St Bedes/ Mentone Tigers opened their account for 2017, in their return to VAFA Premier Division, with a meritorious 6 point away victory over finals aspirant (and last year's Preliminary Finalist) University Blues at Melbourne University Oval. The Tigers started well with Lachie Mirams dominating the ruck and Brett Denton and Jim Colyvan in everything early but unfortunately didn't trouble the scorers before Blues kicked a couple with clean ball movement to lead by a single goal at the first change. The second term was similar to the first with the University team trying to take the Mentone team on physically and the Tigers refusing to miss a beat with Stuart Wines and James Tyquin leading lights in the packs and around the ball. In fact, it was around this time that St Bedes started to assume the ascendency in the greasy conditions with their greater willingness to put their head over the ball, get the hard ball and support each other - the Blue team still held the lead by 9 points at half time but all of their goals for this term had been via clean ball use against the run of play whilst the Tigers had scored theirs through tough work in and around the contest. In the third, the Uni team's accurate goalkicking deserted them as they were forced to win the hard ball and score under pressure rather than on the clean break and consequently, at orange time, St Bedes had narrowed the gap to a solitary point as their leaders in Simon Richards, Chris Mangoni and Tom Tyquin took control of the packs and hard-ball gets. In the last, the Tigers took the lead and then lost it again only to bang on two more majors, as Michael Barnes took his match-winning tally to 5 and Brayden O'Toole and Josh Cowan rebounded from defence, to take a 12 point lead into time-on. The next 15 minutes seemed to take an eternity as the quarter stretched to 34 minutes and the Tiger team simply refused to concede and took home a very well-deserved win at a venue where they have been very, very successful over the years against both University teams.
The Reserves and Under 19 Development teams had difficult days and were well-beaten while the Under 19 team came close but ultimately went down to Old Carey.
The Senior Women's team in their first in-season game in VAFA Division 2 had an outstanding win against the highly-credentialled Old Carey at Southern Road. After controlling the game for 3 quarters and keeping the opposition to a single major, the last quarter was a battle of wills as our girls led by Genevieve Barns-Dunne, Bridie Malone and Mikala Sykes held on for a memorable win by a single point. Well done ladies, a brilliant start.
This week, St Bedes/Mentone Tigers Seniors and Reserves return to the University Oval to take on Uni Blacks while the Under 19s are at home to Fitzroy and the Under 19s Development team journey up Warrigal Road to Oakleigh.
While the SBMT-St Peters Senior Women's team - who are currently in 4th position on the Division 2 ladder - play Ivanhoe away early on Saturday morning, hoping to cement their place in the four.
St Bedes/ Mentone Tigers celebrate their return to VAFA Premier Division with a first round clash against a familiar rival in Collegians on Saturday 8th April at Fortress Brindisi where the Tigers were near unbeatable in 2016 and where they have also had their share of success against the Wesley team over the years.
The Mentone team will be without 300+ gamer Paul Wintle who is overseas and Pat Tyquin who injured his knee in the Tigers' 2016 Second Semi Final victory over Beaumaris. However, they have added a number of new faces and similarly have a number of players returning from overseas or other clubs in addition to a new coaching panel led by 3 Tiger triple premiership players in Sam Anstey, Anthony Scafidi and Luke Wintle plus new Development Coach Peter 'Lippa' Laspatzis. Equally, Collegians are purported to have recruited heavily and well in what looks to be a mouth-watering start to St Bede's return to VAFA Premier.
After a very enjoyable Lightning Premiership at VAFA Headquarters Elsternwick Park on Saturday, the VAFA Senior Women's team after losing their first round to eventual premiers Old Geelong by 3 goals, regrouped to defeat De La Salle by 9 goals and then accounted for the highly-rated Hampton Rovers by 6 goals. A highly successful event held by the VAFA with a plethora of very happy faces amongst the many, many participants, supporters and coaches.
The Women's team starts their first-ever season in the VAFA with a game, at Brindisi Street, against Old Mentonians, currently scheduled for 4pm on Sunday - Go Girls.....
Our Under 19s under new coach Pat Kennedy play Old Melburnians away (venue as yet undecided) with the Under 19 Development team under another newbie in James Cato journeying to Latrobe University (9.20 a.m. start).
Let the season begin.....
St Bedes/ Mentone Tigers return to VAFA Premier Division after a 2 year sabbatical in 2015 and 2016 when they finished third and second respectively in VAFA Premier B.
In the off-season the Tigers have added a number of players including returnees in Dean Porter and Jack O'Kearney (from overseas), Carey Neville (after a successful sojourn at Mordialloc where he played in one premiership and two other Grand Finals) and 2014 SBMT Club Champion and Grand Final player Tim Doherty (Oakleigh).
Also fronting for the Tigers are a number of players currently training with VFL clubs including 2014 Liston Medallist Alex Woodward (Hawthorn AFL), Jack Hellier 2015 and 2016 Collingwood captain (SBMT) and 2016 Sandy Dragons premiership player Kye Beveridge (St Peter's /De La Salle) all at Collingwood, Robbie Iudica (SBMT) at Sandringham and Ben Dance (SBMT) and Tate Short (St Peter's/ Eastern Ranges) both at Footscray.
In addition, new players to pull on the SBMT jumper are Stuart Wines from Oakleigh and Nick Henricks from Beaumaris (VAFA Under 19 Premier Grand Finalist and leading goalkicker).
The Mentone team enter the super competitive Premier Division, after winning the Second Semi Final in Premier B but going down to Beaumaris in the Grand Final, with two of the first three rounds at the Brindisi Street Fortress against Collegians and Old Xaverians who have both struggled in the past with the 'vast expanses' of the Fortress.
St Bedes/Mentone Tigers booked a date in the VAFA Premier B Grand Final and in so-doing earnt promotion to Premier Division in 2017 after an uncompromising 27 point victory over premiership favourites Beaumaris at Trevor Barker Oval, Sandringham on Saturday. The Tigers were off to a flying start with an early goal to Chris Richards but thereafter the first quarter was a slog as Beaumaris peppered the goals to little avail before the Mentone team kicked away to a handy twelve point lead at quarter time.