Junior Review – May 5

Published on Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Author : Lucas Apicella

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

We start with the three games that were played in the Under 18 Girls competition, with the round opening at Eltham Central Park as Yarrambat took on Eltham. The Panthers had looked to break open the game in the second term with a three-goal quarter, leading by 20 points at half time. But the Bats responded with a two-goal third term before an intense final quarter followed. The away side would win the last quarter, but Eltham had done enough to prevail by just three points. Abbey Vaughan kicked two goals while Maalu Choka was excellent for the winning team. Jasmine Farrell impressed for the Bats and played a role in their comeback.

Montmorency took on Whittlesea at A.F. Walker Recreation Reserve as both sides looked for their first win of the season. The Magpies started well, keeping the Eagles goalless in the first half to lead by 19 points at quarter time. Whittlesea did well in the third term to get back in the game but were unable to maintain the rage in the final quarter as Montmorency finished 19-point winners. Sairose Doherty was superb for the visiting side and combining with the efforts of Indra Lambeth, each had an impact in their side’s victory. Jordan Kelly was a standout for the Eagles.

Diamond Creek Women’s travelled to Research Park to face off against Research. The first half was a competitive battle between two of the division’s stronger sides, with scores level at quarter time before the Searchers took a slight seven-point advantage at the main break. With a three-goal to one second half, the hosts prevailed by 22 points to continue their unbeaten start to the 2024 season. Ally Pilakis was dominant up forward with five goals, to make it 11 for the year, while teammate Anayah Maher finished as the side’s best. Elisha Folino continued her good start to the season for the Creekers.

Three games took place in Under 17.5 (1) with the round opening at Montmorency Park as Research faced off against Montmorency. The undefeated Magpies had an excellent start to the match with a seven-goal to one opening quarter, as the term setting the tone for the remainder of the match with the visitors running out 63-point winners, their biggest triumph of the season to date. Nash Dyer made it four consecutive matches of multiple majors with another three-goal effort, while Brayden Apostola also kicked three for Montmorency. Tom Dozzi and Billy Johnson were some that impressed for the Searchers.

It was a game of two halves out at Whittlesea Showgrounds as Whittlesea played South Morang Blue. The Lions were on fire to start the opening two terms, kicking five goals to one in the first quarter and leading by 28 points at half time. However, the Eagles turned the tables in the third term by kicking six unanswered majors to take the lead at three quarter time. It was a surge that the home side continued with in the last quarter, kicking three of the final four goals of the game to win by 15 points. Caden Allen came up big for Whittlesea when it mattered by booting four goals, while Christopher Stingas was excellent for the Lions.

The round closed out at Eltham Central Park as Eltham Black hosted Yarrambat. It was a tight contest early, as both sides traded leads throughout the first two quarters. The Bats led by four points at the main break before a strong second half saw them kick seven goals to two in a 30-point victory, giving them a 3-1 record to start the season. Bryce Arthur and Archer Harvey led the way for the visitors, with the latter kicking another four goals to add to his tally. Eamon Magnuson made it back-to-back weeks in his side’s best after another strong performance for Eltham.

We saw another three games played in Under 17.5 (2) with South Morang Gold heading down to Epping Recreation Reserve to do battle with Epping. Searching for their first win of the 2024 campaign, the Lions came out of the blocks well, kicking six goals to one in the first half before putting the foot down in the final two terms with a nine-goal second half to claim a 76-point triumph. Joshua Evans produced a season-best effort of five majors for the visitors in a starring role, with Domenic Grillo also impressing. The Blues were led by a great performance from Lochlyn Whelan and a three-goal game from Domenic Galati.

The two unbeaten sides in Laurimar and Mernda faced off in a terrific contest at Laurimar Reserve. A good start to the match by the Demons was short-lived by a strong second term from the Power, which saw Mernda lead by 14 points at the main break. A similar occurrence happened in the second half, however the visitors did enough to hold on to their lead and finish 14-point winners. Aidan Burich was the standout inside 50 for Mernda, kicking four goals, while Darcy Kinash continued his good start to the season. Jack Stokes and Thomas De Maria were each crucial in the Power’s ability to stay in the game.

Kilmore played host to Eltham Red at J.J. Clancy Reserve with both sides sharing a 1-2 record coming into the match. The Blues kicked at least two majors in each quarter and kept the Panthers to just three total scoring shots on their way to a resounding 87-point victory, their second straight win for the season. The home side had multiple contributors all around the ground in the triumph while Orlando Webber battled hard for the visiting Panthers despite the loss.

With Yarrambat having the bye this week, five matches took place in Under 16 Girls, beginning with Diamond Creek Women’s 2 taking on Mernda at Plenty Park Oval. As both sides settled into the game, the Creekers were able to build on their early lead throughout the match, eventually doing enough to prevail by 26 points to win their first match of the season. A season-high three goals from Krystal Burns helped the home side get over the line while teammate Caitlin Barnett had another great match. Haylie Brooks was a solid contributor for the Demons.

