Graham Croker
Sydney University Australian Rules Club has the chance of claiming three flags on Saturday week, with First Grade, Reserve Grade and the Under 18 Premier Cup teams winning their major semi-finals on Saturday and earning immediate grand final berths.
Having claimed the minor premiership in the Sydney AFL Premier Division, Sydney University Firsts moved a step closer to the flag with a 13-point win over Western Suburbs in their major semi-final at Bruce Purser Reserve on Saturday.
The Students kicked 14.10 (94) to Western Suburbs 12.9 (81), with Mark Egan bagging four goals, while Alexander Lee and Benjamin Mankarious each kicked two. The team finished the competition proper with the club’s best ever home-and-away record of 16-2, and the semi-final triumph made it 15 straight wins at the end of the season.
Sydney University will meet the winner of Saturday’s final between Western Suburbs and East Coast Eagles at Blacktown Olympic Stadium on September 18 in a bid for their first flag since 1992 when Ron Carter and Brett Scott led the First Grade to a premiership (18.16: 124 to 8.11: 59 over North Shore) and the Club of the Year award.
The club’s inaugural First Grade premiership was in 1969 when Rodney Tubbs captain-coached First Grade to a NSW AFL title with a win over St George after they had disposed of Newtown and Western Suburbs in the minor semi-final and the final.
Sydney University’s Reserve Grade also moved closer to a premiership with a comfortable 55-point win over UTS in their major semi-final on Saturday.
Chris Walsh kicked five goals and Nicholas Lye collected three in the 13.6 (84) to 4.5 (29) win at Bruce Purser Reserve.
The Students will meet the winner of Saturday’s final between Manly-Warringah and UTS.
Sydney University’s Under 18 team won through to the Grand Final with a 37-point win over East Coast Eagles.
Thomas Aitken kicked three goals in the Students’ 11.16 (82) to 7.5 (45) major semi-final win. They will meet the winner of Saturday’s final between North Shore and East Coast Eagles.
Despite their domination of the Premier Division, Sydney University finished third on the Club Championship ladder which was headed by UTS – for the third year in a row – ahead of Western Suburbs. The Club Championship award is presented to the club with the best on-field performance across their top three teams in any division – with six points awarded for each Senior team win; four points for each Reserves team win; and two points for each Under 18’s/Thirds team win.
The Grand Finals will be played at Blacktown Olympic Stadium on Saturday, September 18, with Under 18s kicking off at 9.30am, Reserve Grade at 11.45am and First Grade at 2.30pm.


Sydney Premier competition – Major semi-finals
First Grade: Sydney University 14.10: 94 (Mark Egan 4, Alexander Lee 2, Benjamin Mankarious 2, David Mitchell, Jess McGuirk, Adam McConnochie, Tyson Roberts, Andrew Kraefft, Jesse Martin) d Western Suburbs 12.9: 81 (Matthew Eurell 4, Eid Kassem 3, Daryn Cresswell 2, Rohan Lilly, Kris Cochrane, Ben Absolum) at Bruce Purser Reserve.
Best players
Sydney University: David Mitchell, Jack Caspersonn, Adam McConnochie, Tom Elkington, Anton Turco, Aaron Hawkins.
Western Suburbs: David Linsen, Mohammed Kassem, Daniel Lambert, Dwain Watkins, Matthew Eurell, David Cusick.
Minor semi-final: East Coast Eagles 12.5: 77 d Pennant Hills 10.12: 72. Western Suburbs to meet East Coast Eagles in final. Winner to meet Sydney University in grand final at Blacktown Olympic Stadium at 2.30pm on September 18.

Reserve Grade
Sydney University 13.6: 84 (Chris Walsh 5, Nicholas Lye 3, Michael Killicoat, Chas Wilkinson, Andrew Holmes, Christopher Kendrick, Nick Roberts) d UTS 4.5: 29 (Mark Trehwella , Andrew Davis, Patrick Wilson, Henry McGregor).
Best players
Sydney University: William Pearse, Michael Atkinson, Christopher Kendrick, Luke Higgins, Mick Carey, Nick Roberts.
UTS: Andrew Keith, Henry McGregor, Alan Kymantas, Thomas Chadwick, Andrew Morley, Samuel Way.
Minor semi-final: Manly-Warringah 9.6: 60 d Macquarie 8.10: 58. Manly-Warringah to meet UTS in final. Winner to meet Sydney University in grand final at Blacktown Olympic Stadium at 11.45am on September 18.

Under 18 Premier Cup
Sydney University 11.16: 82 (Thomas Aitken 3, Tim Barrett 2, Harrison Orr, Adrian Yakimov, Gabriel Robbie, Dean Knight, Craig Moller, Todd Considine) d East Coast Eagles 7.5: 45 (Ethan Barclay 2, Daniel Lim 2, Alex Foxall 2, Christopher Polkinghorne).
Best players
Sydney University: Harrison Orr, Tim Barrett, M. Hartley, Monty Krochmal, Todd Considine, Dean Knight.
East Coast Eagles: Campbell Ford, Jesse Clark, Daniel Lim, Anthony Baddock, Jake Pianta, Dominic Killworth.
Minor semi-final: North Shore 8.9: 57 d Pennant Hills 6.10: 46. North Shore to meet East Coast Eagles in final. Winner to meet Sydney University in grand final at Blacktown Olympic Stadium at 9.30am on September 18.