Old Scotch: 10.16.76
De La Salle: 2.6.18
Goal Kickers: J. Otter 3, B. Morley 2, N. Walmsley, N. Sheehan, W. Michael, A. Hayes, S. Filippou
Best Players: J. Otter, N. Lindsay, H. McCallum, L. Daggian, D. McDermott, M. Tyler
After a long and very successful 16-1 season, the Old Scotch Thirds headed into Sunday’s Grand Final keen to make amends for a multitude of missed opportunities by the club in finals in years previous. A win would mean the first flag of any kind for 20 years and a loss just another failed finals campaign for a Scotch side.
The scene was set for the boys as they headed out to the ground looking primed to knock off De La Salle for the 4th time this season. As expected the game started red hot with De La tackling well early, having 3 holding the balls paid in the first 2 minutes, things looked worrying. Despite this, the boys repelled the early assault without damage and looked to move forward. A couple of quick goals to Jack Otter and Andy Hayes had the huge crowd pumping the air and singing our praises. Both teams began to settle and there was little action for the next 10 or so minutes until De La got a set shot 15 out directly in front. The shot missed and the ball rocketed down the other end and we kicked 2 quick goals before the siren, including an extremely skilful running goal from Nick Sheehan, which is now known as ‘the sealer’ to give us a 24-1 lead at Qtr time.
Knowing the quality of the opposition, the lads never waivered in their assault, assuming that if we let De La back into the game it would be at our peril. Once again the back 6 stood up, repelling every attack put forward to them with a record 643 intercept marks for the game between Nick Lindsay and Nick Stavris keeping De La to one goal for the quarter and seeing us extend our lead to 32 points at the half.
We really felt on the verge of it now, coming back out after half time we knew if we kept them quiet in this quarter, the flag was ours and there was no coming back. What transpired in some respects was really extraordinary on many levels, as we produced one of the strongest quarters of football that I have seen this team play, but failed to truly make it count. Forward pressure has been a real area of focus for us this season, as the sloppy thirds rigs usually aren’t great at it. However, for 20 straight minutes in the third, the ball did not leave our forward arc; with immense tackling pressure and work rate absolutely demoralizing the opposition. The only displeasing thing was our execution; we kicked 1.6 and 4 out on the full for the quarter in what could’ve well and truly put the game to rest and guaranteed that the last quarter was purely party time. We lead by 36 points heading into the last change.
The last began much like the third, as De La struggled to get a hand on the ball or a man while we ran rampant through the guts. Harry McCullum’s class was really starting to show now, as he moved ever so gracefully through the field, leaving his opponent in his wake to set us up brilliantly. The game was done when Nick Sheehan hit a lace out 50m pass to Ned Walmsley that barely got off the ground. The footy had the crowd cheering straight off the boot onto Ned’s chest, as it was never missing its target. The follow up kick was something to dream about, as the inswinger started outside off and cannoned into the middle of the big sticks to send the fellas wild. Celebrations had begun and for the rest of the quarter we took the mickey, adding a further 3.7 to run out 58 point winners in what could’ve gotten real ugly had we kicked straight. Jack Otter was deservedly named best afield with 3 goals to his name, really standing up early when the game was there to be won. Everyone now turns their attention to the seniors and reserves as they gear up to do it all again.
From behalf of the playing group, this season has been one to marvel, a dream 17-1 season that has ultimately resulted in our first flag in 20 years and first senior flag for 22 years. We are all stoked that we could win it for the faithful, and can’t wait to see 2 more cups sitting on the mantel by years end. Pound The Rock.