Coming off the bye and looking to remain unbeaten, Diamond Creek Women’s 1 hosted a Montmorency outfit at Plenty Park Oval who were also without a loss in 2024. The Creekers jumped to an early lead and sustained their advantage right throughout, keeping the Magpies without a score on their way to a 93-point victory. With 11 individual goalkickers, Isabel Bott, Jayda Cooney and Abbey Eddington were some that led the charge for an impressive home side. Ellen O’Brien made it back-to-back matches in the best for Montmorency and played a good game.

J.J. Clancy Reserve played host to an entertaining clash between Kilmore and Whittlesea. Despite both sides registering one goal apiece by half time, the game was in the balance right throughout the afternoon. The Eagles led by five points at three quarter time before being kept scoreless in the final term by the Blues, who kicked 1.1 to produce a narrow two-point victory. Lana Carroll returned to the team and was a crucial component to her side’s win at home, while Mabel-Jean Flannery did all she could to get Whittlesea over the line.

South Morang clashed with Eltham at Mill Park Lakes Recreation Reserve. A tight contest saw the Lions lead by just two points at half time before the Panthers broke the game open in the second half, kicking six goals to one in the final two quarters to prevail by 30 points. Georgie Conlin finished as her side’s best and was the only multiple goalkicker for the winning side with two majors. Isabella Vescio performed well for South Morang with teammates Sophia Hrysoulakis and Lexie Rutter kicking a goal each.

Research and Darebin did battle at Research Park with the home side kicking off the match well. They produced five goals to one in the first half to lead by 20 points, before going on with the job in the second half to claim a 38-point triumph. Sienna Bandera was at her goalkicking best with four majors, while earning a third mention in her side’s best in four games. Amy Coleman and Ayva Humphreys were also terrific for Research while the Falcons had great contributions from Abby Fankhauser and Emily Pivetta.

Under 16 Boys (1) had two games play out in Round 4 with Yarrambat having the bye. Redleap Reserve hosted an unbeaten Mill Park side fresh off the bye as they played another undefeated side in Montmorency Black. It was hard to see which team would get on top in the opening three quarters with the Parkers leading by 12 points at three quarter time before they registered eight scoring shots in the last term to win by 21 points. Dean Talarico and Jai Bartzis were a duo that starred for the home side, the latter kicking three goals to make it 13 in three games. Meanwhile Lachlan Galletly and Joshua Galloway led the charge for Montmorency.

The other match of the round had Diamond Creek clash with Eltham Black at Coventry Oval. The Panthers were on song from the opening siren, kicking four goals in each of the first and second terms to lead by 39 points at half time. The goals continued in the third term to extend the margin to 69 points at three quarter time before a four-goal last term from the Creekers pegged the final margin back to 59. Masyn Lee kicked a season-high four goals for the winning side while Rohan Sharpe impressed again in his second game for Eltham Black. Jack Morgan was a standout for the Creekers.

Four games took place in Under 16 Boys (2) with the round opening at Eltham Central Park as Mernda travelled to face Eltham Red. A huge six-goal to nil second term paved the way for the Demons to produce a strong 72-point win away from home, their second 60+ point win in a row. Both Bailey Hockey and Justin Spadorcia continued their great goalkicking feats from last week to produce four majors each, with teammate Brayden Geary also having a great match. Cooper Plant earnt his first mention in his side’s best for the season for the Panthers.

An undefeated Whittlesea played host to South Morang at the Whittlesea Showgrounds. The Eagles’ ability to start games strongly continued on Sunday, with a five-goal to nil opening term setting the tone for the home side to run out 54-point winners. Brodie Brander’s outstanding form continued for Whittlesea, having another excellent performance alongside Jack Wunderlich who has been just as influential. Toby Luke battled well for the Lions in defeat and was one of his side’s best.

Anthony Beale Reserve played host to an intriguing game between Greensborough and Wallan. A high scoring opening half had the Boro leading by just seven points before holding on to 15-point margins at three quarter time and full time to keep their undefeated start to the season intact. Asher Bell outdone himself inside 50 with a season-high five goal performance, while Alex Dodd also had a solid afternoon for the winning side. Wallan’s Joshua Knight returned to the team and performed well for the Magpies.

The final match of the day saw Laurimar and Montmorency White play off at Laurimar Reserve. After a terrific four-goal to nil opening term by the Power, the margin was cut back to 14 points at half time by a determined Magpies outfit. However, the home side kicked seven of the final nine goals of the match to finish 48-point victors to bounce back from last week’s defeat. Another fantastic effort from Kade Weston helped Laurimar pick up the triumph and was one of four multiple goalkickers for his side. Patrick Johnston was at his best for Montmorency despite the loss.

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