OLD BRIGHTON: 12.10.82
OLD SCOTCH: 10.17.77
TONNERS HOLD ON IN TIGHT GRAND FINAL REPLAY
Despite having eleven changes in a completely revamped line-up, Old Brighton Grammarians combined well enough to again defeat rivals Old Scotch in the opening match of the season. The Tonners ran to a five goal lead in the first half, but tired markedly in the dying stages, hanging on to the Mike Perry Cup by five points in a desperate finish.
The Tonners are without Ben Austen who is working in Sydney, Dan Anthony and Matt Gadsden who have lowered the curtain on magnificent careers, and Ben Jarick, Michael Slater and Jack Touli, who are travelling. We will regain a number of players from injury, but were fortunate to be able to play a number of blokes released by their VFL clubs. They all played well and contributed to the victory. Barclay Miller’s leap troubled Scotch at the bounce until he had to leave the ground in the second term. Tom King played an outstanding lone hand in the ruck once Miller had been cut down, and he was exhausted at the finish.
The Tonners’ supporters enjoyed their first look at promoted youngsters, Fraser Gregson and Max Lohan, both of whom worked hard and figured prominently in the first half. Tom Yorgey, a late inclusion, also impressed on debut. The Tonners were admirably led by co-skipper, Dylan Verney, who was faultless in defence, continually intercepting and marking strongly to turn Scotch back. He combined regularly with Ben Jakobi, who gave a classy exhibition across the mid-field. Ari Sakeson also contributed well with three goals, including the first two in a tense opening quarter.
The Tonners stole a winning break in an excellent second term in which we kicked five goals to zip. Had the three “posters” penetrated the tall poles, the game may well have been over at the main break. The Tonners’ small forwards, Michael Karayannis, Anthony Zimmerman and Nick Pavlou, cut into the Scotch defence, all scoring vital goals. Ben Jakobi nailed a beauty from in front of the pavilion, and Harry Hill drove home a fifth on the siren. The Tonners had run hard and looked really dangerous with the breeze at their backs. Elliot Le Grice took several steadying marks in defence and he and Max Hayes helped Verney lock Scotch out of their scoring zone, while Tom Garner went to the dangerous Larwill.
Old Scotch hit back hard with the first three goals on resumption, but the home side steadied. Tom King toiled manfully as his mid-fielders regained their composure. The boys worked hard back into the breeze. The Pocket Rocket dashed in for his second, Andy Dewar made ground late to crumb another and Zimmer snapped cleverly for Old Brighton to retain a 20 point lead at the final break.
The final term however, didn’t go to plan. The wind eased, Scotch pushed their forwards up the ground then ran hard back into space and our tiring legs battled to go with them. Ari Sakeson kicked his third, and fortunately Zimmer was on hand when a rare chance presented itself, and we needed his calmly taken third goal to stay in front. In the finish it was sheer effort and will from everyone to scrap it out and deny Scotch a final goal. Eddie Tait ‘s hard work in limiting the influence of Scotch’s Jamieson, had been a major factor in helping the Tonners control large periods of play. Tom Fisher and Harry Hill both set the standard, working hard in close to lead the boys home with their first victory on our return to the Premier section.
Goal Kickers: Sakeson 3, Karayannis 2, Zimmerman 2, Pavlou, Jakobi, A. Dewar, Hill
Best Players: Verney, Jakobi, King, Fisher, Karayannis, Tait, Le Grice