What a magical day in the life and times of Prahran Assumption Football Club - not one but two premierships!
It was double joy for Two Blues players and supporters when both the seniors and reserves triumphed at Elsternwick Park on Sunday September 17 in VAFA Division 2. The challenge is now to make serious progress in Division 1 but for the present celebrations are in order. The seniors were red hot favourites to win while the reserves were underdogs which made the twin flags all the more satisfying.
An opening first quarter of 6-4 to West Brunswick's 0-1 kicking with the aid of a strong northerly effectively won the game. In contrast to the second semi-final when the Magpies bottled up play and made scoring a chore, this time the Two Blues burst out of the blocks, Josh Hogarth goaled from a Jon Simonetta pass inside 10 minutes, followed a minute later by an Eric Kuret snap. Dan Freeman passed to Tim Maya who goaled from outside 50m and the Two Blues were on a roll. Maya, the dominant forward on the ground in the first term, goales again from a Josh Hogarth pass. Then Tom Freeman, a stand out with his sure marking, passed to Simonetta and found Brett Dickinson 40m out which he duly slotted. Ged Hogarth then crumbed a goal in time-on to make it six goals for the quarter.
The second quarter was a triumph for the Two Blues defence, restricting West Brunswick to a solitary goal from a free kick in time on. All season Tom Freeman, John Stocker, Tom Atwell, Luke Kerr, Nathan Costin, Tim Webb and Jimmy Gottschalk were rock solid, and often turning defence into attack and they were on song again on Sunday.
Goals to Ariel Steinberg from a strong mark, Kuret thanks to a slick Harrison Taylor handball and from a free kick Tom Quinn in the third quarter stretched the lead to a match winning 51 points.
Not to be denied the Magpies lifted their intensity in the last quarter and piled on five unanswered goals. Surely not.. Two Blues fans started to ponder. But any threat of a miracle comeback was snuffed out when Paul Donahoo, Ged Hogarth and Simonetta combined for a goal at the 31 minute mark. Skipper James Musster was awarded the best afield medal by umpires but it could have gone to any of half a dozen teammates. The Freeman brothers Tom and Dan would surely have been in contention.
This premiership promises to be the start of a new beginning. Thanks to coach Ash Mills and his coaching panel and some astute recruiting , the Two Blues, despite some expected retirements, have not been better placed in recent times to continue a move up the grades.
PRAHRAN ASSUMPTION 6-4 6-5 9-9 10-11 (71) d WEST BRUNSWICK 0-1 1-3 1-6 6-8 (44)
Goals: Maya, Kuret 2, J Hogarth, G Hogarth, Simonetta, Dickinson, Quinn, Steinberg.
Best: Musster, T Freeman, D Freeman, Simonetta, Gottschalk, N Costin, Kerr, Stocker, Rogers.
Call it a scrap, an arm wrestle- this was a grand final of attrition as the Two Blues somehow defended a slender 10 point lead kicking into a northerly gale in the last quarter. West Brunswick kicked two goals into the wind in the third quarter while the Two Blues could only match that through Evan Scicluna and Tom Marmo. The Two Blues laid 30 tackles in a tense, goaless last term. Ben Leske was awarded the best afield medal but he had a host of teammates who could have shared the honour, none more than Blayne Dempsey whose sure marking was a stand out.
PRAHRAN ASSUMPTION 2-2 3-2 5-5 5-6 (36) d WEST BRUNSWICK 0-1 1-6 3-6 3-10 (28)
Goals: Marmo 3, Ellis, Scicluna.
Best: Leske, Dempsey, Bremner, Burton, McCulloch, Candy, Conlan, Marmo