HARBOURSPORT  
SYDNEY AFL PRELIMINARY FINAL 2010
Article and Photos by Michael Shillito

After Sydney Uni’s hard-fought win over Wests in the Second Semi, the Students had qualified for the Grand Final. Preliminary Final day would determine who would get to take on the Students in Sydney footy’s big day; as Western Suburbs took on East Coast Eagles.
Wests would go into the clash with the psychological advantage of having defeated the Eagles in the Qualifying Final just a fortnight earlier. But the Magpies would have to overcome a hoodoo of recent history; with no team that lost the Second Semi having bounced back to win the Prelim Final since UNSW-ES in 2002.

Sunday afternoon saw Blacktown Olympic Park looking a treat, the match being played in glorious spring sunshine. And it was the Eagles, kicking to the Eastern Road End in the first term, who would make the early front-running to set up an imposing early lead. Two early behinds were followed by Peter Dugmore receiving a loose ball 30 metres out for the opening goal.
The ball travelled from end to end for the next 10 minutes, both sides looking for scoring opportunities but coming up blank as the defenders had the better of the one-on-one contests. But on 15 minutes, the mistake came when the Magpie defence lost their bearings; and a 50m penalty to Darren Chapman for walking over the mark sent the Eagle number 37 into goal-scoring range. A couple of minutes later, Damien Bowles was collected after he’d already disposed of the ball. The free kick was paid downfield to Peter Vlatko, who centred the ball for Kristian Pearson to run in and goal. Chapman’s second goal during time-on put the Eagles 24 points ahead at quarter time; and when Ben Rogers marked and goaled in the opening minute of the second term, the game was in danger of being a blowout.
But early in the second term, the Magpies steadied. On 4 minutes, Cal McGuirk on the run gave the Magpies their first goal. Five minutes later, a penetrating long kick by Medair Kassem found Chris Lees at the edge of the square. The Magpies were getting plenty of the ball and creating opportunities; but other chances were going begging and some poor finishing prevented the Magpies from taking advantage of their period of controlling the game.
And when the change in momentum came, the Eagles made better use of their opportunities. Peter Dugmore didn’t make the distance from 40 metres out, but Peter Vlatko was on hand to take the mark and kick a steadying goal for the Eagles. And late in the quarter, tempers became frayed and the Eagles needed only to hold their composure. The Eagles scored twice from undisciplined 50m penalties, and the centre bounce after the second goal saw Medair Kassem land a late hit on Ryan Fitton, Fitton’s free finding Damien Charleston to wrap up a 39-point lead at the long break.


Such a lead at half time is imposing, but not insurmountable. Only last year, East Coast had come from further behind to beat Wests in a memorable comeback at Henson Park. And early in the third term, the Magpies made a good attempt to make a meaningful dent on the scoreboard.
For the first 15 minutes of the third term, the ball was camped on the Magpie forward line as the Magpies made a determined effort to eat into the deficit. Matt Withers was in the thick of the action, twice making good second efforts after being unable to hold marks to snap and score goals. And there were other opportunities to present themselves. Lyn Roehrig was the beneficiary of a free kick paid from 40 metres behind the play, on the flank next to the scoreboard; but his shot failed to find a Magpie target. Brenton Mumme made an excellent run to tackle Fitton from behind and earn a free kick from 25 metres out, but his set shot missed the target.
But on 15 minutes, against the run of play, the Eagles steadied. Steve O’Connor, with a strong run through the centre, found Charleston 35 metres out. Two minutes later, Jon Vlatko set up peter Vlatko. And when Mark Goodey curled a shot home from an impossible angle, then against all expectations the Eagles had won the quarter.


The centre break at the start of the last term found Ben Rogers, who played on to set up O’Connor. And when experienced defender Rowan Bilkey ran from the backline and snapped truly, the celebrations in the Eagle camp were under way. A Grand Final appearance, the Eagles’ fourth in five years, was assured. But the Magpie heads dropped, as for the second year in succession they had been a victim of the Second Semi-Final hoodoo.

