With the Junction Oval unavailable due to ground works, this Saturday's Seniors and Reserves matches against Old Melburnians will be played at the Melbourne Grammar Sports Fields, Todd Rd, Port Melbourne. Melways: 56 G2. Get along and see the Tigers burn up the wide open spaces of this impressive venue. Go Tigers!
St Bedes/ Mentone Tigers got off to a positive start to their VAFA Premier Division season with a solid 31 point victory over newly-promoted Old Haileybury at a blustery Brindisi Street on Saturday. After the long wait of Melbourne's non-summer, the Tigers kicked against a strong, gusty 5 goal wind and worked exceptionally well into it to only trail by a point at the 25 minute mark before the Bloods whipped on the last two goals of the quarter to lead by a less-than-acceptable 13 points at the first break. In the second, the Mentone team pummelled the goals with Jack Hellier, Pat Liston and Luke Collins dominating around the ball, however, accuracy in the blustery conditions deserted them as they banged on 4 goals 10 while keeping Haileybury scoreless to take a mere 21 point lead into the long break after a half in which they had almost total control. The game warmed up after the break as St Bedes / Mentone Tigers continued to attack into the strong wind but the McKinnon team with some successful forward thrusts outscored the Tigers to trail by 15 points at the orange break. In the last as the breeze swung around and the rain blew in, the Tigers again burst forward and with continued outstanding contributions from Michael Wintle and Darcy Holden in attack and sturdy defence from Alex Kane and Dan Garside and extended the lead but were unable to completely finish off the Bloods as the conditions eventually prevailed and converted the contest into an old-fashioned slog. The Reserves had a very big 87 point win over Old Haileybury while the U19s were well-beaten in their first-up clash. Next week the Tigers journey to the Junction Oval to clash with an expected resurgent Old Melburnians who are reputed to have recruited very well over the summer while the U19s clash at Brindisi Street.
St Bedes/ Mentone Tigers literally stole the points from Old Melburnians at Port Melbourne on Saturday with a goal from Ben Phibbs with 5 seconds to go. Into a 3 goal breeze at Melbourne Grammar's new sporting complex, The Tigers attacked ferociously around the contest and were rewarded with 2 majors that set Old Melburnians on their heels, however, the locals regained their composure to bang on 2 late goals to lead by 8 points at the quarter. With the breeze at their back, the Tigers started slowly allowing OMs to run and carry to set up scoring opportunities but with Luke Collins, Jack Hellier and Simon Richards working the ball forward the Tigers bombarded the goals but were only rewarded with minor scores and at the half Old Melburnians were deserved 9 point leaders. After half time, OMs got their game together and started to put Mentone to the sword but the Tigers refused to wilt and with 2 unanswered goals hit the lead mid way through the quarter only for Melburnians to bang on 5 of their own to take a comfortable 28 point lead into 3/4 time. The last appeared to be a formality as St Bedes scored the first major only for the Blues to hit back with 3 of their own and at the 19 minute mark their lead was 34 points but, as is their wont, the Tigers refused to accept the inevitable and, with Hiwad Shakaib dominating in the ruck and around the ground, fought back with 3 quick goals and followed these with another 2 to close the deficit to just 3 points but the late fightback appeared doomed as OMs worked the ball forward only to register a behind. With time running out the Mentone team summoned one last effort from the kick-in and in a mad scramble rushed the ball into attack to find Ben Phibbs 40 metres out and with the last kick of the game Phibbs kicked surely to bang through his fourth major of the day and seal an unlikely victory for the never-say-die Tiges. The Reserves came back to earth with a 32 point loss while the U19s trounced Old Melburnians by 111 points at home. There are no VAFA games over Easter while the following Saturday (30th April) St Bedes / Mentone Tigers travel to East Malvern to take on one of the flag favourites in De La Salle while the U19s take on De La at home.