Heidelberg Leader - Banyule secures historic Northern Football League premiership

13 September 2017
Author: Toby Prime, Heidelberg Leader

BANYULE has secured a historic Northern Football League premiership just three years after crossing over from the Victorian Amateur Football Association.

The Bears led for the majority of the Division 3 decider on Saturday, finishing with a 25-point win over South Morang to earn promotion to Division 2 in 2018.

“Saturday was enormous, just seeing a couple of the older committee guys that made the decision to come across from the VAFA and how happy they were,” Banyule coach Pete Davey said.

“All the hard work they did over those few years and seeing that pay off, just seeing the excitement in their faces just makes it even more worthwhile.”
Banyule captain Scott Gumbleton and coach Pete Davey hoist the premiership cup. Picture: Andy Brownbill

South Morang trailed from the 19-minute mark of the opening quarter when Banyule vice-captain Michael Italia booted the second of his four goals, with the Bears holding the lead for the rest of the game.

Italia proved to be a headache from the get-go for the Lions, with his third goal for the game by the early stages of the second term.

Banyule extended its margin to 24 points by midway through the third quarter but late majors from Lions duo Raafat Rachrache and Daniel Watson trimmed the three-quarter-time margin to 15 points to give the Lions a sniff.
James Kroussoratis and Devin Mcdonald celebrate after the final siren. Picture: Andy Brownbill

Nathan Tassell brought South Morang closer to a come-from-behind victory with the first goal of the final quarter, but Banyule steadied through captain Scott Gumbleton and Devin McDonald to finish with a 13.17 (95) to 10.10 (70) win.

“Everything we planned for fell into place, it was almost like the perfect preparation and everything just happened like we hoped it would,” Davey said.

“I just felt like we had them at arm’s length pretty much all day.

“Even in the first quarter they had the lead for a little bit but I still felt like we were generally controlling the play.

“They were working overtime to kick their goals and it just seemed it was a little bit easier for us.”
Banyule captain Scott Gumbleton celebrates one of his two goals. Picture: Andy Brownbill

Gumbleton, who was one of the Essendon 34 banned as a result of the doping scandal, was judged as best-on-ground, with his experience telling throughout the finals.

“Throughout the year he probably did what he needed ... we knew in finals he was going to take it to another level,” Davey said.

“I can’t imagine emotionally what the last 12 months have been like for him but just to come back and enjoy playing footy and playing footy with his mates, he was as excited as anybody on Saturday night.”

In the Division 3 reserves grand final, St Mary’s came from 12 points behind at the final change to record a seven-point win over Banyule after the Bears were kept to just one behind in the final term.

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