Country roads take Victorians home against WA
VIC COUNTRY maintained its undefeated streak at this year’s Under 18 National Championships, after dispatching Western Australia to the tune of 43 points at GMHBA Stadium today. A decisive run of five unanswered goals saw the home side rocket out to a 32-point half-time lead, before withstanding WA’s spirited efforts thereafter.
With the rain coming and going in Geelong, Country adjusted to the home conditions well. Spearhead Aaron Cadman was looking lively on the lead and broke the deadlock after seven minutes, before local product Olivier Northam made it a two-goal buffer to the Victorians.
17 minutes was the time it took for Western Australia to convert some of its territory and scoring opportunities, as bottom-ager Koen Sanchez slotted a shrewd snap. It looked like the Black Ducks would head into the first break just a goal adrift, until Noah Long produced a mercurial major from the boundary within the final minute.
Dominance was the word for Country’s start to the second term, as they piled on four goals from 12 inside 50s to WA’s nil within the opening 15 minutes. Unable to exit past the home side’s setup, the Black Ducks were forced into defensive 50 turnovers and Country took toll.
Cadman was the main man once again with a couple more majors close to the big sticks, while Long assessed his options well to snare another, and Ted Clohesy joined the party on his home deck. A wonderful Tyrell Dewar snap goal proved WA’s lone scoring resistance, as Elijah Hewett’s sprayed shot on the run summed up their half.
That all turned around in term three, starting with one of the Black Ducks’ best passages for the day. It ended up in the hands of Corey Tregenza-Cashell, who booted consecutive majors to be his side’s spark once again.
The visitors looked up and about, but had momentum wrestled back from their grasp as Country began to chain some transitional play together. But by the time Jasper Scaife sent home a 50-metre bomb, WA was right back in the contest.
Not for a lack of trying, Country only added one major in the first term, from seven scoring shots, and still lead by a handy 24 points heading into three quarter time. Whether they had absorbed the Black Ducks’ best remained to be seen.
Their response continued but after a stalemate across the first 15 minutes of term four, it was Country’s Coby Burgiel who sunk a dagger into the visiting team’s chances. Long made it two within a couple of minutes, before Clohesy and Burgiel brought their tallies to three majors each in the dying stages, to rule out Reuben Ginbey‘s consolation score.
The result means Country will face Metro in September to decide which region takes out this year’s Under 18 National Championships. Meanwhile, Western Australia will finally turn out at home when it hosts South Australia next week, in what will be both state’s final appearance.
VICTORIA COUNTRY 3.2 | 7.4 | 8.10 | 12.11 (83)
WESTERN AUSTRALIA 1.2 | 2.2 | 5.4 | 6.4 (40)
VC: A. Cadman 3, N. Long 3, C. Burgiel 3, T. Clohesy 2, O. Northam
WA: C. Tregenza 2, K. Sanchez, T. Dewar, J. Scaife, R. Ginbey
VC: O. Hollands, J. Clark, N. Long, A. Cadman, H. Reid, M. Szybkowski
WA: R. Ginbey, M. Edwards, S. Green, K. Tholstrup, J. Baker, C. Tregenza-Cashell