FRANKSTON Bombers went straight through to the 2016 Nepean Division Grand Final on Saturday after dishing out a football lesson to reigning premier Rosebud at Rye’s RJ Rowley Reserve.
The loss for the reigning premier has set up a preliminary final showdown between Rosebud and Hastings after the Blues smashed Somerville in the last quarter on Sunday.
Despite kicking the first goal of the game, Rosebud chased tail for the large majority of the afternoon, threatening only twice during the match.
The Bombers shot out to a four goal lead in the second quarter after leading by nine points at the first change.
Rosebud kicked the first two goals of the third quarter, courtesy of Dale Stephens, to get within nine points, before Frankston steadied and booted the next three majors to go in at three quarter time with a 25 point buffer.
The Buds came again early in the last booting the opening two goals through Stephens and Brenton Payne, reducing the margin to 13 points and again giving the game some life.
However, Frankston kicked seven of the next nine goals to run out convincing 45 point winners, 15.12 (102) to 8.9 (57).
Rosebud went into the match without their best player Greg Bentley, while important defenders Brenton Davidge and Chris Zurek also missed with rib and groin soreness respectively. All three will play in this weekend’s preliminary final at Tyabb.
Frankston went into the match with an average points for of 106 and points against of 61. Some had suggested that this was the case due to their soft home and away draw.
However, against the reigning premier, on two occasions, they have restricted the Buds to 31 points and now 57 points. Rosebud averages 15 goals (90 points) a game. The Buds have the best defence in the comp, averaging just nine goals (54 points) against.
The Bombers were able to almost double that. They did this with Zac Longham and Scott Foster kicking just one goal and Michael Maiorino kicking a couple.
Luke James, who wandered into the club just six weeks ago, was the most influential player on the ground with five goals.
Midfielder James Degenhardt booted a couple of majors and fellow mids in Sam Fox, Dale Sutton and Josh Francis all hit the scoreboard.
The Bombers midfield dominated. Ryan Kitchen had a point to prove and he won the tap out count against the best in the business in Ben Dwyer. Dwyer probably outpointed him around the ground.
Regardless, Kitchen ensured that his smalls got hands on the footy first and this is where many believed the game would be won or lost.
The Frankston back half was superb, led by Ryan Marks-Logan and Jarryd Amalfi. Both were superb, along with the silkiness of Brian O’Carroll.
The Buds looks limp in attack.
Keegan Downie worked tirelessly but couldn’t hit the scoreboard, Ben Shultz had zero influence on the contest and the likes of Adam Rose and Glenn Peterson were unsighted in the forward half.
Sean Downie and Ryan Spooner were outstanding for the Buds, Jackson McRae won comfortably against Longham and Nick Boswell was not only Rosebud’s best, but one of the best three players on the ground.
While the Bombers prepare for the big dance at Frankston Park in a fortnight, Rosebud needs to lick its wounds and prepare for a showdown against a rampaging Hastings.
It’s taken a while but the Blues are finally playing consistently to the Brendan Dunne game plan.
Dunne is a super coach who has a proven plan and the Blues are playing his way – they are reaping the rewards.
Hastings withstood a number of challenges from the Eagles, who went into the game without one of the best players in the competition in Scott Simpson, who injured a quad in the lead up.
The Blues kicked away in the last quarter to win by more than six goals.
I think with the Somerville FC, it’s a case of watch this space with Scott Simpson playing in WA and talk that Luke Rowe is heading to the US.
It will be fascinating to see what unfolds at the nest.