Eagles 12.11 (83) def South Adelaide 9.6 (60)
Goal Scorers: Morris 3, Williams 2, Beecken, Frederick, Jackson, Jungfer, Lock, Pearce, H Smith
Best Players: Frederick, Jones, Barrett, Williams, Pearce, Buck
The Under 18s had a great win in the Grand Final on Sunday, winning the match 12 goals 11 points to South Adelaide’s 9 goals 6 points, a margin of 23 points. The Panthers got out of the blocks quickly, kicking the first 2 goals of the match inside the first 4 minutes, but we steadied with 2 goals of our own as we started to win the ball in our midfield and we finished the quarter strongly with 3 goals in the last 6 minutes to take a 13 point lead into quarter time.
We continued our good play in the second quarter kicking 3 goals to South Adelaide’s one and we were 28 points up at half time. The Panthers being the good side they are, hit back strongly in the third quarter kicking the first 3 goals to narrow the margin to just 10 points but again we responded well, kicking the last 2 goals of the quarter to restore the lead to 22 points at three quarter time.
The conditions were hot and the boys had given everything in the first 3 quarters but they were up for the fight and an early last quarter South Adelaide goal put the game really on the line – ultimately we defended really well and then we were able to trap the ball inside our forward half and our captain Zane Williams kicked the next 2 goals of the game to effectively seal the match. It was a great victory playing against high quality opposition and the boys should be justifiably proud of the efforts on the day and indeed the whole year.
We had a lot of good players and as is often the case in Grand Finals, everyone made a contribution at some point. Michael Frederick was a great winner of the Alan Stewart Medal as best player on the ground, with his run, contested ball winning and finishing skills on full display. Lachie Jones in our defence stood a dangerous opponent and gave us plenty of drive and run with his attack on the ball and his power, Luke Barnett was tireless in our midfield, Dale Pearce was a constant threat up forward with his contest and his skills, Zane Williams played a great Captain’s game winning the ball around the ground and up forward, Zac Buck was another defender who won some great one on ones and Henry Smith and Zac Phillips did a great job in ruck for us.
I would like to wish Vinnie Rugolo and the Reserves boys all the best for their Grand Final this week and also wish Sam Lonergan all the best in his new role at Tigerland. I would also like to thanks all the coaches, volunteers and support staff who give so much of their time and energy to support the players to enable them to be the best they can be – they do a great job and we are very lucky to have those people involved in our club.
I also wanted to thank our Talent Manager Darren Hams for his great support and work for all of us in the Under 18s – he does a great job doing all the work that is so necessary to make our whole program work effectively.
Finally, a thank you to all Eagles’ Members and Supporters – your support is very valued and is an important part of our efforts to ensure our club continues to achieve great things in the SANFL. See you at the Reserves game on Sunday.
Head Coach Under 18s