The final margin was 55 points, a comfortable win for the Eagles. Spreading the goalkicking honours around, 11 of their 22 got themselves into the goal-scorers’ list. Damien Charleston, Dean Costello and Mike Beardsley were among East Coast’s best; but it was a solid team effort for the Eagles. The season for East Coast has had its ups and downs, but their toughest test is still to come.
For the Magpies, Matt Withers kicked 3; while Marcus Linsen, Rohan Lilly and Stephen Hudson were among the Magpies’ best. The Magpies will be disappointed that, for the second year in a row, they won the Qualifying Final in the opening week but were unable to win another final. But there is much that Wests can be proud of in their achievements for 2010, and their finals campaign this season will serve as motivation for them to go a step better next season.


And so a season that started with 10 Premier Division teams is now down to just two. Both in blue and gold. Will there be a happy team at East Coast? Or will Sydney Uni have a hot time in the old town on Saturday night? All will be revealed at Blacktown on Saturday, as the Students take on the Eagles in Sydney footy’s showpiece day.


Premier Division
East Coast Eagles 4.3 9.5 12.9 16.10 (106)
Western Suburbs 0.3 2.8 4.11 6.15 (51)
Goals : East Coast –
P Vlatko 2, D Charleston 2, D Chapman 2, P Dugmore 2, B Rogers 2, D Bowles, R Bilkey, S O’Connor, K Pearson, M Goodey, D Spiteri. Wests – M Withers 3, M Eurell, C McGuirk, C Lees.
Best : East Coast – D Charleston, D Costello, M Beardsley, S O’Connor, R Bilkey, J Dimery. Wests – M Linsen, R Lilly, S Hudson, M Kassem, D Linsen, M Withers.

First Division
UTS 3.2 5.9 9.13 13.15 (93)
Manly-Warringah 0.2 0.5 2.7 2.10 (22)
Goals : UTS –
D Lavender 3, T Chadwick 2, S Way 2, H McGregor 2, M Trehwella, D Teasdale, A Kymantas, T Wallace. Manly – J Hume, M Webb.
Best : UTS – D Lavender, T Steinfort, M Trehwella, A Kymantas, F Boland, T Wallace. Manly – A Robertson, B Brendan, T Beckett, L Murfitt, B Thompson, J Hall.


Under 18s Premier
East Coast Eagles 2.1 5.2 7.4 8.7 (55)
North Shore 2.2 2.5 4.7 6.9 (45)
Goals : East Coast –
E Barclay 2, N Campbell, D Lim, M Clinch, D Killworth, A Foxall, C Polkinghorne. North Shore – J Falconer 3, T Bransgrove, T Weston, N Anderson.
Best : East Coast – T Monaghan, L Butler, A Foxall, J Hemmings, D Killworth, J Pianta. North Shore – C Callander, S Trevaskis, M Trent, J Falconer, L Kilpatrick, A Rodgers.


DIVISION 2, 3, 4 and CHALLENGE CUP GRAND FINAL
Saturday at Blacktown Olympic Park saw four Grand Finals played. A long day, but the final results saw the minor premier in all four divisions go on to take on the premiership.
In Second Division, Southern Power had been hot favourites to take the title last year but a disappointing fade-out in the finals saw them fail to lift the cup. But this year the Power redeemed themselves, coming from a goal down at half time to defeat UTS by 17 points. The Power, by winning the title, have earned themselves a promotion to First Division for next season; and a crack at the best Premier Division reserves teams.
Third Division completed the rebuilding process of Moorebank Sports. Just a few years ago they were struggling to put one team on the park in the old Second Division; but working hard in their area have worked hard to build up the numbers. They now field two senior teams and an under 18s team, and had such success that they got two teams into the Grand Final this season. And for their seniors, the sweet smell of premiership glory after coming from 14 points behind at the long break and running away from Penrith in the last quarter to win by 39 points.
Fourth Division was dominated by Auburn, and the Tigers completed an undefeated season with a comprehensive 126-point win over Moorebank Sports. Auburn have been a remarkable story in 2010, the club starting from scratch this season with a group of players the vast majority of which came from non-English speaking backgrounds, and only a minority of whom had played the game before. But the season saw them sweep all before them, dominating an undefeated season.
In Under 18s Challenge Cup, Penrith completed an undefeated season with an 81-point win over Holroyd-Parramatta. The Rams, representing an area not traditionally a powerhouse of junior recruitment, are building a quality football nursery in Sydney’s far west. With the majority of the squad still eligible to play under 18s next season, and after such a dominant performance in 2010, the Rams will have a strong case to argue for a promotion to the Under 18s Premier Cup next season.


