Two Blues Reserves Win PremiershIp

Prahran Assumption Reserves scored an emphatic win in the VAFA Division 1 grand final by 35 points v Therry Penola at Carlton's Visy Park on Sunday September 14.

The Two Blues were relentless with their pressure all day putting into practice the 'inch by inch, contest by contest' mantra.

After conceding the first goal from a free kick the Prahran Assumption was never headed after Tom Candy slotted the Two Blues' first major from just inside 50m in a tight opening quarter.

The win maintained a perfect record for the club's Reserves teams in grand finals at the former Princes Park.

In 1991 Prahran won the VFA Reserves premiership downing Coburg in now Collingwood head of recruiting Derek Hine's first season as coach.

Sunday's was a win to savor on many counts.

The victory was triumph for co coaches Ash Parsons and playing coach Josh Ancrum who lost his mother during the season. Parsons and Ancrum were also 2011 Division 3 premiership teammates.

As is often the case in grand finals there were heroes and heartache.

Key defender Ollie Hagen snapped his Achilles tendon in the final training session last Wednesday and was on the sidelines in a wheelchair to cheer on his teammates.

So were Ash Dean and Billy Candy who were both sidelined with severe injuries mid year and Luke Kerr missed the last two finals with a badly infected toe.

Of the heroes Brent Field was judged best afield and man of the match as he racked up countless possessions. But key defender Brett Kenny or on baller Josh Hogarth would also have been worthy winners while Tim Webb was the stoppage king laying tackle after tackle and feeding out handballs and Michael Bremner, also good in the clinches, gave plenty of outside run.

The Two Blues had an ideal blend of experience and youth, no better exemplified by ruckman Michael Radywonik the speedy Ash Forbes and the youngest player in the team 17 year-old Hunter Watkin.

Radywonik coached Forbes in the Prahran U11s and 12s, and now they are premiership teammates and Watkin also came through the Prahran juniors ranks!

Aran O'Hare and Radywonik dominated big man duels with Rady's marking a highlight, while the defence led by Kenny, skipper Matt Laverty, Sam Durnan and Tom Matherson was watertight.

Therry Penola had registered just two scoring shots up to the 20 minute mark of the third quarter, such was the dominance of the Two Blues defence.

Durnan conceded the first goal of the match with a free kick behind the play but it proved to be his only mistake for the day.

Up forward Rick Ellis was as dependable as usual with two goals while wingman Jayden Williams proved the revelation of the finals series.

In 11 games leading into the grand final Williams had not scored a goal.

But confidence can do wonders and on the back of his match turning last quarter the previous week in the preliminary final,  on Sunday the teenager became a multiple goal kicker slotting two 50m long goals on the run.

Full-forward David Cupples kicked the first goal of the second quarter and always looked dangerous while John Rice, leading goalkicker for the season with 40 goals, was quiet but iced the game with the last goal of the match.

In truth after quarter time this was a game the Two Blues were never going to lose.

The Two Blues attack on the ball never wavered, just as Parsons preached pre game. 

A half-time lead of 22 points was a buffer but not a match winning lead.

Even the 34 point three quarter-time lead was not enough as players were reminded the Two Blues gave Williamstown a similar start in the preliminary final before a six goals to nil last quarter onslaught.

Therry Penola kicked the first goal of the quarter and misses by Radywonik and Hogarth had supporters nervous.

But a snap goal by Ellis made the game safe, even though Therry Penola made a quick reply.   

PRAHRAN ASSUMPTION 1-1 4-5 7-7 9-10 (64)

THERRY PENOLA             1-1 1-1 2-3 4-5 (29)

Goals. Ellis, Williams 2, Rice, Cupples, Hogarth, Kenny, T Candy.

Best: O'Hare, Hogarth, Kenny, Webb, Williams, Laverty.