Junior Review – June 2


Published on Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Author : Lucas Apicella

A look back over last weekend’s action in the Under-16 to Under-18 junior competitions.

Three games took place this week in Under 18 Girls with the round opening at Research Park as Research played host to Whittlesea. The Searchers look poised to claim their eighth successive victory to remain unbeaten in 2024 after an 11-goal to nil opening half. The winless Eagles managed to run out the game with two second half goals, but it was the home side who finished 116-point winners. Ally Pilakis led all goalkickers with five majors while Emmy Graziano was one of many contributors for Research. Emma Pyle didn’t let the result stop her incredible 2024 campaign continuing.

Montmorency made the trip to Eltham Central Park to do battle with Eltham. The Panthers led by seven points at quarter time, before kicking away to build a comfortable 28-point half time lead. With a three-goal to one second half, the Panthers picked up their second win over the Magpies in 2024, with a 44-point triumph. Abbey Vaughan kicked two goals while Poppy Toth impressed to earn her fifth mention in her side’s best this season. Sienna Rowe was a standout for the Magpies alongside Ella McCall.

The round concluded at Yarrambat War Memorial Park as Yarrambat clashed with Diamond Creek Women’s. Just two points separated the two teams in their Round 3 clash earlier this season, but a dominant 10 goal to two opening half from the Creekers set up a 64-point win for the away side, who have now registered their two biggest scores of the season throughout the last fortnight. Elisha Folino was damaging in front of goal and produced a season-high four goal effort to take her 2024 tally to 13. Jasmine Sellman finished as the Bats’ best for the afternoon.

The three games played in Under 17.5 Boys (1) began at the Whittlesea Showgrounds as Whittlesea played off against Eltham Black. The Panthers led by a point at quarter time before extending the margin to 19 by half time and threatening to break the game open. The Eagles were able to reduce the deficit to 11 at three quarter time but despite also winning the final term, the Panthers did enough to hold on for a 10-point victory. Lachlan Ham was a game changer for visitors in a great display that included three goals. Jack Wunderlich stood out inside 50 for Whittlesea with three majors of his own.

Research Park hosted the clash between Research and South Morang Blue, with the Lions performing strongly. A six-goal to zero opening quarter set the tone for the match, as they finished with a season-high of 28 scoring shots in a huge 63-point victory. The away side had 13 individual goalkickers for their 18 majors, with Jack Traianou and Tyrese Pritchard some of the Lions who led the way. Billy Johnson earnt his seventh mention in Research’s best from eight games in 2024, while captain Riley Kerr finished with two goals.

Yarrambat took on Montmorency at Yarrambat War Memorial Park to close out Round 8. After the Bats got out to a seven-point half time advantage, the Magpies made the most of their opportunities, kicking 3.2 to 1.4 to lead by three points ahead of a big final term. The home side were able to straighten up in the final quarter, producing a 5.1 term to finish 21-point victors. River Bourke was superb for Yarrambat, with teammate Russell Clark kicking a game-high three goals. Nash Dyer again led the charge for the Magpies alongside Henry Moran.

Under 17.5 Boys (2) saw three games play out in Round 8. Two sides at opposite ends of the ladder in Epping and Mernda faced off at Epping Recreational Reserve. The Demons had their opposition’s measure from the start, kicking eight goals in the first half and seven in the second on their way to an 86-point victory, their third biggest of the season. Darcy Kinash delivered his best effort of the year to date with six goals, while Harrison Hegarty and Diesel Webb were also terrific for the visitors. Youssef Ayoubi had his best game of the season for the Blues, while Michael Harrison kicked two.

Kilmore played host to South Morang Gold at J.J. Clancy Reserve with the Blues looking for their sixth straight win. They started incredibly well, kicking eight goals to two in the first two quarters to lead by almost 40 points at the main break. The Lions were able to limit their opponents to 1.10 in the second half, but the damage had been done earlier in the match, with the hosts finishing 37-point winners. Riley Callaghan was the difference for Kilmore in a performance that included four majors. Despite the loss Stephen Pisani stood tall for South Morang and ended the match with three goals.

Laurimar returned to Laurimar Reserve to take on Eltham Red. In what looked to be a trend this round, it was a strong start that propelled the Power to victory, as they kicked four goals to nil in the first term on their way to a 61-point triumph. Both Aidan and Owen Goring performed well together for the home side, with the winning team ending up with four multiple goalkickers for the afternoon. Luke Zahra kicked both majors for the Panthers, while Coby Grech has now put together a solid couple of weeks.

Another three games were played in Under 16 Girls (1) and we start with an entertaining clash at Montmorency Park North Oval as Whittlesea took on Montmorency. In a match that saw multiple lead changes throughout, it was the Eagles who were able to prevail for the second straight week with the same 2.5 (17) scoreline, defeating the Magpies by just two points to secure a third consecutive victory. Ava Keith was a star for the visitors and kicked a crucial goal to help lead her side to the narrow win. Another outstanding game from Ellen O’Brien almost got the home side over the line, with Bridie Watson also impressing.