Second Division
Southern Power 0.1 3.4 6.6 9.8 (62)
UTS 0.7 3.10 4.13 5.15 (45)
Goals : Power –
A Fritsch 3, W Oakley 2, A Carmody, D Wild, M Young. UTS – A Thain 2, S Neal 2, B Pawsky.
Best : Power – S Brierley, W Oakley, M Graham, D Wild, M Young, A Cook. UTS – J Fox, S Robertson, J Spragg, R Hanmore, S King, R Eagle.

Third Division
Moorebank Sports 1.2 3.7 7.10 12.14 (86)
Penrith 1.5 5.9 6.9 6.11 (47)
Goals : Moorebank –
R Thompson-Laing 3, D Gojanovic 2, W Apps 2, S Wicken 2, J Moore, V Pham, A Moore. Penrith – D Cummings 2, L Smith, J Anasis, T Cummins, B Roberts.
Best : Moorebank – D Gojanovic, A Moore, A Furley, B Currant, B Parker, W Apps. Penrith – B Roney, J Keane, J Hall, A West, D Bradley, T Cummins.

Fourth Division
Auburn 8.6 12.7 18.13 24.13 (157)
Moorebank Sports 1.1 2.4 2.6 4.7 (31)
Goals : Auburn –
O Kassem 8, M Moussa 7, S Kassem 4, M Hussein, E El Kheir, M Nahle, A Faraj, H Kara-Ali. Moorebank – T Davis 2, N Denko, B Ferrett.
Best : Auburn – O Kassem, M Nahle, I Kassem, M Yahgi, M Tarbine, A Jamal-edine. Moorebank – T Davis, J Droscher, R Sheraton, D Holman, P Hooper, C Rainbow.


Under 18s Challenge
Penrith 2.2 9.4 13.8 17.17 (119)
Holroyd-Parramatta 1.2 3.2 4.2 6.3 (38)
Goals : Penrith –
B McGovern 5, G Howell 4, J Spicer 3, L Simmons, D Schroot, J Ponton, R Ooms, C Hislop. Holroyd-Parramatta – J Brennan 3, P Martinoli, W Tsang, J Mobbs.
Best : Penrith – J Ponton, G Howell, L Murphy, M Payne, C Hislop, D Schroot. Holroyd-Parramatta – B Johnston, B Jenison, S Whitney, R Johnston, J Smith, M Burn.



NEXT WEEK – GRAND FINALS
Saturday 18th September
9:45am – Under 18s Premier Cup – Sydney University v East Coast Eagles
12:00pm – First Division – Sydney University v UTS
2:30pm – Premier Division – Sydney University v East Coast Eagles
ALSO IN SYDNEY AFL:

