After persistent overnight rain, the sunshine came out just in time for the top of the table clash between Scotch College and Xavier College was scheduled to begin.
From the outset it was clear that this was to be a very different encounter to the previous week’s match. Scotch College pressed their Xavier College opponents at every opportunity and from the sidelines it seemed like SC players were always first to the ball. On a tight pitch, space was at a premium and for a number of XC players, that was a problem, being used to the wide open spaces of the Jackson Pitch.
Xavier College had few opportunities on the Scotch goal in the first half. Indeed only Mikhail Capodistrias managed to strike on the SC goal and this occurred in the final minute of the half. SC were well organised at the back and were proving difficult to break down. Nic Sette was creative on the left and right wings and was able to find space at times, but every cross he delivered crossed meekly in front of goal with no XC player in the SC penalty area attacking the ball.
Unfortunately in the 24th minute of the match, it was the XC defence that was caught short as SC broke down the left flank, whipped the ball into the XC penalty area and with little defence on hand, the ball clattered into the back of the XC goal, allowing SC to gain an early lead.
The second half was just as frustrating as the first as far as the XC team were concerned. No fewer than three players would find themselves in a scoring position, but no one was able to convert their chances in front of goal – a complete reversal of what was seen the previous weekend.
A long, curling shot in the final minutes of the game from Nic Sette came closest to being converted into an XC goal, but the ball glanced the left post and then bounced behind the dead ball line.
In the 56th minute of the game, SC managed to score a second goal and thus secure a 2-0 lead that was never relinquished.
Tom Natoli played well at times in the midfield, he worked hard throughout, and should be congratulated on his excellent work ethic.
Nic Sette was a continuous attacking threat throughout the match, and came close to either setting up or scoring goals in both halves.
Thomas Petricca had a fine match at centre back. He made a number of telling tackles and seemed to be everywhere, sweeping up SC attacking threats on many an occasion.
So the APS Premiership has been relinquished for 2016, but the team has had another very positive season, with some wonderful highs. It is important that the team finishes on a powerful and positive note next weekend against Carey, as the Y12 members of the squad play their final match of the hallowed turf of the Jackson Pitch.