St Joseph’s has capped off a remarkable 2017 season by claiming the GFL Premiership by 47 points in dominant fashion over St Mary’s. Following their stunning 41-point loss to the Saints in the second semi final, Joey’s coach Heath Jamieson boldly declared St Mary’s had “shown their hand a bit” and his comments were vindicated and then some on Saturday.
St Joseph’s played like a team that knew its best football was going to be hard to stop and, led by best-on-ground medalist Daniel Lovick, they didn’t play with arrogance, but rather a deep confidence in what they were doing with swift and brutal execution. The premiers moved the ball at pace, were strong around the footy and in the air, and made sure every St Mary’s mistake was not only pounced on with ball in hand but by all players in the area who would get in the faces of their opponents and assert their authority.
“We were confident coming into the game that our best is the best, we’ve said it all year,” Jamieson said. “To the boys’ credit they did it on the big stage and that’s where you want to do it. I can’t fault any of our performance today.”
When Ben Moloney goaled at the six-minute mark of the second term, St Joseph’s had kicked three goals in five minutes and the margin sat at six goals, and St Mary’s were blown out of the water.
“You get a steely resolve after a fortnight ago and knew the players were going to bounce back, and the way we played today is our product,” Jamieson said. “Our effort and intensity around the footy was a lot better than it was a fortnight ago and that’s why the result changed hands.”
St Joseph’s didn’t relent, slamming on a further five third quarter goals including Jacko Davis’ fourth major – his three opening-half goals setting the tone for a landmark day for his club. The back half, marshalled by Lovick and impressive teenager Ben McNamara, was resolute.
The ploy of employing makeshift ruckman Ben Capra was also vindicated in Jamieson’s eyes, allowing the premiers to hold their preferred structure.
“People were knocking him after the second semi final and probably they questioned how well he was going, but he was super today,” he said.
The victory is St Joseph’s second flag in three years, and it all left the premiership coach lost for words.
“Everything today was pretty special,” he said.