Classic Contests: Stacked Chargers edge Falcons in four-point thriller

IF you are missing footy like we are, then let us somewhat salvage that with a look back in our series of Classic Contests. In today’s contest we look at one of the would-have-been Round 18 clashes in the NAB League this year between the Oakleigh Chargers and Geelong Falcons. In this edition we wind back the clock to 2012, when the Falcons pushed a talent-rich Chargers lineup all the way at Warrawee Park.

2012 TAC Cup, Round 13
Saturday July 14, 2:00pm
Warrawee Park

OAKLEIGH CHARGERS 1.4 | 2.8 | 6.10 | 8.11 (59)
GEELONG FALCONS 0.2 | 3.3 | 6.4 | 8.6 (54)

GOALS:

Oakleigh: J. Billings 2, J. Collopy 2, K. Jaksch 2, J. Kennedy-Harris, L. McDonald
Geelong:
T. Batarilo 2, L. Taylor 2, T. Gribble, M. Wood, A. Christensen, D. Bond

BEST:

Oakleigh: W. Maginness, R. Exon, K. Jaksch, L. McDonald, J. Curran, K. Nolan
Geelong: D. Fort, C. Williams, N. Bourke, L. Taylor, A. Hickey, J. Tsitsas

Draftees in action:

Oakleigh: Marc Pittonet, Jack Macrae, Jack Billings, Sam Collins, Luke McDonald, Tom Cutler, Jay Kennedy-Harris, Kristian Jaksch, Jason Ashby, Will Maginness,
Geelong: Lewis Taylor, Darcy Fort, Mason Wood, Darcy Lang, Josh Saunders, Nick Bourke

16 future AFL draftees took the field as Oakleigh and Geelong battled in Round 13 of the 2012 TAC Cup, with a stacked Chargers lineup looking to gain redemption on home turf. The Falcons had comfortably triumphed in the Round 5 reverse fixture, coming away 42-point winners at Kardinia Park.

That result was part of their even 6-6 record to that point, good enough for eighth spot. Oakleigh was faring slightly better despite the upset, sitting fifth at 7-5. Both sides came in on winning streaks, with Geelong getting home in three-straight close encounters, while Oakleigh took out its previous two outings.

While there was plenty of quality on each line, both teams got off to slow starts and failed to truly get a hold on the scoreboard. The Chargers in particular had failed to capitalise on their weight of early chances, booting 1.4 in each of the opening two terms. On the other hand, Geelong’s three second quarter majors ensured the Falcons would take a lead into half time, albeit by the narrowest of margins.

The game opened up slightly after the main break as Oakleigh’s guns seemed to recover their kicking boots, fixing up in front of goal to reclaim the ascendancy with four goals in term three. The Falcons were sticking right by them though, booting three goals of their own to remain just a goal adrift. That buffer would prove just enough for Oakleigh, who managed to hold on as the two sides sunk a couple of goals each to round out the game.

West Coast draftee Will Maginness was named best afield for the winners, with Kristian Jaksch and Luke McDonald also among the best half-dozen Chargers. Jack Billings (two goals) and Jay Kennedy-Harris also hit the scoreboard. Bigman Darcy Fort was named Geelong’s best, alongside the likes of Lewis Taylor and James Tsistas. Taylor booted two goals, while Mason Wood and Tom Gribble also found the big sticks once each.

The Falcons would stay true to form and go on to finish the regular season in eight with an 8-8-1 record. Sandringham was the team to bundle them out of contention at the semi finals stage. Oakleigh famously went on to win the TAC Cup premiership from sixth that year, accelerating through finals on the back of a 10-7 record to pip Gippsland via Jack Macrae‘s golden point in the decider.

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