The Under 18s fought out a thrilling draw with West Adelaide, in our annual match playing for the Jake Watson Memorial Shield. West Adelaide got an early break on us kicking 5 straight goals in a 10 minute period of the first quarter after we had kicked the opening goal. We started to wrestle back control late in the quarter and kicked a goal to make the margin 19 points at quarter time. We played really well in the second quarter getting our run going and defending well which resulted in us kicking 6 goals to West Adelaide’s one and we took a 13 point lead into half time. Like the good side they are, the Bloods hit back with a strong third quarter and whilst we defended grimly we couldn’t move the ball effectively out of our defence and we lost the quarter by 14 points so it was all set up at three quarter time for a grandstand finish.
In the last quarter, both teams had periods of dominance with us kicking the first 2 goals, then West Adelaide countering with 2 of their own, then we hit back with another 3 and finally West Adelaide kicked the last 2 of the match and had the ball camped in their Forward 50 in the last 5 minutes as again we struggled to move it out effectively. Having said that when the siren went we were in our forward pocket and the scores were locked away at 90 points each. On a night that was all about commemorating the lives of 4 young men taken too soon, it was a great celebration of our game, of team work and mate-ship, it contained brilliant competition and skill and it was played in great spirit by the players in both teams.
We had many good players and Dusty Launer found plenty of the ball and worked really hard, Sam Nicholls and Charlie Adams gave us great effort and service in our midfield, Zac Phillips worked hard to give our midfield support at stoppages and around the ground with his running, ruck work and marking, and Charlie Blair and Jordan Lukac were very busy forwards with 3 goals each and Nathan Barkla was a very good defender for us. Importantly, this week we had Elex Day and Bailey Arthur play their first games of Under 18 footy and both made good contributions to the team, and Charlie Blair played his first game this year (and only his third overall) after recovering from a nasty elbow injury sustained in our last trial game.
So to this week and we have a great challenge tackling top team Glenelg at their home ground from 11.30am. Congratulations to the boys selected in the State under 17 squad of 30 to contest the Championships over the next month, starting next Sunday when the SA Team will take on Western Australia – Adam D’Aloia, Hunter Carter, Blake Hansen, Mattaes Phillipou and Jedd Thomson. We wish them every success, they have all been in very good form for us this season.