1st XVIII match report - 2015 Herald Sun Shield Fi
author: Xavier Carey
2015 Herald Sun Shield Grand Final
St Patrick’s College 10.12 (72) d Essendon Keilor College 6.7 (43)
Goal Kickers: Jackson Carrick 2, Jacob Wheelahan 2, Jacob Hopper 1, Hamish Coulton 1, Daniel Rioli 1, Leigh Spiteri 1, Tanner Blackney-Noter 1, Bailey Veale
Best Players: Joel Cowan, Ben Hurley, Jacob Hopper, Ben Simpson, Ben Lusby, Hasker Dawborn, Joe Dodd, Jake McQueen
St Patrick’s College has completed the ‘six-peat’ after beating Essendon Keilor College by 29 points in the Herald Sun Shield Grand Final at Port Melbourne on Saturday afternoon.
The underdogs started strongly and controlled the game early, with Essendon Keilor captain Jayden Ranno getting the ball rolling for his side.
However SPC was able to get some reward for effort late in the first quarter by kicking three late goals to take a handy lead into the first change.
With Jacob Hopper being heavily tagged by two, and at times even three players at times, it released players like Joel Cowan and Ben Lusby to have a significant impact on the game.
The game was played in a congested manner, and both teams struggled to find space through the middle in the first half.
Despite the tight contest around the ground, the Paddy Boys took a 20-point lead into the main break.
Essendon Keilor came out after half time all guns blazing but was unable to capitalise on the scoreboard.
With the pressure building on the favourites, a brain fade followed from Yestin Eades who conceded a 50-metre penalty following a marking incident. This provided EKC with a shot on goal 15 metres out to cut the margin back to 11 points.
A big emphasis was placed by St Pat’s coach Mr Howard Clark at the three quarter time huddle on the team’s 2015 call to arms: “Honour the Tradition, Commitment to the Team”.
The players responded, piling on four goals in the last quarter in an emphatic display of schoolboy football.
The back six for SPC stood up all day with Hasker Dawborn and Ben Hurley willing themselves to every contest possible while Joe Dodd, Jake McQueen and Ben Simpson were crucial across half back.
Down forward it was Jackson Carrick who provided spectators with potentially “a moment to remember” as he nearly touched the stars with an incredible attempt at a mark.
He kicked two goals and, alongside Jacob Wheelahan who was playing his first game of football after several weeks due to injury, was among the most productive forwards on the ground.
The feel-good story of the day goes to Bailey Veale.
Veale, who was an emergency in last year’s premiership side, was in terrific form over the first five rounds of the year before a hamstring injury interrupted his season. Veale came on late in the last quarter and kicked the sealer for his beloved teammates.
Joel Cowan was awarded the Kevin Sheehan Medal for best on ground for the winning side culminating in three best on ground performances in the last three games of the year.
The premiership caps off a “generation” of wins for St Patrick’s College, as those in Year 12 have experienced the glory in every one of their years at the College.
The SPC Football Program, headed by Mr Howard Clark, has placed an exclamation mark on the title as “The best schoolboy side in the country”!
Photo gallery: click here