Old Brighton Grammarians avenged its first round defeat against Beaumaris by dealing out an emphatic hammering of the Sharks in Round 17 yesterday. In so doing, the Tonners became the inaugural winners of The Rob Jakobi Cup, struck this week to honour the memory of our former revered president, whose family had strong ties with Beaumaris when Tom and Ben played their junior footy with The Sharks. The Tonners were dominant from the first bounce, hunting the ball and racing to an early lead that had the home side floundering. By half-time, the game was effectively over, with the Premier B leaders being held to a solitary point by a miserly Tonner defence whose efforts were quite astonishing. Our back six conceded only ten scoring shots for the match against an opponent who had scored more than forty times in the sides’ clash earlier in the season at The Beach. Ben Austen blanketed Steve Milne all day, and Stuey Hooy was lauded by his coach for his game against Adam Schneider.
The Tonners didn’t have a poor player and they had plenty who made a strong impression. Tom Fisher was again outstanding on ball, and he enjoyed the form displayed by ruckmen Hamish Graham and Tom King. Both big blokes have just kept improving and their efforts were telling yesterday. Harry Hill was in everything as usual and his four goals celebrated his nomination during the week as the latest VAFA Rising Star. Andrew Dewar was also superb all day, kicking two valuable goals and lending a tough edge that had been missing in our first clash. The side was strengthened by the return of the effervescent Michael Karayannis and Raury Bolger, who hasn’t played since he was knocked out by a ‘falcon’ at Fitzroy, which caused him to break his collarbone.
But it was all about the defence yesterday. Luke Healy raced about gathering endless possessions and distributing them with unerring accuracy, while Tim Fogarty’s and Harry Cannon’s application shut down their men. Dylan Verney led from the front and turned defence into attack, receiving support from the veteran, Josh Dickerson, whose form suggests he must return next year to reach the 300 mark he so richly deserves. Alongside him, young Tom Larkworthy just continues to impress with his ability to find the ball and use it calmly and efficiently. Tom’s complementing of Ben Austen’s dashing style, quickly exploits any laziness in an opposition’s forward line.
Plenty of supporters, as well as the players themselves, will no doubt be rueing lost chances narrowly missed earlier in the season. On yesterday’s form, the finalists, all of whom we have recently beaten, will no doubt be relieved they won’t be facing our blokes, who have had a superb back half of the season. If the lessons are learned, the Tonners can look forward to next year, after finishing their season triumphantly next week at home against Old Haileybury, who were given chances in Round 1 that have proven critical. The Tonners must build their depth, staunch the bleeding that flows with overseas travel, and develop the potential that can bring them richer rewards. Yesterday they were magnificent!
OLD BRIGHTON GRAMMARIANS: 5.1 9.8 11.10 14.12.96
BEAUMARIS: 0.1 0.1 2.2 7.3.45
Goals: Hill 4, A. Dewar 2, Karayannis 2, Fisher, T. King, Rutter, Bolger, Hooy, Graham.
Best: Fisher, Austen, Healy, Hooy, A. Dewar, Larkworthy.
ROSCOES NOT IN THE HUNT
The Roscoes struggled to stay competitive yesterday as injury and unavailability continued to stretch resources at South Road. The boys had no answer to the Sharks pace and skill and will be looking to end their season against The Magentas who are also battling against stronger opposition.
ROSCOES: 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.3.3
SHARKS: 7.3 13.7 16.13 18.18.126
Best: Delaney, Yeoman, Campbell, Grant, Ogilvie, Ho.