Prahran Assumption plunged into a three-way relegation race following a dismal defeat by St Mary’s Salesian at Toorak Park on Saturday.
At the half-way mark of the season the Two Blues have tallied just six premiership points, with last Saturday’s humbling 5-10 (40) to 15-13 (103) loss a seventh successive defeat.
Suffice to say the clash with cellar dweller Old Paradians at Garvey Oval on Saturday week after the Queen’s Birthday bye looms as a season defining game.
The Two Blues must win that game and a home venue clash with eighth placed Brunswick NOBS St Pat’s later in the season to avoid relegation to VAFA Division 2.
Saturday’s capitulation was hard to fathom, given the sodden oval and drizzling rain should have meant a closely contested, low scoring arm wrestle on their own turf.
When Adam Sleight in his 199th senior game marked and goaled within the first three minutes the scene seemed set for a spirited home team effort.
Instead what was to follow was akin to a horror movie – 11 unanswered goals from St Mary’s Salesian highlighted the obvious difference in skill level as the Two Blues meekly surrendered.
The third quarter mini revival after a half-time blast from coach Ash Mills only highlighted how lamentable the first half effort was.
When Ed Macdonald, switched forward after having his colours lowered by Manny Doran, goaled from a free kick early in the third quarter it ended a 50 minutes drought between goals.
The Two Blues added 3-3 and kept St Mary’s goalless for the third quarter following a noticeable lift in intensity.
The sliver of hope for the future was a second half scoreline of 4-5 to 4-8 but in reality the game was well and truly over long before half-time.
Good players were hard to find but Alex Simpson was a stand out in defence while acting captain Trent Rogers was as brave as ever in the clinches. In defence John Stocker and Blayne Dempsey stood tall in the face of the St Marey's onslaught and Macdonald with two goals gave the forward line a badly needed boost.
PRAHRAN ASSUMPTION 1-4 1-5 3-8 5-10 (40)
ST MARY'S SALESIAN 6-2 11-5 11-8 15-13 (103)
Goals: Macdonald 2, Sleight, Robbins, J Matherson.
Best: Simpson, Macdonald, Rogers, Stocker, Dempsey, Taylor.
Beaten but not bowed sums up the Reserves brave effort against unbeaten St Mary's Salesian.
Despite a rash of late changes the undermanned Two Blues drew level in the last quarter before the inevitable edge in class and depth took its toll and resulted in a 14 point defeat.
Dylan Challis was a constant threat at centre half-forward while Ed Delahenty and Junior Vuli were excellent in defence.
At the half-way mark of the season coach Josh Ancrum has the Two Blues in fourth place on the ladder and on track for a third successive finals appearance.
PRAHRAN ASSUMPTION 1.1 3.4 6.4 7.6 (48)
ST MARY'S SALESIAN 1.0 4.7 6.11 8.14 (62)
Goals: Ellis 2, Challis , Marmo, Waters, Shaw, Edmunds.
Best: Challis, Vuli, Delahenty, Marmo, Frydman, Mason.
PRAHRAN ASSUMPTION 6-13 (49)
MHSOB 19-6 (120)