Prahran Assumption’s 2019 VAFA Division 1 season began with a humbling 46 point defeat at the hands of last year’s Division 2 premier University High.
The Two Blues began with two early goals from gun recruit Callum Wilson to give the Toorak Park faithful optimism and belief they could cap the occasion of full-forward Jack Matherson’s 200th senior game and a tribute day to life member and match day operations 'guru' the late Steve Powell.
But the visitors responded with the next five goals to set the scene for the day. Whatever the Two Blues did, Uni High, did better with its disposal by foot in particular much superior to the rusty home team.
The second quarter was to prove telling as with the aid of the breeze at their backs the Two Blues could muster just 2-6 , a modest return for the dominant number of inside 50s. When Brent Chapman marked alone in the goal square seconds after the siren sounded there was a sense this wasn’t going to be the Two Blues day.
University High’s running game lifted to another level after half-time and they cruised home to win.
The Two Blues had a number of first choice players missing but it would be churlish to deny University High’s dominant display.
Wilson with seven of Prahran Assumption’s seven goals made an outstanding debut while captain James Musster was tireless on ball.
Goals: Wilson 7, Chapman, Hogan
Best: Wilson, Musster, Adams, Dickinson, Simpson, Gottschalk
Goals: Torpey 2, W Brereton, H Taylor, Rippeto, Thompson, Henshaw
Best: Nairn, Webb, Henshaw, Webster, W Brereton
Goals: Rundle 6, Davis, Brooker, W Candy
Best: Rundle, Anderson, Davidson, Koehler, Berger, Stewart
Prahran Assumption's women's team suffered a heartbreakingly narrow loss to Swinburne in their first game of the season.
Despite dominating early on, the Two Blues didn't make the most of their opportunities in front of goal, and were unable to hold on to victory as it was snatched away in the dying seconds of the game.
A strong first quarter showed just how far this group of women have come, as their improved ball-handling and gameplay made them look like a completely different team to the previous season.
The opposition lifted their intensity in the second and third quarters, rising to the challenge of a Prahran outfit who were unafraid to dig in.
Despite Prahran's best efforts, Swinburne were able to harness the momentum in the fourth quarter, and kicked the winning goal in the last five seconds of the game.
There were several stand-out performances worthy of a mention. Katie Lindkvist was dominant in the ruck, regularly gifting her midfielders first use of the ball.
Newcomer Georgia Murphy was a ball-magnet in the midfield, with a marking ability that belied her relative inexperience. The run and carry of Anneka Mathias and Mikaela Peel showed that this team is capable of some serious speed, while Georgia Spokes was a reliable intercept mark across half-back. Kira Van Druten's booming kick proved that she is an exciting addition to the team. Loz Sorono's goal in the third quarter was a joy to behold, with her teammates running in from all corners of the ground to celebrate.
All in all, this game proved that this is vastly different team to last year. Their skills, composure and game awareness have improved and it looks like there is an exciting season ahead.
Post-game, coach Steve Zayler remarked that there was plenty to like and lots to learn from round 1.
“The girls have improved so much from last year and I was really impressed with their intensity around the ball," he said.
"We probably wasted a few opportunities in front of goal and that ended up costing us the game.
"We’ve learnt so much from that game and we’re really looking forward to next week.”
Prahran head north next Saturday, playing Preston Bullants at W.R. Ruthven Reserve at 4.45pm.
Goals: Sorono, Van druten, Matthias