Round 4, 2017
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.