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Friday, 30th August, 2013

West coach Jeb Grose summons his charges. West coach Jeb Grose summons his charges.

By The Understudy

The Robins have created the perfect storm. They have iced the perfect season by winning the U/18 grand final by a whopping 127 points.

The final score West 29.10 - 184 to Central 8.9 - 57.

The Olympic motto is Swifter, Higher, Stronger and that may now be applied to the Robins.

They were simply too good on the night. 

For the winners none was better than the elusive Riley McInnes. Playing mostly in the forward line he booted seven goals and if my memory serves me correctly he had them all by three quarter time.

He finished proceedings with a medal around his neck for best player on the ground.

He just had one of those nights, wherever he ran the ball followed him and for the first three quarters whenever he had a ping at the goals the ball went through.

In terms of goal kickers he had plenty of mates as the Robins had 14 separate players who all kicked majors.

The game was played entirely on West terms, a free flowing open game. Central on the other hand just couldn’t get their hands on the ball to slow the game down. Better players were harder to find for them. Kayne Read received the medal for best in the losing side and battled hard both in the middle, the wing and half forward line.

The start of the game threw up a few surprises for both sides. West shuffled their side around putting Heath Harris to centre half back, Callum Rosewarne to the half back line and Jake Hodgins to full forward.

For the Magpies they started with Connor Martin, Mathew Duthy, Jason Masclet and James Bressanelli in the centre. Bressanelli going to the dangerous Cohen Pettitt in the middle.

The Magpies were looking for a low scoring dour game but they got just the opposite. When the game started Ty Andrews palmed the ball down to a West midfielder who kicked forward for a West goal. Not only did this happen once but three times.

In the blink of an eye the Robins had three goals on the board with the dangerous Jayden White kicking two. When West kicked the next goal a blowout was on the cards.

However Central hit back with majors to Jesse Dwyer, Kayne Read and Lindsay Rolton. By quarter time West had kicked 7 goals but Central had responded with a respectable 4 goals and the margin was only 16 points.

In the second quarter West inflicted more pain by shifting Heath Harris into the ruck. He started giving the midfielders an arm chair ride with the Central midfielders struggling to get their hands on the ball. Like the first term the Robins kicked three quick goals to blow the margin out. Riley McInnes kicked three and with Dylan Cowan getting plenty of touches the game was slipping away from Central. The margin at the long break was 50 points in favour of West. The Central players were trying hard but it looked as though they were boxing in the wrong weight division. Their good players just couldn’t get their hands on the ball. 

If Central thought that was bad, worse was to come in the third term. The Robins came out and piled on 10.3 to 3.0. It seemed that everything they tried or touched turned to gold. The extra time periods for time on suited the Robins as many of their players had played senior footy during the season.

Not only did they look decidedly stronger but they also looked fitter as well. Central didn’t help their own cause by kicking the ball high whenever they took possession.


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When they did this inevitably it was soon kicked back over their heads. On a positive note for the Magpies Lucas Gray was starting to get some touches both on the forward line and in the ruck and Jesse Dwyer was coming into the game. Worse was to follow when a nasty head clash forced both Connor Martin and Todd Preston off the ground.

While Preston was able to be patched up Martin played no further part in the game. Cowan kicked the last goal of the quarter and when he did the gap was almost out to 16 goals.

Central were really facing adversity of the sideline. Martin was gone for the night, Mason Hunt was having trouble with a hip injury, Preston looked like a mummy while Read and Masclet were limping. 

The last term saw more of the same. An early Cohen Pettitt goal saw the margin out over 100 points. Jesse Dwyer was getting better as the game went on but the match was well and truly over. West booted a further 7.1 in the final term while Central could only manage 1.5. In the end the final siren couldn’t come quick enough for the Magpies and their loyal supporters while the Robins would have been happy to play another quarter. 

In the end the Robins saved their best until last and probably didn’t put their best side on the park until grand final night.

They are Broken Hill equivalent of the Dream Team or the Harlem Globetrotters and I can’t remember a sporting team being so far in front of the field.

One wonders whether a combined Central/North/South team would have troubled West in the grand final.

The result said so much more about the winners than the losers. Centrals are a good side that have improved markedly in the past six or so years but they just haven’t reached the same level as West. The majority of the team are bottom aged with something like 16 players eligible to play next year. 

The Robins had a host of better players as you would expect. Apart from McInnes there was Dylan Cowan who is an unfashionable but under rated footballer. Heath Harris is a cut above the rest in this grade. Liam King had plenty of the footy. Jayden White was brought up from the U/15s and had a big say in the game kicking three goals.

Ty Andrews kick started the Robins in the ruck, Hodgins was good and Cohen Pettitt always plays well at this level.

For the losers they were best served by their captain in Jesse Dwyer. Dwyer didn’t quite reach the level that he did last week but still tried hard to lift his team.

Read has been mentioned while Louis Gilby battle hard against an avalanche of leather that came his way in the back lines.

Lucas Gray showed that with a full pre-season under his belt he can be a star while Brady Dwyer’s star continues to rise. 

West goals: Riley McInnes 7, Jayden White 3, Heath Harris 3, Ty Andrews 2, Dylan Cowan 2, Jake Hodgins 2, Liam King 2, Cohen Pettitt 2, Judd Carpenter 1, Cody Ellis 1, Austin Ferguson 1, Dakoda Hocking 1, Jordan Meehan 1, Cowen Smith 1

West best: Riley McInnes, Dylan Cowan, Heath Harris, Liam King, Jayden White, Ty Andrews, Jake Hodgins, Cohen Pettitt

Central goals: Connor Martin 2, Henry Carroll 1, Brady Dwyer 1, Jesse Dwyer 1, Lucas Gray 1, Kayne Read 1, Lindsay Rolton 1

Central best: Jesse Dwyer, Kane Read, Louis Gilby, Lucas Gray, Brady Dwyer, Jason Masclet

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