SOUTH BELGRAVE – SEASON REVIEW

By Ryan Long - EFNL Media




South Belgrave

Ladder Position: 1st (16-2, 188.56%)

Best and Fairest: Tim Smith

Leading Goalkicker: Tim Smith (77)


Summary:

South Belgrave has continued their rise through the divisions, winning the Division Two premiership in dominant fashion. A busy off-season for the Saints saw the club bring in the likes of Taylor Garner, Mitch Garner and Charlie Peters. The high-scoring attacking side looked unbeatable at certain times of the season, putting most sides to the sword.

The only side they couldn’t beat in the Home and Away season was Mulgrave, the Lions defeating the Saints twice.

The Saints were by far the number-one attacking team in the division, averaging 105 points per game, hitting the 200 mark twice, both against Oakleigh District.

Finishing on top of the ladder, South Belgrave played Ringwood in the second week of the finals. In a reasonably close game, the Saints came on top by 18 points with both Taylor Garner and Tim Smith being the difference with three goals each.

Two weeks later, they met the Redbacks again in the Grand Final. In a much more comprehensive victory, South Belgrave blew the game out early and went on to defeat Ringwood by 39 points to win the premiership.


Key Players:

Tim Smith did it all in 2022. The key forward led the goal-scoring for the division, was selected as Captain of the Team of the Year while also winning the league and club best and fairest.

Four others from the club also made the Division Two Team of The Year, Brody Connelly, Mitchell Garner, Damien Garner and Charlie Peters.

Mitch Garner was dominant throughout the year in the ruck while his brother Damien kicked 42 goals from 14 matches.

Charlie Peters first season at the club was another big success for the Saints, in the best eleven times for the year.


Best Win: Grand Final – South Belgrave 13.14 92 def. Ringwood 7.11 53 @Walker Park

In just their second season in Division Two, South Belgrave celebrated another premiership and another division promotion.

The Saints had defeated the Redbacks three times throughout the season already including an 18-point win over them in the Semi-Final. Unlike their previous encounters, the game was a lot more one-sided with a dominant first half for the Saints. Although the margin was just 33 points at the main break, South Belgrave did have complete control, looking very dangerous going inside 50. A three goal to one third term stretched the margin to 52 points, meaning it was party time for the Saints.

As it had been all season, their forward line dominated with Tim Smith kicking five goals, winning the best on ground medal while Taylor Garner kicked three of his own.


Off-Season Focus:

South Belgrave will compete in Division One next season and will go into season 2023 very confident about making themselves at home in the higher division. Arguably the club’s biggest strength was it’s height and bigger bodies.

The club wouldn’t be too concerned about recruiting heavily this off-season, at full strength, I’d expect South Belgrave to be pushing for a finals appearance next year. Mitcham is the most recent club to move from Division Two to Division One and they’ve found success rather quickly, playing off in a Preliminary Final this year. The Saints are certainly a more dominant premiership side than the Tigers of 2019, so they won’t be fearing the challenge of the higher division.


SBL Wolves

Ladder Position: 5th (4-10, 59.87%)

Leading Goalkicker: Claire Bould (19)


Summary:

With the re-structure of the Senior Women’s competition, the SBL Wolves’ senior side was moved to the Premier division of the Deakin University Senior Women’s league. The club won four games for the year, unfortunately missing out on a spot in the finals.

Three of their wins came from the crossover matches, defeating Whitehorse, The Basin and Ferntree Gully. Their most impressive win was early in the season when they knocked off the eventual Grand Finalists in South Croydon.

The Wolves were highly competitive across the year in their losses, falling four points short to Vermont and pushing the Eastern Devils all the way, losing by just five points to the 2022 Premier Division Premiers.

Key Players:

Georgia Grimmer was one of the club’s best players of the season, finishing in the best nine times from twelve matches. Grimmer also polled well in the league’s best and fairest, sixth out of all Premier division players. Baylie Withers was also featured in the best nine times, having a great season.

Kicking 19 goals for the year, the most of any Wolves player, Claire Bould was key to the club’s forward line structure.

