Port perfection on debut

IT was the perfect end to a perfect season.

In their first year in the Southern Football League the undefeated Port Melbourne Colts cruised to the Division 2 premiership with a comfortable 44-point win over Caulfield, 11.16 (82) to 5.8 (38) on Saturday.

“We always considered ourselves a Division 1 side and applied to enter the top division but were knocked back,” Colts coach Brad Julier said amid the after-match jubilation.

“Our players considered it a relegation when we had to start in Division 2 and took on the challenge to prove our point. It provided extra motivation for us all season and the boys were determined to get the job done.”

And, the Colts proved their point in style, going through the season without a loss.

The Port Melbourne Colts celebrations start at the final siren. Picture: Richard Serong

Despite some early inaccuracy in almost ideal conditions, the Colts proved too slick for the brave Bears, with stalwart Steve McAnulty leading the way.

McAnulty was rewarded for his ripping performance with the Meneilly Medal as best afield, exactly 10 years after winning his first medal for best-on-the-ground in a grand final.

Brad Sutcliffe and Jake Wood also starred for the winners, while Mitch Clarke was lively early and finished with three goals.

“Our midfield set the tone for us early and, although we weren’t too clean with the footy in the first half, I thought we were in a good position at halftime before really getting going in the second half,” Julier said, admitting he’s felt the pressure of an undefeated season.

 “I didn’t say anything to the players, but I personally felt the pressure at times of wondering if the bubble would burst, especially in a final.”

But Julier need not have worried. His team was superb, with winners across every line.

Jason Butty was always dangerous up forward and finished with four goals, while Torren Bonnett and Trent Chumbley reigned supreme all day.

Again, as it has been all season, the Port defence was stellar, allowing the Bears just two goals in three quarters of football.

But Caulfield lost no friends with its their never-say-die attitude and had plenty of goers, including Jake Buggy, Sean Walton, Brandon Turner and Chris Trumble, among others.

The Bears may well wonder what might have been had Port Colts had been admitted to Division 1 this season.

SFL Division 2 Grand Final

Jack Barker Oval (Saturday, September 24)

Port Melbourne Colts 2.6 4.10 9.13 11.16 (82)

Caulfield 0.3 1.5 2.7 5.8 (38)

Port Melbourne Colts Goal Kickers: J. Butty 4, M. Clarke 3, S. Massis 2, J. Lawson 2 Best Players: S. McAnulty, B. Sutcliffe, J. Wood, J. Butty, T. Bonnett, J. Taylor, T. Chumbley, B. Twomey