Country enjoy impressive U16s win over Metro

VIC Country showed its class at the Under 16s level against Vic Metro to post a 31-point victory at Avalon Airport Oval today. The Country side, lead by over-ager and Under 18s squad member Lila Keck, as well as 2006-born future stars Lucia Painter and Ash Centra, set up the win in the first half. Despite Metro making it more competitive after half-time, Country got the win in the Futures showcase, 7.14 (56) to 3.7 (25).

Country had all the play in the first term, with Painter starting like a house on fire, kicking the first two goals of the match, After Keck missed an early chance, Painter showcased her class as one of the top 2024 AFLW Draft chances with a clever goal. She then won another loose ball close to goal and snapped a second before Metro had even gone inside 50. Dandenong Stingrays tall Zoe Besanko had a huge opportunity to add her name to the goalkickers list but was dispossessed as she ran into goal, then Destiny Dodd hit the post.

Metro had its first inside 50 via the run and gun nature of Western Jets premiership player Kristie-Lee Weston-Turner. The visitors’ only score came from Molly Paterson whose set shot just fell short and was rushed across, but Country did not make them pay with Amber Schutte and Sara Howley both having chances that just went begging. At quarter time, Country lead by 16 points with Painter’s two majors separating the sides, whilst Calder Cannons bottom-ager Chloe Baker-West racked up 10 disposals in the term alone.

The second term saw Keck run rampant, as she racked up seven disposals and kicked a fantastic goal. She would pepper the goals throughout the match, but ensured she hit that one. Both Siena Farrell and Sienna Tallariti were standing tall intercepting in the defence, and whilst Baker-West had a quiet second term, Kyla Forbes started to get her hands on the ball. Metro finally got on the board through some Weston-Turner magic having missed a relatively easy set shot, but then kicking a great one on the run.

That goal was countered by Besanko who kicked a good goal on the end of a chain, whilst Centra brought the highlights to the term, pulling down a massive contested grab and have a couple of huge runs down the wing. But by the half-time break, Country only held a 22-point advantage, having kicked four goals from 11 scoring shots to Metro’s one from four.

For the most part the third term was a real arm-wrestle despite the three goals being kicked. Suwindi Buckley had an early chance but could not connect well enough with the set shot, and Natasha Wilson made them pay up the other end by getting on the end of a scoring chain. Country controlled forward half possession with Dandenong’s Mikayla Williamson looking lively, sidestepping an opponent to get it to a dangerous spot, but Painter was tackled as she snapped. Just as Country had dominated, a late kick from Western-Turner to Buckley down the other end was marked close to the siren and she duly slotted the major to cut the deficit back to 31 points at the final break.

The margin turned out to be a bit too much for Metro in the end, fighting to the line, with Lara Churchill kicking a clever goal near the end of the match. It was the sole Metro one, whilst Keck – after some loose checking earlier in the match – ensured Country got the win. Both sides struggled with inaccuracy, booting a combined 10.21, but it was Country who emerged victorious by 31 points.

Keck was arguably best-on thanks to 21 disposals, four marks, five tackles, two clearances, two inside 50s and 2.3, with Pioneers teammate Painter recording 15 disposals, two marks, three tackles, four inside 50s and two goals in the win. Centra (12 disposals, three marks and four inside 50s), Williamson (14 disposals, tow marks and five inside 50s) and Chloe Adams (17 disposals, two marks, three tackles, six clearances and eight inside 50s) were all impressive.

Baker-West had the most touches of any Metro player with 20 disposals, as well as four marks, eight tackles, seven clearances and three inside 50s. Weston-Turner emerged with nine disposals, three marks, three tackles, four inside 50s and 1.3. Tallariti (11 disposals, five marks) and Farrell (10 disposals, two marks) provided strong moments, whilst Forbes amassed 18 touches, seven tackles and five rebound 50s coming out of defence.

VIC COUNTRY 2.5 | 4.7 | 6.11 | 7.14 (56)
VIC METRO 0.1 | 1.3 | 2.4 | 3.7 (25)


Country: L. Painter 2, L. Keck 2, Z. Besanko, D. Dodd, N. Wilson
Metro: K. Weston-Turner, S. Buckley, L. Churchill


Country: L. Keck, L. Painter, A. Centra, M. Williamson, C. Adams
Metro: C. Baker-West, K. Weston-Turner, S. Tallariti, S. Farrell, K. Forbes

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