Scouting notes: Herald Sun Shield Grand Final

ST BERNARD’S College have won the Herald Sun Shield, with a 16-point victory over St Patrick’s College at Simonds Stadium on Wednesday.

In appalling first half conditions, both teams could only muster a goal each – with the wet conditions making for a sloppy first half.

The sun came out in the second half and St Pats held a narrow one-point lead at three-quarter-time but St Bernard’s captain Jake Riccardi lifted his team with two final quarter goals to help them to the victory.

Matt Balmer’s scouting notes:

St Patrick’s College:

#6 Jordan Johnston – Begun the day as the deepest forward for St Pats, playing majority of the game inside 50. Took a mark early before it rained and on occasion when he did play as an inside midfielder he just banged it forward. Overall, wasn’t a great day for the forward – not helped by poor delivery in the wet conditions.

#8 Scott Carlin – Was one of the candidates for the best player for St Pats, with a stellar first half in the midfield. He was willing to get dirty and win the ball, as one of the cleaner players throughout the day on his right foot.

#16 Nicholas Stuhldreier – The St Pats captain played as an inside midfielder, but often rested up forward. He copped a knock early from Noah Balta, but was able to recover and find plenty of the ball in the midfield.

#25 Tom Scott – Won best-on-ground honours for St Pats with his rebounding work in defensive 50 a highlight. In his green boots, he often repelled many of the St Bernard’s attacks. Was a real rock in the backline throughout the game.

#29 Dale Cox – Didn’t see a lot of it in the opening half, but he had a flash of brilliance in the third term in front of the fans in the stands. A run down the wing and a step around an opponent right on the boundary lines was outstanding and the play resulted in a goal 30 seconds later. Had a good run down tackle later in the contest and did have some moments that were outstanding.

#30 Aiden Domic – Played most of the game across half forward or on the wing but didn’t find as much of the ball as he has in some of the GWV Rebels games this season. Snapped a point late in the contest, but was smart at times in the last quarter knowing that he needed to take the game on when they trailed on the scoreboard.

St Bernard’s College:

#1 Lachlan Sholl – Starred on the wing in the opening half and was a close contender for their best player. Used the ball well on his left foot early and made a nice pass to hit Jake Riccardi in the first quarter. Covered the ground well and was willing to drop into defensive 50 and take multiple intercept marks. Was in the best players and hardly missed a target all day.

#2 Will Jury – Another player who played a strong game and could’ve been considered for the best-on-ground honours. Found the ball through the midfield and was able to get the ball moving forward. Hit most of his targets during the game.

#22 Xavier O’Halloran – The Western Jets bottom-ager started slowly, but his work in the contest especially in the second half was game changing. He just wanted to win the contested ball in the centre. His centre clearance in the final quarter was simply elite, that led to a Jake Riccardi goal. Also had a very nice one handed pick up in the last quarter and simply wanted it more than his opponents.

#26 Daniel Hanna – Brought the ball to ground level in the wet early, allowing some of the St Bernard’s smalls to get it going forward. Took a nice mark in the second quarter. Had a few nice clean pick-ups from ground level throughout the day that were very good for a player of his size. Won a free kick in the last quarter and continued to present all day.

#30 Jake Riccardi – Booted three goals for the day in what was a low scoring affair. He took a few very good contested marks during the contest and his follow up at ground level was good. Has strength to be able to stand up when being tackled and in one passage he was able to get a kick inside 50 that led to a score assist. His snap goal in the fourth quarter got the St Bernard’s boys going and the captain had a very good game.

#31 Noah Balta – Begun the day in the ruck and that’s where he played most of the game. He was far too tall to start with against his St Pats opponent and leaped over him & often just thumped the ball forward. Didn’t go too much inside 50 as he mostly stayed inside the arcs controlling the play. Took a very good contested mark in the third quarter and another mark late in the final quarter all but iced the game. He did miss a snap on goal on his left foot, but mostly went long 50 metres + on his right boot.

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