Semi-Finals 2007 Report
Prelim Final 2007 Report
Grand Final 2007 Report
Round 1 2008 Scoreboard
Round 2 2008 Scoreboard
Round 3 2008 Scoreboard
Round 4 2008 Scoreboard
Round 5 2008 Scoreboard
Round 6 2008 Scoreboard
Round 7 2008 Scoreboard
Round 8 2008 Scoreboard
Round 9 2008 Scoreboard
Round 10 2008 Scoreboard
Round 11 2008 Scoreboard
Round 12 2008 Scoreboard
Round 13 2008 Scoreboard
Round 14 2008 Scoreboard
Round 15 2008 Scoreboard
Round 16 2008 Scoreboard
Round 17 2008 Scoreboard
Round 18 2008 Scoreboard
2008 Finals Wk1 S'board
2008 Finals Wk2 S'board
Grand Final 2008 Report
Round 1 2009 Scoreboard
Round 2 2009 Scoreboard
Round 3 2009 Scoreboard
Round 4 2009 Scoreboard
Round 5 2009 Scoreboard
Round 6 2009 Scoreboard
Round 7 2009 Scoreboard
Round 8 2009 Scoreboard
Round 9 2009 Scoreboard
Round 10 2009 Scoreboard
Round 11 2009 Scoreboard
Round 12 2009 Scoreboard
Round 13 2009 Scoreboard
Round 14 2009 Scoreboard
Sydney AFL v AFL Canberra
Round 15 2009 Scoreboard
Round 16 2009 Scoreboard
Round 17 2009 Scoreboard
Round 18 2009 Scoreboard
2009 Finals Wk 1 S'board
2009 Finals Wk 2 S'board
2009 PrelmFinal Scoreboard
2009 GRAND FINAL
Round 1 2010 Scoreboard
Round 2 2010 Scoreboard
Round 3 2010 Scoreboard
Round 4 2010 Scoreboard
Round 5 2010 Scoreboard
Round 6 2010 Scoreboard
Round 7 2010 Scoreboard
Round 8 2010 Scoreboard
Round 9 2010 Scoreboard
Round 10 2010 Scoreboard
Round 11 2010 Scoreboard
Round 12 2010 Scoreboard
Round 13 2010 Scoreboard
Round 14 2010 Scoreboard
Round 15 2010 Scoreboard
Round 16 2010 Scoreboard
Round 17 2010 Scoreboard
Round 18 2010 Scoreboard
2010 Finals Wk 1 S'board
2010 Finals Wk 2 S'board
2010 PrelmFinal Scoreboard
2010 GRAND FINAL
Round 1 2011 Scoreboard
Round 2 2011 Scoreboard
Round 3 2011 Scoreboard
Round 4 2011 Scoreboard
Round 5 2011 Scoreboard
Round 6 2011 Scoreboard
Round 7 2011 Scoreboard
Round 8 2011 Scoreboard
Round 9 2011 Scoreboard
Round 10 2011 Scoreboard
Round 11 2011 Scoreboard
Round 12 2011 Scoreboard
Round 13 2011 Scoreboard
Round 14 2011 Scoreboard
Round 15 2011 Scoreboard
Round 16 2011 Scoreboard
Round 17 2011 Scoreboard
Round 18 2011 Scoreboard
Round 19 2011 Scoreboard
Round 20 2011 Scoreboard
2011 Finals Wk 1 S'board
2011 Finals Wk2 S'board
2011 PrelmFinal Scoreboard
2011 GRAND FINAL
PHOTO GALLERIES:
2006 Grand Final
2007 Grand Final
2008 Rnd 1 - Syd Uni v
Balmain
2008 Rnd 1 - Wests v
W'gong
2008 Rnd 1 - Pen Hlls v
Camp
2008 Rnd 1 - UNSW-ES v
ECE
2008 Rnd 1 - St Grge v Nth
Shre
2008 Rnd 2 - Wests v
Camptwn
2008 Rnd 3 - W'gong v
NthShre
2008 Rnd 4 - Camptwn v S
Uni
2008 Rnd 5 - Nth Shore v
Balm
2008 Rnd 6 - Wests v Syd
Uni
2008 Rnd 7 - C'town v Nth
Shre
2008 Rnd 8 - Syd Uni v St
