EARLY in the last quarter of Saturday’s VAFA Division 2 away clash with Therry Penola, suddenly Prahran Assumption was under seige.
Seemingly in control with a five goals lead at three-quarter time, the home side then made its move.
Therry Penola supporters who had attended a 30 year premiership re-union luncheon with the Age and 3 AW’s Caroline Wilson as guest speaker, found their voice after three quick goals. Coming home with a stiff breeze at their backs they narrowed the lead to just 13 points.
Earlier some questionable umpiring decisions had gifted Therry Penola three third quarter goals to keep it in touch, mystifying the Two Blues players and supporters alike.
Coach Ashley Mills implored his players to cut out the back chat at the three-quarter time break.
Add those three quick last quarter goals and the home crowd sensed Prahran Assumption was about to buckle.
But the Two Blues steadied when the ultimate question was posed. Three unanswered goals to Nathan Costin, two from outstanding marks, and skipper Adam Sleight iced the game .
The 31 point margin was deceiving for this was without doubt the best win for Prahran Assumption this season against a quality opponent.
Little wonder coach Mills was chuffed to see his charges answer the challenge.
“A terrific win, to beat a finals team away from home. But the most exciting thing is I think we still have a lot of improvement,’’ Mills told his players.
A former Therry Penola premiership player and last year’s Under 19 coach, Mills knowledge of the opposition was obvious and his match-ups were spot on.
Mills and Therry Penola coach Dan Madden are both teachers at Penola Catholic College, so the winner was always going to take bragging rights.
This was a contrast between the Two Blues physical superiority against Therry Penola’s youth, skill and speed.
In the clinches Prahran Assumption held sway thanks to the astute ruckwork of Nathan Dwyer, Paul Donahoo’s relentless attack on the ball and James Musster’s class.
While the Two Blues kicked 16 goals with Sleight held to three goals by classy centre half - back and captain Jarrod Eggelstone, the Two Blues defence was its strength.
Prahran Assumption kept Therry Penola goalless from mid-way through the first quarter to early in the third quarter – in the meantime adding six unanswered goals- to puts its stamp on the game.
Pin point disposal from Blayne Dempsey and Matt Pell were highlights. Dale Barrett (apart from one glaring last quarter turnover) and Jack Matherson were as reliable as ever, “Scuba’’ McIntyre in his first game for the season showed all his old aggression and Ed MacDonald played an excellent blanketing role on dangerous forward Matt Costello.
After a hat-trick of wins Prahran Assumption is now in second place on the ladder with another tough away assignment v third placed Old Paradians next Saturday.
PRAHRAN ASSUMPTION 5-1 8-5 12-5 16-10 (106)
THERRY PENOLA 3-1 3-4 7-5 11-9 (75)
Goals. Sleight 3, Donahoo, N Costin, Musster, Pell, 2, Maya, Wiggins, MacDonald, Simpson, Shellard.
Best: M Pell, Musster, Davey, MacDonald, R Costin, Dempsey, Donahoo.
Prahran Assumption emerged as the winner of a real arm wrestle against Therry Penola.
Goals were at a premium because of a blustery cross breeze with the second quarter crucial.
A 2-6 to one point quarter was in the end the difference. Despite a goalless last quarter the result was a 15 point win and third place on the ladder.
PRAHRAN ASSUMPTION 2-1 4-7 6-9 6-15 (51)
THERRY PENOLA 2-4 2-5 4-5 5-7 (37)
Goals. Giansiracusa 3, Agushi, Cook, Hall.
Best. Mulqueen, Boylan, Haynes, Hunt, Cook, Stewart.