Grand Final Match Reports (2022)

Senior Men:

La Trobe 11.11 (77) defeat Swinburne University 9.8 (62)
Goal Kickers: Riley Alexander 4, Matt Ogle, Pat Lindsay, Darcy Thorn, Bryce Dowler, Tom Whelan, Ben Vicary, Charlie Scanlon.
Best Players: Matt Ogle, Riley Alexander, Andy Castles, Riley Keath, Tom Whelan, Lachlan Webb. 

A dominant season but it all came down to the last 20 minutes of the season, on the Parade College ground that had riddled the Trobers with heartbreak and despair for nearly a decade, for our senior men to write their own piece of history!

With an unchanged team from our 80-point second semi-final victory over Swinburne and the fence line of Garvey Oval packed with Trobers young and old, our boys continued their form with two goals to zip in the first term kicking into the wind. It was our intense pressure that set the tone with a few big crunching tackles from Riley Alexander, Riley Keath and Harry Tanner. Riley Alexander got the opening goal five minutes in and then after the ball bounced between the arcs for another 15-minutes he broke the lock giving one off to his “dad” Bryce Dowler to take a 15-2 lead into the first break. Will ‘The Janitor’ Lowry was cleaning up across half-back and using the ball well with composure.

The Razorbacks didn’t take long to show they weren’t just going to roll over kicking their first goal just 53 seconds into the second quarter. Charlie Scanlon wrestled the next goal back for the Trobers, while ball winning machines Harry Tanner and Tyler Costa started to put their stamp on the contest. We went goal for goal until Riley Alexander kicked his second, quickly followed by a Ben Vicary “65 metre” goal. Andy Castles and Robbie Fawcett were locking it up down back, but Swinburne stole a very late goal to bring the margin back to 14-points at the halftime break.

Swinburne had the advantage of the wind in the third term which they made the most of with a goal in the opening minute. This was followed by another two goals as they took the lead for the first time at the 12-minute mark of the quarter. Tyler Costa looked the man of the moment with an intercept mark and hit Riley Alexander lace out on the lead, but the woodwork copped it for the third time from the league’s leading goalkicker. Swinburne rebounded with another to take a nine-point lead but just as all the momentum looked to be going their way, Matt Ogle put the ball down Sam Benetti-Baker’s throat who quickly dumped it forward. As the pack bought the ball down Pat ‘Uncle’ Lindsay collected and snapped a sensational goal from 45 to keep them in arm’s length. But the storm kept coming as The Piggies kicked two more late goals to take a 17-point lead into the final break.

With the season in the balance, Swinburne’s bench starting to get ahead of themselves, but our boys stayed composed as they had belief the tide was going to turn. They managed a fast forward entry kicking a point to get out to an 18-point lead, but we were up for the fight as the grind back began. Tom Whelan and Lachlan Miller were determined to keep the ball forward of the centre before Will Lowry was rewarded for a strong tackle and delivered a trademark bullet to Riley Alexander who finished off his work to bring back the deficit to nine points. Minutes later Wheels took an intercept mark on the wing then received a 50-metre penalty to put him in range. The key defender absolutely picked the moment to slot his first senior goal as he kicked truly to put us five-points down with 8 minutes gone. Sam Benetti-Baker was looking damaging around the ground, while Riley Keath had parked himself behind the ball and Matt Ogle began to look dangerous drifting forward. But it could only be one man who was going to put us back in front. Insert Riley ‘The Wiz’ Alexander for some magic as he drove home a 50-metre bomb to put the Trobers two-points up with 19-minutes played. It was a nervous five minutes of footy as the ball bounced in and out of our forward 50 before Matt Ogle drifted in to clunk a mark and kick an unlikely set shot to give us some breathing room with only minutes to go. With under two minutes left Darcy Thorn marked and put the sealer through to deliver the Trobers the premiership for season 2022!

Congratulations to first-year coach Ricky Nolan and his team on their success this season and we look forward to celebrating as a club for the next few weeks at Vote Count and Presentation Night!

Reserve Men:

La Trobe 4.6 (30) defeated by Albert Park 5.8 (38)
Goal Kickers: Nathan Richardson, Luke Nelson, Mark O’Brien, Mackenzie Mann
Best Players: Nathan Richardson, Paddy McCormack, Conall Barrett, Adrian Marulli, James Toomey, Jake Shelley. 

After a solid win last week against Box Hill North, the Reserves entered the Grand Final to take on Albert Park for the fifth time this season. We entered the game without our full-back Jamie Koo, who unselfishly gave up his spot in the side after picking up an injury at training during the week, putting the team first as he has all year.

The pre-game message was, “to be first in and tackle and harass if you’re not”. The first quarter started off red-hot with players from both sides trying to have an impact early. The La Trobe midfield, led by Nathan Richardson and Dom Tracy, set the tone early with some crunching tackles on their Albert Park counterparts. The Falcons would score a couple of early goals, before the Trobers started to get some ascendancy through the middle of the ground but were unable to take advantage on the scoreboard kicking 3 points for the quarter. Unfortunately, we did lose our Vice Captain Laughlin Cargnali to a dislocated knee early in the quarter. Albert Park led by 10 points at quarter-time.

The second quarter was much of the same, the intensity was high and the Trobers were up for the task. The back six lead by Paddy McCormack, Conall Barrett and Jacob Shelley, held strong only conceding one goal for the quarter. Trobers once again had their opportunities but were held goalless for the quarter, and the half. Albert Park led by 17 points at half-time.

The message at halftime from coach Mick Correnti was to “maintain the intensity” and “to show a little more composure with the ball going forward”. Some changes were made with the tackling machine Ernie Fan moving into the backline to help the pressure in Albert Park’s forward 50, and the ever-reliable Mark O’Brien was swung forward to give our forward line another mobile marking target.

The third term saw the continued running of James Toomey, Liam Walsh and Adrian Marulli help the Trobers set-up more forward opportunities and they were able to capitalise. Our midfield hard-nut Nathan Richardson would kick the first and light a fire under the boys; Luke Nelson, one of our most consistent performs across the whole finals’ series, would kick the second; and the Big Mack Truck, MacKenzie Mann, would kick the third. Unfortunately, not all good news as Ernie Fan sustained a hamstring injury and was out for the remainder of the game. La Trobe entered three-quarter time 8 points down.

The Three Quarter-Time message was to “maintain the belief” and “just keep coming”. The final term was much the same as the other three, with a high intensity arm-wrestle all over the ground. The Trobers kicked the first goal for the quarter, thanks to what could only be described as a contentious deliberate rushed behind call – Mark O’Brien was the beneficiary of the decision kicking a goal and bringing the Trobers within 2 points. The boys continued to run and harass but were unable to get a possession in our forward line that could be converted into a goal. Albert Park kicked a late goal and won by 8pts.

A disappointing finish to a very good year, the boys can all hold their heads high knowing they gave their all and fought hard right to the very end!

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