As the club AFL season wraps up, Sydney University was once again heavily involved in the festivities. Three teams played in a final on the weekend, with the Division One men getting the job done in their preliminary final, the Division 3 men taking home the premiership and the Division One women losing a tough grand final after finishing minor premiers in the regular season.
Men’s Division One – Preliminary Final:
Against all odds, the Sydney Uni Division One men managed to will their way to a grand final. The students came into the finals campaign with a 10-8 record and finished fifth out of the top five teams selected to play finals footy. They started their magical run off defeating Macquarie University by 15 points. They then got past the UTS Bats by 5 points in a semi-final, a team who finished second overall and had previously knocked off the students twice in the regular season.
This left the students to take on the Balmain Tigers in a preliminary final. The Tigers finished minor premiers and had beaten Sydney Uni convincingly twice in the regular season, with the students not coming within 5 goals of the Tigers. However, Sydney came in to the game full of confidence after defeating the UTS Bats and seeing the Tigers drop their semi final to the Pennant Hills Demons.
Nik Dale led the students on the scoreboard, kicking 3 crucial goals. While Samuel Clark and Christopher Kendrick both chipped in with 2 goals each. Sam Ryan worked hard all day and was Sydney Uni’s best. Along with Dominic Vincent and Daniel Miller, who also both had strong games.
The Sydney boys started red-hot, booting three goals to one in the first quarter and went ahead by 20 points. Following the opening quarter the rain started pouring down, making the game a harder more contested possesion based game. The Sydney boys thrived in the tough conditions and held a four goal lead going into the fourth and final quarter. The Balmain Tigers pushed hard at the beginning of the fourth however the students steadied to win the prelimnary final by eleven points, 53-64.
Sydney Uni will now take on the Pennant Hills Demons in the grand final. The Demons finished the season in third spot and have also gone through the UTS Bats and Balmain Tigers on their way to the big game. The grand final will be played at Henson Park this Sunday, September 27. The team at Sydney Uni Sports and Fitness urges as many people as possible to get to the game to support the boys.
Sydney University – 9.10: 61 (Nik Dale 3, Samuel Clark 2, Christopher Kendrick 2, Andrew MacPherson, Christopher Browne) defeated Balmian Tigers – 8.5: 53 (Wayd Blackburne 3, Damon Woodend, Roman Chowanetz, Jaydan Donato, Aaron Cottrell, Billy Lambert) at Henson Park on Sunday.
Sydney University – Michael Higgins, William Gowers, Ryan Kennedy, Sam Ryan, Dominic Vincent, Daniel Miller & Balmain Tigers – Colin Brown, Kevin Jones, Andrew Barr, Wayd Blackburne, Billy Lambert, Eden Woodend.
Sydney University vs Pennant Hills Demons at Henson Park, noon, Sunday, September 27.
Men’s Division Three – Grand Final:
The Division Three men’s side was able to use the momentum they gained from their huge 11 goal preliminary final victory last week over the Western Suburbs Magpies, into their grand final against the UTS Bats. Sydney Uni was keen to get revenge on UTS after the minor premiers took care of the students in the opening week of the finals after the two teams finished atop of the ladder, and in Round 9 of the regular season.
It was Sydney Uni’s defence that stood up for the students in their premiership campaign. Sydney finished the regular season with the best defence in the competition in terms of points scored against, only allowing 762 points in 17 games. This was again evident in their grand final victory on the weekend as the students managed to hold UTS to their lowest score of the season with 49 points.
Paul Younan and Nathan Danckert were excellent for Sydney in the back line on grand final day. They stopped numerous attacking opportunities for UTS and provided excellent run and carry out of the back field. The back line was bolstered by Sydney’s running and hard-attack on the footy through the midfield. Riordan Lee, Alexander Clark and Charles Allworth all had strong days running through the middle of the ground.
After only being ahead by two points at half time, Sydney Uni came out with a point to prove in the second half, jumping out to a 23 point lead by the end of the third quarter. Full-forward Gabriel Robbie kept the score board ticking all day for the students as he finished with 4 goals. Nicholas Lloyd also had a superb game for Sydney Uni, as the forward pocket managed to boot three of his own goals.
After an early push from UTS, the Sydney Uni boys were able to withstand the pressure to come out 67-49 victors on the day, a perfect end to a spectacular season for the students.
Sydney University – 9.13: 67 (Gabriel Robbie 4, Nicholas Lloyd 3, John Walsh, Brendon Clendenning) defeated UTS Bats – 7.7: 49 (Nicholas Barrett 3, Mark Ayers, Mark Pennycuick, Mark Bignell, Guy Kaufman) at Blacktown International Sports Park on Saturday.
Sydney University – Nicholas Lloyd, Charles Allworth, Alexander Clark, Riordan Lee, Nathan Danckert, Paul Younan & UTS Bats – Hugh Perks, Bradley Wooten, Brett Day, Mark Bignell, Nicholas Barrett, Richard Fitzgerald.
Women’s Division One – Grand Final:
The Sydney Uni Division One Women the Bombers, came in as favorites for their grand final matchup against the Newtown Breakaways on Saturday. The Bombers finished the season as minor premiers with an overall 11-2 record and had also knocked off the Breakaways by 33 points two weeks earlier in the semi final. They were in the box seat after having a week off leading into the grand final, whilst the Breakaways had a hard fought preliminary final win.
It was a frustrating match for the Bombers as their kicking accuracy let them down on the day. The Bombers actually managed to create more scoring shots then the Breakaways 11-10. However they weren’t able to capitalise on their opportunities, kicking 3.8: 26 on 27% kicking efficiency, opposed to the Breakaways 6.4: 40 on 60% kicking efficiency.
Belinda Michalk was the standout for the Bombers on the day. The half-forward flank was lively all day and kicked one of the Bombers’ three goals. Emma Yuen, Nicola Barr and Amy Foo had great performances on the day in the midfield with Barr kicking a goal. Backman Rachael Stack and Megan Andresen also had solid games, with full-forward Libby Sadler being the other goal kicker on the day.
Unfortunately it just wasn’t the Bombers’ day, as the Breakaways led the match from start to finish, coming up 40-26 winners. The Bombers simply couldn’t convert their chances in front of goal, and were not able to stop Newtown’s high powered attack. Overall an extremely successful season for the Sydney Uni Division One Women Bombers, finishing minor premiers and only losing a total of three games for the entire season.
Newtown Breakaways – 6.4: 40 (Codie Briggs 2, Laura Holdsworth, Verna Iles, Belinda Small, Alex Schroder) defeated Sydney University Bombers – 3.8: 26 (Belinda Michalk, Nicola Barr, Libby Sadler) at Blacktown International Sports Park on Saturday.
Sydney University Bombers – Nicola Barr, Megan Andresen, Rachael Stack, Emma Yuen, Amy Foo, Belinda Michalk & Newtown Breakaways – Codie Briggs, Cassandra Lees, Rosemary Morison, Steph Foster, Laura Holdsworth, Alison Parkin.