Rupertswood’s reign in the under-18.5 Riddell District Football League continues with the club having won its third straight premiership on Sunday.
Red-hot favourites going into a rematch of last year’s grand final against Woodend-Hesket, it appeared that only wet weather could stop the ‘three-peat’.
But looking at the scoreboard at quarter-time, you wouldn’t have guessed that it was raining, windy and terrible conditions, with the Sharks having 11 scoring shots to two in the opening term.
If not for inaccurate kicking, the Sharks’ lead could have been far more than 29 points.
But the Hawks weren’t going away and gained momentum late in the second quarter to enter half-time still with a remote chance.
The second half, though, was all the Sharks, who banged through 11 goals to three for their 19.14 (128)-7.11 (53) trouncing.
Sharks’ coach, Tony Lucas, who has coached all three premierships, said they were confident going into the game that their game plan would hold up in any weather.
“This whole final series the boys have been really good, playing out four good quarters in every game,” he said.
“When you do that, you’re well on your way to getting a win. It was a really good four-quarter effort.
“They tried to rough us up before half-time and to their credit they [Hawks] kicked a couple of late goals and got momentum.
“Coming out in the third quarter we had to shut them down and take the momentum back. We did a good job of that.”
Billy Cannolo and Edward Whelan kicked four goals each, with Jackson Berry adding three.
Berry, who along with Sean Crawford has played in all three premierships, was awarded the Noel Rainey Medal as adjudged by the umpires for ‘best on ground’.
Patrick Scanlon was awarded the AFL Victoria Medal.
Since moving to the RDFL from the VAFA ahead of the 2013 season, the Sharks have lost just two games in four years.
The first was the 2013 grand final to Riddell by one point; the second was the 2014 semi-final to Macedon, by four points.
Lucas says the results reveal the strength of the club’s junior program.
“We’ve got a really good system which holds seniors in good stead. Since I’ve been involved with the club, nearly 30 players have gone through to play senior football.”