A season low performance against Ormond last Saturday has left Prahran Assumption’s VAFA Division 1 finals hopes in the balance.
In second place before travelling to the E E Gunn Reserve, which was in surprisingly good condition considering the weekend rain, the Two Blues plummeted to fifth on the ladder after a lamentable 53 point loss.
Such is the tight nature of the competition Ormond leapt from seventh to fourth and only percentage separates fifth and eighth-ironically Bulleen Templestowe, the Two Blues next opponent in the Division 2 grand final re-match on Saturday week.
For the loser it could well be season over for finals as the season reaches the half-way mark.
Although Prahran Assumption kicked the first goal of the match through Luke Giansiracusa, the alarm bells were sounding early.
For 20 minutes the game was played exclusively in the Ormond forward line. Only shoddy kicking for goal kept Prahran Assumption in the contest as the home team amassed 2-8 from 10 scoring shots keeping the Two Blues scoreless.
Gone was the tackling pressure and system of last week v Old Geelong. Instead Ormond’s youthful exuberance took over and as the free kick against tally mounted so the frustration increased for the Two Blues.
Coach Ash Mills delivered a blistering quarter-time blast which had immediate result with goals to John Robbins and Paul Donahoo. The Two Blues narrowed the gap to 12 points when Ash Parsons goaled late in the quarter but a late Ormond goal left the half-time margin at 19 points.
Goals to Beau Adams and Tim Maya twice dragged the Two Blues back to within two goals but Ormond had all the answers.
A volley of six unanswered Ormond goals broke the game open and it was game over by three-quarter time. Three goals each in the last quarter saw the final scoreline 16-19 (115) to 9-8 (62).
For the statistical minded the Two Blues kicked the first goal in all four quarters, but there were precious few other highlights.
On ballers Donahoo and Matt Wall were valiant, Beau Adams was brave, Tim Maya the most productive forward but it was a day to forget for most of the Two Blues who continue to confound coach Mills with their inconsistency.
The Two Blues sorely missed key forwards Adam Sleight (overseas) and Pete Cristoforo (injured) and speedy James Musster (injured) but that is no excuse for the insipid effort last Saturday. Ormond also had a long injury list but obviously has better depth.
There will be no VAFA matches next Saturday, the Queen’s Birthday weekend.
PRAHRAN ASSUMPTION 1-1 4-4 6-6 9-8 (62)
ORMOND 3-10 6-11 13-16 16-19 (115)
Goals: Adams, Robbins 2, Giansiracusa, Maya, Parsons, Donahoo, Dempsey.
Best: Donahoo, Wall, Davey, Adams, Vuli, Maya.
For half a game Prahran Assumption more than matched top two team Ormond.
But a 14 point half-time lead gradually evaporated as Ormond’s superior skills took effect.
The home team led by eight points before an avalanche of last quarter goals put the game beyond doubt.
PRAHRAN ASSUMPTION 3-2 6-4 6-5 7-5 (47)
ORMOND 3-2 4-2 7-7 13-10 (88)
Best: Mulraney, Kenny, Oliver.
In a tight contest, the Prahran Assumption Club XVIII were outlasted by second placed St Bernards by 21 points .
Going into the bye round, the Clubbies sit third on the ladder. After playing each team once this season, we have only been beaten by two teams (Xavs and St Bs) who both sit above us on the ladder)
In difficult conditions, it was close contest all day but St Bernards managed to extend their lead (albeit marginally) at each break. Each time we got close they managed to pull away.
In his 50th game, Craig Berger was in everything up forward, in the mid field and even down back.
Luke Farrell played some clever wet weather football and used the ball well.
Nick Koehler was an influence in the middle and mopping up down back.
Crispin Myers and Peter Derbyshire took on St B’s big forwards and did a fine job.
Welcome down to new players Sam Gallichio and Luke Driscoll
Prahran Assumption 5.13-43 def by St Bernards 9.10-64
Goal Kickers: C. Berger, N. Gouin, B. Michael, C. Faraci, H. Fried
Best Players: N. Keohler, L. Farrell, C. Berger, B. Michael, J. Parry, D. McGrath