2016 Herald Sun Shield Grand Final Match Report

August 2, 2016

Herald Sun Shield Grand Final

St Joseph’s College 7 -“ 17 -“ 59- Defeated – St Patrick’s College 8 -“ 10 -“ 58

Goal Kickers: Aiden Domic, Jacob Brown, Izaac Johnson 2, Max Scales, Tanna Blackney-Noter 1

Best Players: Jordyn Cotter, Bailey VanDeHeuval, Hasker Dawborn, Jake McQueen, Tom Williamson

St Joseph’s College, Geelong defeated St Patrick’s College by a solitary point in the 2016 Herald Sun – Shield Grand Final.

Played in tricky conditions on the hallowed turf of the Melbourne Cricket Ground, St Patrick’s College was playing in its eight consecutive final and was aiming for an unprecedented seven consecutive Herald Sun Shield titles.

St Joseph’s College played the much better football in the first half, dominating the clearances and controlling the game from half back where they ran in numbers and provided their forwards with several scoring opportunities.

Unfortunately, we struggled to gain any ascendancy in this period, with skill errors and at times undisciplined actions providing four of the St Joseph’s College’s five goals in this period. At the main break St Joseph’s College had 18 scoring shots to St Patrick’s College’s six and this 17-point margin certainly reflected the difference between both sides at this time of the game.

St Patrick’s College structured up differently at half time, and played a more composed, disciplined game in the second half. Slowly we worked back into the contest, limiting the run of St Joseph’s and providing our forwards with more scoring options. Once we were able to neutralise their offensive run, we were able to get the game back more on our terms outscoring St Joseph’s College by 6 points in the third term and heading into the last change 11 points in arrears with the momentum clearly on the side of St Patrick’s College.

Izaac Johnson kicked the first goal of the last quarter at the four-minute mark reducing the St Joseph’s College’s lead to a very manageable five points. St Joseph’s College responded with their only score for the quarter with a goal at the 10-minute mark pushing their lead out to 10 points.

Izaac kicked his second goal for the quarter from 45 metres out with five minutes to go with the momentum clearly on our side.

Unfortunately, when the opportunity presented itself to win the game, we failed to capitalise on our opportunities, missing three set shots within 35 metres over the last five minutes which would have taken the game to overtime or put us in the lead and perhaps delivered a famous victory.

We did have a kick after the siren to either win or to at least extend the game into overtime, however unfortunately the kick failed to register a score and St Joseph’s College claimed the 2016 Herald Sun Shield Title.

Although, St Joseph’s College was certainly the better side on the day and thoroughly deserved its victory, St Patrick’s College had its opportunities in the last quarter to win the game. It is important that the players learn from the mistakes made in this last period of the game so that if they are ever presented with such an opportunity again, they draw upon the lessons of past games and time on the training track to make decisions that are in keeping with our game plan.

From defeat some of life’s great lessons are learned and the character and resilience of a group is readily apparent. The SPC playing group showed real character, responding to the challenge set at half time by St Joseph’s College who was clearly playing the better football. Through greater application to our style of football we were able to get the game back onto our terms in the last half and have six more scoring shots (five more in the last quarter) to outscore St Joseph’s College by 16 points.

It continues to be a real privilege and joy to be associated with the coaching of the College 1st XVIII side. As I mentioned after the game, sport is the ultimate life teacher and a player will never be defined by the medals or premierships that they win, however by the level of humility they show in victory and more importantly how gracious a person is in defeat. I have never been as proud of a group as I was in the manner they responded to this heartbreaking loss. Each player, coach and supporter demonstrated a level of graciousness that will be a legacy for the 2017 playing group.

I would like to sincerely thank all the players that have been part of the 1st XVIII program in 2016 and congratulate each boy upon their development and achievements in the sport. I am also extremely grateful to the College leadership, staff, parents, old collegians and members of the wider community who support our program and follow our progress so closely. The players were certainly humbled by this support before and after the game.

Whilst the disappointment of the loss will stay with some boys for a time, rest assured that in keeping with the spirit of St Pat’s football we will learn and grow from this experience and will accept the challenge of returning to the grand final stage in 2017. Stick with the Green, White and Blue!

Howard Clark-

1st XVIII Coach- – –