North, West notch wins
Friday, 13th May, 2016
By Michael Murphy
West and North had strong victories in the Under 18 AFL BH competition on Wednesday night, paving the way for a potential top-of-the-table clash when they meet in two weeks.
The Robin’s defence held up strong against a committed South unit, keeping the young Roos to just two goals come final siren time.
West had a good spread of goalkickers with Jack Larkins, Brock Ellis and Jake Trengove each booting two majors, but overall the young Westies peppered the goals with some inaccuracy.
The final score was: West 9.17 (71) defeated South (2.2) (14).
It was an important victory for the West camp, as the Roos rolled them in the first round by 21 points.
They have now won three in a row and look likely to overcome the Magpies next week before taking on league leaders North the following week.
“It’s all slowly coming together,” West coach Jordan Tonkin said yesterday.
“The commitment wasn’t there in pre-season, but slowly and surely they have picked it up and it’s starting to come together.
“Tackling pressure has won us games, and from there we have put on scoreboard pressure,” he said.
Winger Jordan Cox was the pick of the young Westies, with outstanding attack at the contest.
“He comes from soccer,” Tonkin said. “He’s very aggressive at the ball. He just harasses players and makes them make mistakes.
“His pressure is his main attribute and it was fantastic last night.
“He’s a little guy with pace to burn.”
Paddric Attard - who went to Mildura for a kick on the weekend during the bye - also made the best players with about 40 touches, swapping from centre half back to “on the ball”.
Captain Sage Hocking was also up among West’s best.
“He put in a very hard pre-season ... his run off the half back flank and his ball use is exceptional, right and left leg,” Tonkin said.
The West coach said it would be an interesting game when they play North in a couple of weeks.
North sit on top of the ladder by a huge percentage, but West did beat them in round three, though Tonkin acknowledges the Bulldogs had some of their “young guns” out of action in that match.
In the other game on Wednesday night, the Bulldogs easily accounted for the Magpies, breaking open the young Pies with a ten-goal spree in the second and third quarters.
North won the game by 59 points, but the young Central unit can take heart that they came home strong and matched the Dogs with a 20-point final quarter.
North would be pleased with the all-round team performance with ten players kicking goals on the night.
Ethan Slater slotted through two majors to take his total for the year to 15, making him five goals clear on the leading-goalkicking ladder. Others to bag two for the Bulldogs were Tyler Hicks, Scott Gimbert, Brock Elliott and Bailey Shepherd.