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OPs ADVANCE TO D1, EARN PREMIERSHIP TILT

The Old Paradians senior footballers, by virtue of their meritorious Preliminary Final victory over Whitefriars on Sunday, have fulfilled the club’s objective of earning promotion to Division 1.

The players, seen leaving the field mission accomplished, are now faced with that rare opportunity to take the silverware in next Sunday’s Division 2 Grand Final with Uhs-Vu AFC (likely to be Coburg City Oval) - and anyone with a connection to the Old Paradians is urged to turn out in support of the team for the first bounce at 2.00pm.

Craigieburn’s Highgate Reserve served as the backdrop for what was a meritorious victory over the friars, 12.8 (80) – 8.12 (60).

The Old Paradians’ opened with a 4.0 to 0.2 first quarter and followed up with a 2.5 to 1.2 second – in what was the first time all season the Friars had not led at the main change.

A serious third quarter response saw the Friars boot 6.6 to 1.0 to take a five-point lead at the main change, but the OPs, not to be denied, overcame the final quarter loss through injury of their No.1 ruckman Jake Plunkett to bang on 5.3 to 1.2 to seal the deal.

For the Old Paradians, Jim Kandilakis booted five goals up front, with Michael Boundy, in his comeback match after injury, contributing three telling goals of his own to the scoreline.

Full-back David Huntley (pictured), adjudged best afield, couldn’t contain his excitement in the winners’ circle afterwards, his team having atoned for last year’s Preliminary final loss.

“I can’t wipe the smile off my face. To make the Granny is awesome, we’ll be ready to go and I think we’ll find a way,” he said.

The Under 19s unfortunately fell 15 points adrift of De La Salle in their Preliminary Final, but also earned the plaudits of the President in a year in which the club both on and off the field has made significant in-roads.