G'rge
2008 - Rnd 9 - W'gong v
Pen Hl
2008 - Rnd 10 - Pen Hills v
Nth Shre
2008 - Rnd 11 - Sydney Uni
v Nth Shre
2008 - Rnd 11 - Balmain v
Camp'town
2008 - Rnd 12 - Nth Shre v
East Cst
2009 - Rnd 1 - St George v
Syd Uni
2009 - Rnd 2 - Camp'twn v
Wests
2009 - Rnd 3 - Sydney Uni v
Penn Hills
2009 - Rnd 4 - Wests v Nth
Shore
2009 - Rnd 5 - Syd Uni v
Nth Shore
2009 - Rnd 6 - East Coast v
St George
2009 - Rnd 8 - Nth Shore v
Penn Hills
2009 - Rnd 9 - UNSW-ES v
East Coast
2009 - Rnd 10 - St George v
Nth Shore
2009 - Rnd 11 - Balmain v
Wollongong
2009 - Rnd 12 - UNSW-ES
v Nth Shore
2009 - Rnd 13 - Wests v
East Coast
2009 - Rnd 14 - Pen Hills v
Camp'twn
2009 Represent -Sydney v
Canberra
2009 - Rnd 15 - Nth Shore v
Syd Uni
2009 - Rnd 16 - Pen Hills v
Nth Shore
2009 - Rnd 17 - Nth Shore v
Campbelltown
2009 - Rnd 18 - Wests v
Penn Hills
2009 - Qual Final - Wests v
UNSW-ES
2009 - Elim Final - Pen
Hills v Camp'town
2009 - 1st Semi -
UNSW-ES v Pen Hills
2009 - 2nd Semi - East
Coast v Wests
2009 - Prelim Final - Wests
v UNSW-ES
2009 Grand Final Day
2010 - Rnd 1 - Wests v St
George
2010 - Rnd 2 - UNSW-ES v
North Shore
2010 - Rnd 3 - East Coast v
Sydney Uni
2010 - Rnd 4 - Sydney Uni v
North Shore
2010 - Rnd 5 - Camp'town v
UNSW-ES
2010 - Rnd 6 - Wests v
North Shore
2010 - Rnd 7 - Penn Hills v
Wests
2010 - Rnd 8 - Nth Shore v
Campbelltown
2010 - Rnd 9 - Camp'town v
Sydney Uni
2010 - Rnd 9 - Pennant Hlls
v North Shore
2010 - Rnd 10 - St George v
Wests
2010 - Rnd 11 - Balmain v
Campbelltown
2010 - Rnd 12 - St George v
North Shore
2010 - Rnd 13 - Nth Shore v
Sydney Uni
2010 - Rnd 14 - Wests v
East Coast
2010 - Rnd 15 - East Coast
v North Shore
2010 - Rnd 17 - Nth Shore v
Pennant Hills
2010 - Qual Final - Wests v
East Coast
2010 - Elim Final - North
Shore v Pennant Hills
2010 - 2nd Semi - Sydney
Uni v Wests
2010 - Prelim Final - Wests
v East Coast
2011 - Rnd 1 - East Coast v
Sydney
2011 - Rnd 2 - Balmain v
UTS
2011 - Rnd 3 - Balmain v
UNSW-ES
2011 - Rnd 5 - Pennant
Hills v North Shore
2011 - Rnd 6 - North Shore
v Campbelltown
2011 - Rnd 8 - UTS v North
Shore
2011 - Rnd 9 - Wests v
Sydney Uni
2011 - Rnd 10 - Balmain v
St George
2011 - Rnd 11 - Illawarra v
North Shore
2011 - Rnd 12 - East Coast
v St George
2011 - Rnd 13 - North Shre
v St George
2011 - Rnd 14 - Balmain v
Pennant Hills
2011 - Rnd 15 - North
Shore v Pennant Hills
2011 - Rnd 15 - Sydney Uni
v East Coast
2011 - Rnd 17 - North
Shore v Wests
2011 - Rnd 18 - Balmain v
North Shore
2011 - Rnd 19 - North
Shore v Sydney Uni
2011 - Rnd 20 - UNSW-ES
v North Shore
2011 - Qualifying Final -
Balmain v Sydney Uni
2011 - First Semi - Sydney
Uni v North Shore
2011 - Prelim Final -
Balmain v Sydney Uni