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BENDIGO Senior Secondary College withstood a last-quarter surge from Catherine McAuley College to win Wednesday’s School Sport Victoria premier league final by three points at the QEO.
BSSC was well in command when it led by 19 points early in the final quarter of the low-scoring clash.
But CMC fought on gallantly before falling just short as BSSC prevailed 6.5 (41) to 5.8 (38) in a thriller.
By winning the SSV premier league title BSSC has advanced to the semi-finals of the Herald Sun Shield early next term.
Wednesday’s win came 12 months after BSSC was runners-up in last year’s SSV premier league football competition.
“There were a number of boys today who played in last year’s losing grand final to Essendon-Keilor, so it was good for those lads to have a win,” BSSC coach Rick Coburn said.
“We got off to a good start today and played a well-organised style of footy, moved the ball well and had enough of a buffer to hang on in the end.”
CMC had the last six scoring shots of the match, but only kicked two of its chances through Nicholas Keogh and William Wallace.
When Wallace marked and goaled at the 15-minute mark it brought CMC back within three points to set up a frantic finish to the game.
The final five minutes were packed with tackling pressure, smothers and desperate acts as BSSC fought to hold on and CMC pressed hard for that one more goal it needed to hit the front.
CMC – which had gone into the grand final unbeaten – was twice thwarted by BSSC’s James Schischka in the final minute.
Firstly, Schischka took an intercept mark on the swimming pool wing that allowed BSSC to send the ball back inside its forward 50 at the city end.
Then with 30 seconds remaining on the clock, CMC won possession from a stoppage in the BSSC forward pocket and transitioned the ball into its attacking 50.
However, Schischka marked again and the siren sounded soon after on a memorable win for BSSC against its arch-rival.
Defender Schischka earned the best player medal for BSSC, while Caleb Fisher and Riley Matricardi kicked two goals each for the victors.
BSSC was never headed after Fisher kicked the opening goal of the game early in the first term.
BSSC’s Phil Moi Moi provided one of the highlights of the grand final when he roosted a 55m goal to the Barnard Street end during the third term.
The game was held up for five minutes during the third quarter after CMC’s Flynn Perez landed heavily on his back after a marking collision in the centre square with BSSC’s Jack Thompson.
Perez was stretchered off and taken to hospital.
BSSC was leading 5.4 to 2.4 at the time of the game stoppage at the 14-minute mark of the third term, but it was CMC that had the bulk of the momentum for the rest of the match once it re-started.
“I’m not sure if that gave us a chance to settle a bit or the boys got a bit more motivation seeing one of their team-mates go down, but it definitely felt like we had the run of the play after that,” CMC coach Lee Coghlan said.
“BSSC dictated the first two-and-a-half quarters, but I’m really proud of the boys’ efforts today to fight their way back into the match after they got the jump on us.”
Co-captain Hunter Lawrence, who played through the midfield and kicked a third-quarter goal, won the best player medal for CMC.
Keogh was CMC’s only multiple goalkicker with two.
• MATCH DETAILS:
1.2, 3.4, 5,4, 6.5 (41)
0.1, 1.4, 3.4, 5.8 (38)
GOALS – BSSC: C. Fisher, R. Matricardi 2, A. Jenkyn, P. Moi Moi. CMC: N. Keogh 2, D. Clohesy, H. Lawrence, W. Wallace.
BEST – BSSC: J. Schischka, D. Loveridge, N. McHugh, N. Murley, L. Marciano. CMC: H. Lawrence, D. Clohesy, H. Fiske-Kealy, C. Sexton, N. Walsh.
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