 2nd – Pip, BOG – Tex