Prahran Assumption fans had little cause to be too enthused by a 71 point home game win over lowly St Mary’s Salesian at Toorak Park on Saturday.
The young St Mary’s team proved more than competitive with eight goals from skipper Adam Sleight one of the few highlights for the winners in a lack lustre display.
But the Two Blues fifth win in succession took on a rosier perspective when news came in that ladder leader Bulleen Templestowe’s unbeaten streak had surprisingly come to an end against Old Paradians.
This now means Bulleen Templestowe leads Prahran Assumption on percentage only in VAFA Division 2, each with five wins from six games.
The Bulleen Templestowe loss is evidence how difficult it is to maintain a winning streak no matter when the competition is.
Prahran Assumption was returning home after three away wins against potential finalists and the prospect of facing a team struggling to avoid relegation was always going to be a test of mental application.
After a bright opening when Ash Wiggins goaled twice, the Two Blues seemed to lose their focus and coach Ashley Mills sensed it.
Mills asked his players to raise the standard but turnovers persisted.
Even the brilliant James Musster was an offender, with his turnover on the three-quarter time siren symptomatic of a poor term which yielded 1-8.
The ground condition was not to blame as considering Friday’s deluge Toorak Park’s surface was excellent.
The unhealthy reliance on Sleight for goals continued although Ryan Costin chipped in with a career best three goals.
Despite being double and at times triple teamed, Sleight proved unstoppable and his kicking for goal was exemplary with eight goals from eight shots.
The good news for Two Blues fans is regular full-forward Peter Cristoforo is back in training for a mid-season comeback.
While Sleight was the shining light on Saturday, there were other plusses.
Liam Hunt followed his impressive debut with another faultless game in defence, Daniel Anglin was strong in the clinches in an on-ball and forward role, Matthew Pell was the linkman in six goals and Nathan Davey’s ruckwork was again a feature.
Unfortunately defender Brent Fields joined the growing casualty list when he was sidelined after half-time with a suspected broken hand.
The depth of the squad is being tested but so far has stood the test.
Prahran Assumption will be at home again on Saturday against South Melbourne Districts before the Queen’s Birthday weekend break.
PRAHRAN ASSUMPTION 4-4 9-4 10-12 15-14 (104)
ST MARY’S SALESIAN 0-1 2-3 3-4 4-7 (31)
Goals: Sleight 8, R Costin 3, Wiggins 2, Matherson, Anglin.
Best: Musster, Anglin, Hunt, Sleight, R Costin, Donahoo, Pell.
The return of former senior captain coach Paul Greenham and first game for Reserves coach Ange Samartino were highlights of the Reserves win.
Greenham showed a glimpse of his canny skills with five goals while Samartino’s comeback was caused by the rash of injuries at the club.
After a 6-2 first term while holding St Mary’s scoreless, the home team lapsed and what threatened to be a blow out margin was reduced to 35 points.
Goals: Greenham 5, Ellis 3, Tottenham 2, Rice, Sampson, Vuli, Walshe.
Best: Sampson, Hagen, Bourke, Greenham, Rice, Ellis.
PAFC Clubbies had a strong four quarter performance against 2011 premiers De La Salle to run out 13 point winners. After six rounds we’ve had three wins and three losses and sit sixth on the ladder.
It was an important victory for the Two Blues2 after last week's fade out.
In heavy conditions the boys had the edge over the co-tenants for the first three quarters and held a 17 point lead at the last orange break.
Like last week our opponents lifted in the final stanza but the Clubbies managed to shut down the game by throwing players behind the ball and clogging up play. It wasn’t pretty but the goalless last quarter for both teams put to bed some of last week’s demons.
Sam Cooper kicked four and twin tower Nick Gouin kicked three to be key contributors.
Geoff Scott and Brett Michael again were dominant in the middle despite the heavy conditions.
Jason Storer, Chris Morton, Jimmy Mantella, Crispin Myers, Andrew Slawinski and Bill Neasey were important in an even team performance.
Husayn Pitts had the ball on a string in the 1st half. In the 2nd half Wilfred Walford was a big factor. More fuel to the fire for the conspiracy theorists.
Next week we're back again at our darling Darling Park against Monash Blues.
Prahran Assumption 9.8-62 def De La Salle 6.12-48
Goal Kickers: S. Cooper 4, N. Gouin 3, J. Storer , B. Neasey
Best Players: S. Cooper, N. Keohler, C. Myres, C. Morton, H. Pitts, B. Neasey