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Stonecats win Grand Final by a whisker

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The RPP FM Match of the Day for the Peninsula Football Netball League, proudly brought to you by the Mornington and Rosebud Telstra Shops, saw the Frankston YCW Stonecats take on the Mornington Bulldog at the Karr St Oval (Frankston VFL Park).

The minor premiers and perennial finalists had dispatched Bonbeach comprehensively to reach the biggest match of the year and were firmly favoured to win a ninth flag since the league merger of 87. Mornington had done it the hard way in their chase for a fifth flag since the merge but were buoyed following a terrific win against last year’s Premier, Edi – Asp and the last start overrunning of a tired Bonbeach outfit.

Of pre-game significance, young Ryan Santon had failed to gain selection, replaced by Footscray VFL listed Anthony Barry and, on paper at least, the Stonecats looked formidable. The Bullies went in as an unchanged line-up with Coach Stuart Seager backing in a team whose second half run had propelled them beyond the mid-season expectation of many.

On perhaps a sad note, our very own Michael Voss sauntered for the final time this season to the two club tents providing egg and bacon rolls. Once more, testament to ‘Tonsils’ utter professionalism, he returned to aforementioned tents at half time to ensure ‘standards were being maintained’.

Perfect footy conditions greeted the large throng which had arrived early, with parking at a premium for some distance beyond the vicinity of the ground. And spectators were treated to one of the great finishes in local footy with Luke Young ensuring Mt Eliza defeated Frankston YCW in the Reserves in the most dramatic of fashions with a kick after the siren from beyond 50. We were primed for another brilliant showcase of Peninsula football.

With that, it was YCW with first hands on the footy, driving forward in numbers early and placing pressure on Mornington’s back six. Both defences had the ascendancy with support coming from the mids. It was Stonecat Kyle Hutchison with the first real chance of the game when Michael Gay was penalised for being caught attempting to take the ball out of the ruck.

Hutchison missed what he should have got but it was teammate Ricky Jackson feeding of a contested mark who put the first on the board in the Grand Final. Bulldog Warwick Miller’s handball in front of the opposition goal was intercepted by Ben Buckley who ran in for the Stonecats’ second and it was clear that the Bullies needed to settle. Their cause wasn’t helped by Chris Paxino needing to come off after a heavy knock and in the meantime Dale Carroll slotted a neat goal from 35 for a third.

Buckley was on the end of a bullet like pass but his shot drifted high and right and up the other end Stuart Seager’s attempt from the arc was touched on the line. It was Damien McDowell who helped settle Bulldog nerves after being infringed upon at 30 whilst at the other end Billy Rolfe should have given his side a fourth but miscued. At quarter time on the Bendigo Community Bank Scoreboard YCW 3. 3 (21) led Mornington 1. 2 (8).

Second quarter action saw Bulldog Michael Williams scoop up the loose ball in one motion and snapped around the corner for his sides’ second within the first minute. Teammate Dale Nolan also found himself loose but in the other pocket, missing right. Up the other end Ben Tellis was quick to make them pay, holding his feet to put through YCW’s fourth. Jackson Calder clunked a mark for Mornington but hit the post from 35 out and a follow up attempt under pressure registered another minor score.

The contest, however, had clearly tightened. David Bodley hooked his shot right for YCW and Scott MacLeod’s attempt went the other side. Soon after, Bulldog Josh Halsall was pinned for a throw with Anthony Barry duly saluting. Big Ash Eames took a specky on the wing and followed it up with a towering grab but, in truth, YCW were not making the most of their weight of possession. Tellis made amends, goaling whilst being spun in a tackle and at the major break on the Bendigo Community Bank Scoreboard, YCW 6. 8 (44) led Mornington 2. 5 (17).

Mornington needed to respond in the third and it was danger man, Williams, who provided the spark, marking and goaling in the square. Miller pinned an unaware Macleod 30 out, dead in front and split the middle and the game had tightened. Jie Coghlan’s shot from the boundary failed to straighten in time and at the other end Williams missed the lot. Stonecat Tony Lester shot wide from a standing start but Tellis pounced on miscommunication in the Bulldog defence to nail a critical major. Williams returned fire from the ‘Luke Young’ flank and at three quarter time on the Bendigo Community Bank Scoreboard  YCW were in touching distance of the Premiership, leading 7. 11 (53) to Mornington 5. 5 (35).

RPP FM’s voice of football, Michael ‘Golden Tonsils’ Voss and Josh ‘Babyface’ Beard brought us home with all the last quarter action with Mornington searching for a way to get back into the contest and YCW keen to press home the advantage. Both defences were holding firm but a misdirected kick from deep in defence gifted Hutchison a shot on goal and he made no mistake. Bodley held his ground in the marking contest but missed what he should have got and Byron Barry was also astray. Anthony Franchina kept his side in the game, busting through tackles for a Bulldog sixth and Seager blew a chance for a seventh when he found himself in space close in.

Tommy Simpson’s long roost hit the post but there was no doubt that Mornington were pressing. Carroll gave away a 50 and Emilio Bitters brought up another from 30 and suddenly we had a two goal ball game. Williams found Calder who goaled to make it a solitary kick but a rushed behind made it a seven point game. Chris Baker had a chance to bring it closer still but failed to steady and a deserving YCW hung on for the sweetest of victories.

After the match a delighted YCW coach, Scott Mathers paid tribute to their opponents, but also noted the terrific perseverance from his players in atoning for the disappointment of last year. For Mornington coach Stuart Seager, this may have been one that got away in the end but there was also the acknowledgement that the best side throughout the season had prevailed.

Vossy presented the Orbit Fitness Mount Martha, Best on Ground trophy to YCW player Anthony Barry for his starring four quarter effort whilst Ash Eames was awarded the PCN PFNL Player of the Match.

Final scores on the Bendigo Community Bank Scoreboard:

YCW 8. 15 (63)
Mornington 8.  9 (57)

RPP FM Management wish to thank RPP FM Match of the Day sponsors.

Your support brought the very best live coverage across the Peninsula for the 2014 MPFNL draw.

Mornington & Rosebud Telstra Shops – RPP FM Match of the Day

Bendigo Community Bank – Scoreboard (finals series)
Rye Hotel – Scoreboard (2014 MPFNL draw)

Orbit Fitness Mount Martha – RPP FM Best on Ground


98.7FM & 98.3FM Frankston

Also we wish to acknowledge the RPP FM commentary team who brought all the action live every Saturday, for Matt who sits behind the panel to ensure we go to air, Darren Sainsbery, the RPP FM Sports Writer who went to every match to capture the action in words and posted to the RPP FM website and Rab Siddhi, the RPP FM official photographer who braved wind, rain, hail and shine to snap that illusive image to accompany Darren’s footy write-up.

That wraps up another fantastic year of MPFNL football with Frankston YCW the 2014 Peninsula Football Netball League Premiers and Sorrento the 2014 Nepean Football Netball League Premiers.

Words Darren Sainsbery http://sainsbd@hotmail.com  0432 742 406
Photography Rab Siddhi

Pictured: Rough play from the Bulldogs did get them over the line to lose by one goal against the Stonecats.
Honouring the YCW team was their own player Anthony Barry who received the RPP FM Best on Ground presented by ‘Golden Tonsils’ himself, sponsored by Orbit Fitness, Mount Martha. Ash Eames was awarded the PCN PFNL Player of the Match.

Written by: RPP FM Helper

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