St Joseph's Primary School closes in on claiming back-to-back finals

ST Joseph’s Primary School has two hurdles remaining in its bid to claim back-to-back School Sport Victoria football crowns.

The Joeys yesterday won their SSV quarter-final, defeating Geelong’s Clairvaux Catholic 6.4 (40) to 5.4 (34) at Ballarat High School.

The win means they head to Melbourne next Thursday for a semi-final and potentially the grand final — both on the one day.

Triumphant coach Mark Gercovich said two goals midway through the last quarter gave St Joseph’s a decisive 13-point break.

Clairvaux kicked a behind to close within two straight kicks and grabbed the last goal of the match, but the siren cut short the fightback.

Patrick Rea kicked two goals and was among the better players, along with Eddie Battek, Flynn Atchison, Jarra Blackney-Noter and Luke Wilson.

But Gercovich highlighted the whole-of-team effort as crucial in the narrow win.

“They played very well,” he said. “It was a bigger ground than what they’ve been playing on the last few rounds and they moved the ball well and teamed up beautifully.”

St Joseph’s girls’ football side was also in action yesterday, losing to Ballarat Grammar 4.2 (26) to 1.6 (12).

Gercovich said the side “did a great job”, particularly considering some of its opponents had experience playing in a Ballarat-based girls’ competition.

“The boys did a great job supporting the girls, they stood and watched and the girls were keen to watch the boys. It was great for school pride,” he said.

Emmanuel College also had two sides contest SSV quarter-finals yesterday, with both suffering defeats to their metropolitan opponents.

The intermediate boys fell to Maribyrnong Sports Academy 10.15 (75) to 6.10 (46) while the year 8s lost to Essendon Keilor College by about five goals.

Intermediate coach Noel Mugavin said the side held its own after quarter-time but played catch-up most of the match. Willem Drew, Tanner Blackney-Noter, Oliver Bidmade, Ben Fleming and Keilby White were its best players.

“Some of their football in the second and third quarters was as good as you’ll see. They probably couldn’t finish off the way we wanted to,” Mugavin said.

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