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GFL GRAND FINAL – ST MARY’S vs. ST JOSEPH’S

 

St Mary’s (3rd) vs. St Joseph’s (1st) 

Simonds Stadium

Saturday, September 23, 2:10pm

Joe Macula celebrates a goal during the second quarter of St Joseph’s grand final win over St Mary’s (krockfootball.com.au Image/Marcel Berens)

ST JOSEPH’S has romped to its third GFL premiership after handing arch-rival St Mary’s a 63-point hiding in a disappointingly one-sided grand final at Simonds Stadium.

The minor premier proved why it was only the second team in competition history to go through a home-and-away season undefeated with a clinical display against its second semi-final conqueror.

Bar a 10-minute period in the opening quarter, the contest was played on Joeys’ terms for the majority of the afternoon.

St Mary’s had no answer to the precision at which St Joseph’s used the ball, with Joeys able to find a target inside forward 5om with monotonous regularity.

The Saints held a two-point advantage when Jarryd Garner found a reply to the first goal of the match from St Joseph’s star Ben Moloney.

However, from the moment Brant Haintz goaled following a holding the ball free kick against Darby Hider it was all one-way traffic.

Lech Featherstone was gifted a goal from the top of the square after he received a 50m penalty after St Mary’s ruckman Andrew Banjanin tangled with Jackson Davis less than two minutes later, before Jackson McLachlan dribbled one through from the right forward pocket to extend Joeys’ lead to 17 points at quarter time.

The second term started as the first term ended, with St Joseph’s dominating the inside 50m count.

Goals from Davis, Macula and Kieren Paliouras pushed the advantage to 36 points.

Paddy Killen pulled one back for the Saints, but when Davis and Moloney kicked two more apiece to make the advantage 55 points at half time, the contest was as good as over.

Any hopes of a St Mary’s revival in the third quarter were quickly snuffed out, with Riley Ferguson and Lech Featherstone taking their chances in front of goal to make the margin 69 points.

The Saints kicked three of the last five goals of the term, including two to star forward Sam Dobson, however it was never going to be enough to threaten the St Joseph’s juggernaut, with Paliouras slotting home his second on the siren.

St Mary’s managed three goals in the final quarter, but with the result beyond doubt, they were merely window dressing.

While goals win games of football, the Joeys defence was simply resolute.

Sam Dobson kicked three goals on Zac Morison, but they all came when the result was beyond doubt, Callum Mitchell was outstanding, and also found time to kick his first goal for the club, Ben McNamara played with a maturity beyond his years, and Daniel Lovick was, well, Daniel Lovick in winning the AFL Victoria Medal as best-on-ground.

The decision to again play captain Ben Capra in the ruck paid dividends, as he battled Andrew Banjanin and Brenton Snowdon.

Jarryd Garner, who remains the only GFL premiership player at St Mary’s after saluting with Colac in 2014, battled hard for two goals.

Young Saint Darby Hider’s afternoon finished early after being yellow carded for an incident during the last quarter.

Twitter: @tom_king79

ST JOSEPH’S     4.2, 11.5, 16.11, 18.16 (124) 

ST MARY’S     1.3, 2.4, 6.5, 9.7 (61) 

GOALS; St Joseph’s: J. Davis 3, B. Moloney 3, L. Featherstone 3, J. McLachlan 2, K. Paliouras 2, B. Haintz, J. Macula, R. Ferguson, C. Mitchell, A. Hickey

St Mary’s: S. Dobson 3, J. Garner 2, T. Gillies 2, P. Killen, J. Blood

BEST; St Joseph’s: D. Lovick, B. Capra, B. Moloney, B. McNamara, L. Featherstone, C. Mitchell

St Mary’s: R. Hall, A. Banjanin, J. Garner, Z. Sherman, S. Dobson, D. McMahon