Will Manning

Will Manning – 50 Senior Games

Oakleigh had a great chance to grab fourth spot on the VAFA Premier C division ladder on Saturday. All it took was an away win against Parkdale at the Gerry Green fortress. Many have tried before and few have come away with the 4 points. It’s a tough assignment and you need to be on your best game when you set foot on that oval. With Will Manning playing his 50th Senior game, Oakleigh appeared to have done just that when they took the early initiative and assaulted the goals, unfortunately with little accuracy, but still built a handy little lead until midway through the second term when things began to go awry. The Vultures began to withstand the fierce tackling and pressure that had served Oakleigh so well in the first quarter and a half and also began to find space and the goals to drag themselves back into the game and then into the lead taking a 5 point advantage into the half-time interval.

After the break the wind picked up, the rain came down and the game became a struggle with Parkdale faring the better going into the final change with a 10 point lead. The Krushers hit back in the last quarter and narrowed the difference to 3 points and threw everything at the Parkdale defence but failed to get an avenue through and eventually it was the Vultures who broke through with 3 goals to finish the game off. The Krushers goal-kicking was shared between 8 players but Gary Bennett, Pat Iaonnidis and Stuart Wines were among Oakleigh’s best.

In the early game, an undermanned and outgunned Oakleigh reserves had a match to forget as they ended up on the wrong end of a 20 goal shellacking at the hands of a much sharper and quicker opponent in second placed Parkdale. Rob Mether kicked Oakleigh’s only goal with Dan Mercuri, James Faranda and Chris Mercuri among those who tried their best.

On a brighter note, the U/19s had success against Old Haileybury, coming home with an 81 point victory. Jake Benoiton continued his remarkable efforts in front of goal adding 8 to last weeks 10, James Grigoriou chipped in with 5 goals for the game and Tom Nolan, Luke Pappon and Sam Ciavarella were in Oakleigh’s best players.

Final Scores:

Seniors: Oakleigh 8.13.61 lt Parkdale 12.9.81

Goals: Gary Bennett, Dermot Cleary, Liam Hard, Will Manning, Josh Paola, Tim Scott, Michael Tate, Steve Tolongs

Best: Gary Bennett, Pat Ioannidis, Stuart Wines, Keith Paisley, Aisea Valentini, Dermot Cleary

Reserves: Oakleigh 1.7.13 lt Parkdale 19.13.127

Goal: Rob Mether

Best: Dan Mercuri, James Faranda, Chris Mercuri, Simon Way, Tommy Golik, Manny Catalla

U/19s: Oakleigh 16.11.107 def Old Haileybury 4.2.26

Goals: Jake Benoiton 8, James Grigoriou 5, Jake Lever, Luke Pappon, Chris Pearson

Best: Tom Nolan, Luke Pappon, Jake Benoiton, Sam Ciavarella, James Grigoriou, Brodie Weymouth