The Southam sisters, Maddison and Ruby also both had great years, coming across from The Basin.


Best Win: Round Four – SBL Wolves 6.5 41 def. South Croydon 4.9 33 @Belgrave South Recreation Reserve

The most satisfying win for the club, holding their own against one of the powerhouses of the league. The Wolves hosted South Croydon in Round Four where a strong first half saw the club get out to a nine-point lead with a four-goal second term.

The Dogs fought back in the third quarter, bringing the margin back to under a goal at the final change. Under pressure late in the last quarter, the Wolves held on defensively while kicking a goal themselves to seal the match, winning by eight points.

Claire Bould finished with two goals while Collard, Woolfe, Powell and McMaster all had one each. Evelyn Curtis starred on the day, listed as the best Saints player on the ground.


Off-Season Focus:

Despite finishing fifth and missing the finals this year, they proved that they could compete in this division while being comfortably ahead of the Premier B clubs. To take that next step to play finals, they may need to add another key forward to boost their overall forward line. The Wolves averaged 34 points per game with Claire Bould the major goalkicker with 19. If they can find an extra target or two in the forward half, it’ll go a long way in closing the gap between the Wolves and the top four.

SBL Wolves Teal (Development Team)

Ladder Position: 4th (6-8, 90.83%)

Leading Goalkicker: Bonita Wilder (11)


Summary:

The SBL Wolves were just one of six clubs to field a reserves side in the league. The Wolves Teal side competed against the other reserves sides in Division Four, winning six games. The club finished the home and away season in strong form, winning five of their last seven matches. This included a gutsy two-point win over Grand Finalists, the Eastern Devils in the last game of the season. Their run of form was enough to see them overtake The Basin and finish in fourth place.

Qualifying for Finals, the Wolves took on South Croydon in the first week of the finals at Silvan Recreation Reserve. In an upset, South Belgrave led at every change to finish 16-point winners. They would face the Eastern Devils in the Preliminary Final a week later. Unfortunately, their run would come to an end there, losing by 35 points at HE Parker Reserve.


Key Players:

Bonita Wilder had a fantastic season, finishing equal fourth in the division league best and fairest. Wilder also led the goalscoring for South Belgrave with eleven majors.

Having a great consistent year, Areeb Hassan finished in the best eleven times from fifteen games.

Some of the other key players included Emma Pendlebury and Jessica Hubber.


Best Win: Semi Final SBL Wolves Teal 5.5 35 def. South Croydon 2.5 17 @Silvan Recreational Reserve

The side came into their Semi-Final as underdogs, losing to South Croydon three times during the home and away season. The final here had a much different outcome with the SBL Wolves opening up a three-goal lead at the main break. They held onto that lead for the rest of the morning, with both sides kicking one goal apiece in the second half.

The eighteen-point win was one of the highlights of the year for the club.


Off-Season Focus:

Like the other clubs that are in the same position as the Wolves with two teams, their focus will be on maintaining enough numbers to fill out two full sides again. If the senior side can recruit a few extra players, it certainly would help the reserves side out with girls with more experience dropping back into the side.

Overall, the club are in great shape with a very positive future ahead.

Netball Review

South Belgrave Saints (Section 7)

Ladder Position: 6th (5-10-1)

The club also competed in the Bendigo Bank Netball league, with one side entered in section seven. They had a solid season, winning five matches and a draw to finish sixth on the ladder. Caitlin Cook was impressive in the front half for the Saints, scoring 122 goals from 13 games. The club will be hopeful they can expand their netball teams in 2023 by adding more players to the club.

South Belgrave Juniors

The South Belgrave juniors had a great season in 2022 with three out of the four competitive sides that the club has, making finals. The impressive Under 15s side also managed to win their way through to the Grand Final.

The Under 12s finished the home and away season on top of the ladder and star player Ben Lamaro won the Under 12 C Grade EFNL League Best and Fairest player.


The Under 11 team also made it through to a preliminary final, capping off a successful season as well.

With three non-competitive sides coming through, the future looks bright for the club in coming years.

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