South win thriller
Friday, 18th May, 2018
By Tyler Hannigan
The second game of Wednesday night’s under 18s between North and South was an absolute classic with South remaining undefeated in 2018 by the skin of their teeth.
The Bulldogs came out in great form to start the game, and peppered South’s defenders with 14 inside fifties for the quarter. North’s first goal came off the boot of Griffin Leo and that was followed by goals to Brock Elliott, Preston Slater and Jakarda Cini.
South only managed three inside fifty entries but made the most with two goals through Jye Smith and Adam McInnes, McInnes’ coming after the siren, to undo some of North’s good work.
The Roos kept that momentum going into the second term as they lifted around the stoppages and were especially good in the middle with four centre clearances to one.
Goals to Brett McLean, Jacob Dannatt, Thomson Fleming and Byron Brown had them turning a 14-point quarter-time deficit into an 11-point lead at halftime.
North needed to respond and after a quiet first half, Luke Hall sprang to life with three goals - including a brilliant snap from the boundary - in a performance that gave North a two-point lead and one that his teammates will be hearing about for the rest of the season.
South were kicking with a slight breeze to finish the game but it was North who extended their lead early in the last as Leo kicked his second goal.
The Roos were firmly in control though as they won again reigned supreme around the stoppages and went inside their fifty 13 times to just five. North were defending as well as they could but eventually a free kick, followed by a fifty-metre penalty, allowed South’s McInnes to kick his second and level the scores.
A behind followed by Jordan Rowlands booting his first for the game and another behind gave South a handy eight-point as the minutes ticked away.
North were not done though as they moved the ball into their forward line with Kane Lance, who had played very well throughout the night, taking a mark on a tough 45-degree angle about 45-metres out.
His kick didn’t score but he followed it up and took another mark directly in front. Lance duly converted that shot which left North by less than a goal with a minute remaining.
Boundary umpires Stacey Toohey and Brendon Martin then spirited back to return the ball and umpire Frank Nutt rushed to throw the ball up, giving North as much time as possible to score the winning goal which they were unable to do as South managed to hold on for a hard-fought win.
As an aside, this writer has no issue with the umpires restarting play as quickly as possible in this grade with no time-on but it must be consistent throughout the game, not just at the very end when the game is in the balance. Either remain consistent throughout the game or play with time-on.
That shouldn’t take away from what was a fantastic contest between two sides who were each missing key players. For North they were without Logan Berryman and Tyler Hicks while Tyler McKenzie missed out for the Roos.
Taz Wood, Lachlan McKenzie and Kalum McKenzie were fantastic for South, as was junior Luke Collins in defence. Fleming produced another top performance while McLean and McInnes were important with two goals apiece.
Harry Trengove continued his brilliant 2018 with a best on ground performance and was supported well by youngsters Dan Kennedy and Rogan Turner. Kane Lance enjoyed his best game for the season and Brock Elliott was consistent over the four quarters.
B. McLean 2, A. McInnes 2, T. Fleming, J. Smith, B. Brown, J. Dannatt, J. Rowlands
L. Hall 3, G. Leo 2, P. Slater, B. Elliott, J. Cini, K. Lance
T. Wood, T. Fleming, K. McKenzie, L. McKenzie, L. Collins, J. Smith
H. Trengove, D. Kennedy, R. Turner, K. Lance, B. Elliott, L. Hall