West colts charge
Friday, 2nd August, 2019
By Tyler Hannigan
A dominant second half led the Robins to their 12th win of the under 18s season as they cruised past Central by 74 points on Wednesday night.
West went into the clash without senior players Jayden Sutton, Bailey Beattie and Jacob Johnstone while skipper Brock Ellis was suspended following the weekend’s League match, and they were sluggish early on against a switched-on Central side.
West hit the scoreboard early through Dylan Foggo before Dwight Chestnut and Sinele King put Central in front. It was free-flowing, end-to-end football in the first quarter with minimal tackling and no stoppages around the ground.
Foggo added his second goal of the night in the latter stages of the term to tie the score going into the first break.
After the competitive first quarter, West took control in the second with three unanswered goals as Central struggled to get the ball past their half-forward line.
King kicked Central’s only goal of the term from one of their two inside fifty entries but West had the final say of the half as Will Squire produced a superb individual effort with the ball sailing through the big sticks just as the siren sounded to extend their lead to 20 points.
The Magpies were able to match it with West in the middle of the ground, leading the centre-clearances 6-4 and after going inside fifty six times to West’s seven in the first quarter, were smashed in that area 9-2 in the second.
If the Robins had taken control of the game in the second quarter then that turned into domination after halftime with a run of six consecutive goals including a couple to Jack Burke. They went into forward fifty nine times for a scores of 6.1.
West’s efficient night continued into the last quarter as they added another four goals from five scoring shots including two to Kingsley Hocking.
Central finally had some success late as King capped off another standout performance with his third goal but all it did was reduce the final margin to 74 points in favour of the ladder-leading Robins who are now locked in for the grand final on August 28.
Despite the below-average start to the game, West coach Hagen Grose was pleased with the performance of his side.
“It was a bit of a slow start,” Grose said. “It just took us a little bit longer to adjust as we had the lads playing in different spots due to missing five of our best players.
“I am happy the boys that were playing in different possessions really stepped up and it’s given us different avenues in the grand final.”
Nick Schofield, West’s acting captain on the night, showed his class with a terrific performance. He racked up countless possessions all over the ground and was almost flawless with his ball use. Austin Wilson produced his best game of the season while Jack Burke, Suni Forner, Squire and Foggo were also very impressive.
While King was Central’s best, he was well supported by Cooper Oates, Austyn Page and Daniel Ryan. Will Campbell also enjoyed a solid return from injury and shored up the Magpie defence.
Central take on South next week in the early game, followed by West against North. The top two teams are locked in but that last spot in the finals will come down to the wire between Central and North.
WEST: 2.1 6.3 12.4 16.5 (101) def CENTRAL: 2.1 3.1 3.2 4.3 (27)
West: K. Hocking 4, D. Foggo 2, J. Burke 2, W. Squire 2, N. Schofield 2, A. Wilson, S. Forner, C. McEvoy, T. Burke
Central: S. King 3, D. Chestnut
West: N. Schofield, A. Wilson, S. Forner, J. Burke, W. Squire, D. Foggo
Central: S. King, A. Page, D. Ryan, C. Oates, W. Campbell, N. Devoy