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St Bernard’s College clinched the ultimate prize in school football yesterday, winning the AFL Victoria “Herald Sun Shield” in a tight but entertaining match at the home of the Geelong Cats AFL team, Simonds Stadium. HSS perennial favourites, St Patrick’s Ballarat, once again made it through to the big stage with a team full of talent and experience. With St Bernard’s coming off the back of a successful ACC season and a solid win in the HSS semi final, a huge match was anticipated.
The conditions proved to be a factor in the early part of the game – strong winds, rain and drizzle made quality football difficult, but that was counter balanced by the intensity of each contest and the fierce attack on the ball shown by both teams. Inaccurate kicking by St Bernard’s kept their score to 1.6 at half time, just ahead of St Pat’s who had managed 1.1 with the wet and slippery ball.
The Ballarat boys surged early in the third, kicking two goals and threatening to blow the game open, but a steadying goal from St Bernard’s kept the scores to the slimmest of margins at 3/4 time – a one point lead to St Pat’s. With the sun shining brilliantly as the last quarter kicked off, St Pat’s once again jumped out of the blocks with their running defenders delivering the ball long to their forwards. From the 5 minute mark onwards, however, the contest belonged to the boys from Essendon, as two quick goals to their Captain in Jake Riccardi set the team on fire. At the final siren, St Bernard’s had kicked ahead to strengthen their lead and secure a memorable win for the school.
Final scores: St Bernard’s Essendon 6.9.45 def St Pat’s Ballarat 4.5.29
Congratulations to all involved from St Bernard’s on a fine achievement!
(All photos courtesy of AFL Victoria)