Diamond Creek Women’s 1’s excellent 2024 campaign continued into Round 8 when they hosted Eltham at Plenty Park Oval. The Creekers finished with 33 scoring shots for the match, highlighted by an incredible nine-goal second term, while keeping the Panthers scoreless in a 143-point triumph. The unbeaten Creekers had 14 individual goalkickers for their 22 majors, with Grace Farah leading the way with a season-high four goals. Charlotte Smith and Milla Garraway were others that performed well for Diamond Creek Women’s while Tiah Bishop fought hard and finished as Eltham’s best.

Kilmore were on hosting duties as they welcomed Yarrambat to J.J. Clancy Reserve. The Blues trailed by just six points at quarter time before the Bats opened the game up in the second term, which proved to be the catalyst for a strong 50-point triumph. Isabella Annanmaki performed well for the Bats, while duo Charli-Jordan Ford and Isabella Hawkins both finished the contest with two goals apiece. Maddison Pike was a standout for the home side and earnt a mention in her side’s best for the third time in 2024. Chiara Amoroso kicked their only goal for the day.

With Mernda having the bye this week, two games took place in Under 16 Girls (2) with the round opening at A.H. Capp Reserve as Darebin faced off against Research. The top of the table Searchers took care of things from the opening siren and registered 15 scoring shots while keeping the Falcons scoreless in a 45-point victory. Sienna Bandera and Sarah Holmes were some of the terrific contributors for the visitors, with the latter being one of two players to kick two goals for the match. Talei Landeryou was admirable in defeat for Darebin.

Mill Park Lakes Reserve saw a tight contest between South Morang and Diamond Creek Women’s 2 to close out the day’s action. The Lions started promisingly and led by 16 points at quarter time, but as the game went on, the Creekers started to settle. The visitors would win each of the final three quarters of the clash and after keeping South Morang scoreless after half time, they would complete the comeback with a two-point win. Goals from Caitlin Barnett, Chelsea Leopoldo and Jordyn McClure proved pivotal in the triumph for Diamond Creek Women’s, meanwhile Elena Cortese and Sophia Hrysoulakis were the Lions’ best.

Under 16 Boys (1) saw two games produced, with ladder leaders Mill Park having the bye. Montmorency Black looked to make it two wins from two over Diamond Creek in 2024 during their meeting at Montmorency Park North Oval. The Magpies were able to slightly increase their lead as the game went on but only held a nine-point advantage by three quarter time. The Creekers did well to win the final term but were unable to kick a winning score, going down by just seven points. Dylan Keating excelled and played a huge role in the victory, with teammate Tyson Beeharry slotted five majors. Jack Morgan yet again impressed for the away side while Jamie Alder booted three goals.

An important top four battle played out at Eltham Central Park with Eltham taking on Yarrambat. Only seven points separated the two sides at quarter time, before the Panthers extended their early lead to 21 points by half time. The home side proceeded to win the final two terms, including a strong five-goal fourth quarter, to prevail by 53 points. Calder Cannons listed star Harvie Cooke was magnificent with four goals alongside teammate Jacon Jewitt. The Bats were led by Jayce Callegari who kicked a team-high two majors.

Round 8 in the Under 16 Boys (2) competition began with a huge result for Whittlesea when they clashed with Montmorency White at the Whittlesea Showgrounds. The Eagles were on song from the start and produced nine first quarter majors. They would kick 11 more for the rest of the match to produce their second highest score and register their largest number of scoring shots for the year in a 101-point triumph. After kicking 10 against the Magpies in Round 2, Isaac Daniel finished with five majors and was one of many contributors for the hosts. Charlie Reid battled hard all day for Montmorency while Noah Tudor kicked two goals.

South Morang made the trip to Eltham Central Park to take on Eltham Red. After a four-goal first term, the Lions built their lead throughout the match to return to the winners list in a big way, claiming an 81-point victory away from home. Jason Arden was excellent in just his fourth match of the season while Declan Luke was super impressive inside 50 and ended the afternoon with five goals. Phenix Carbone made his second appearance for the Panthers this season and finished as his side’s best.

Greensborough remained at Anthony Beale Reserve for a third straight Sunday as they took on Mernda. The Boro produced a 17-point win last time these two sides met, but after a slow opening term, the Demons took control of the contest to lead by 26 points at half time. The home side proved the game was far from over in the third quarter however and managed to make it a five-point deficit by three quarter time, before a two-goal to nil last term helped Mernda finish 19-point winners. Mitchell Gilday was brilliant for the Demons in a best on ground performance alongside teammate Justin Spadorcia, who finished with two goals. James Harding was solid for the hosts.

The round concluded at Greenhill Reserve with Wallan and Laurimar doing battle for the first time this year. A terrific opening half from both sides saw the Magpies lead by just 10 points at half time, before they managed to kick four goals to one in the remaining two terms, finishing as 37-point winners, earning a fourth successive win. Domenico Luci was one of the biggest highlights for the winning sides, booting six goals, while Mark Sibillin was also great for Wallan. Bodhi McLean and Conor Nolan stood tall for the Power in defeat.

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