It was a warm and windy Saturday and the VAFA first round had arrived at last. Oakleigh Amateurs, after a solid pre-season, were ready to go and the men’s teams made the long trek out to Keilor Park to PEGS playing fields, a barren, open place perched on the edge of a gully under a Tullamarine flight path where the wind was howling. The Krushers were quietly confident given the last time they made this trip they had a very strong win. Saturday proved to be somewhat different as a time-keeping error had the first quarter run to some 37 minutes and the second quarter run for 40 odd minutes. PEGS took advantage of first use of the wind in the first term booting 4-6 to the Krushers solitary goal but the Oaks hit back with 5 goals in the second quarter to trail by 3 points at the long break.

As the change swept in, the wind advantage dropped off and the third term was even with PEGS going into the last quarter with a 2 point advantage. Oakleigh fell away a bit in the final term and couldn’t match the home side that finished the better to run out victors by 24 points. Jack Davidson and Tim Scott led the goalkicking for Oakleigh with 3 apiece and Aaron Cloke chipped in with 2. Shane Borland, Gary Bennett and Zac Barrett were in Oakleigh’s best.

The reserves found the going a bit tougher in a low scoring affair and after a bright opening term the Krushers couldn’t keep pace with the hosts and went down by 27 points. Rod Gonzalez and Aaron Shaw were the goal kickers with Josh Revere, Andrew Weymouth and Jake Pappon among Oakleighs best.

The U/19s opened proceedings at Scammell Reserve with a tight and tough encounter with De La Salle. It was an entertaining event with the wind playing havoc at times but both teams had their moments and DLS took the running against the wind going into the first break with a 10 point lead, they extended this to 27 points at the long break as Oakleigh failed to score in the second term. However the Oaks hit back in the third term to cut the deficit to 1 point at the last change but again couldn’t break through the DLS defence into the wind in the last quarter and the visitors kicked a couple of goals to grab the win by 17 points. Dylan Goodwill kicked 3 goals for Oakleigh in a best-on-ground performance with Harry Bootjes and Callum Gillard among the best.

The shining light for Oakleigh was the performance of the women in their first official match also playing De La Salle at Scammell Reserve. The Krushers went hard from the outset with their tackling and attack on the football proving to be too much for DLS with the Oaks going to the first change with a 13 point lead. They came out for the second term the same way they started doubling their own score whilst conceding a single point and went to the main change 4-2 to 0-1. The Krushers hit a purple patch in the third term booting 3-5 as they took advantage of the breeze and with the contest over by the last change they coasted through the final term conceding a late goal but running out convincing victors by 41 points. Cassie Bethune, Jordyn Bethune and Jade Ferrugia kicked 2 goals each with Adrienne Ringin, Jessica Byrne and Shannen Bethune among the best players for Oakleigh.

Finals Scores:

Seniors: Oakleigh 11.7.73 lt PEGS 14.13.97
Goals: Jack Davidson 3, Tim Scott 3, Aaron Cloke 2, Chris Grant, James Hunt, John Rutter
Best: Shane Borland, Gary Bennett, Zac Barrett, Pat Ioannidis, Jack Davidson, Tim Michael

Reserves: Oakleigh 2.11.23 lt PEGS 6.14.50
Goals: Rod Gonzalez, Aaron Shaw
Best: Josh Revere, Andrew Weymouth, Aaron Shaw, Jake Pappon, Rhys Hilderbrand-Wise, James Chapple

U19s: Oakleigh 6.10.46 lt De La Salle 8.15.63
Goals: Dylan Goodwill 3, Chris Galanos, Lachlan Park, Aaron Planksken
Best: Dylan Goodwill, Harry Bootjes, Callum Gillard, Ed Standish, Will Harris, Jett Murphy

Womens: Oakleigh 7.8.50 def De La Salle 1.3.9
Goals: Cassie Bethune 2, Jordyn Bethune 2, Jade Farrugia 2, Jessica Byrne
Best: Adrienne Ringin, Jessica Byrne, Cassie Bethune, Jade Farrugia, Shannen Bethune, Casey Morris