Image: Hannah Rex; On The Ball Media
The Under 18s had a great win in our First Semi Final on Saturday, winning a high scoring game by 11 points, 16 goals 7 points to 14 goals 8 points. There was never much separating the two teams and it was a real game of momentum shifts. The first 2 quarters had a familiar pattern to them with us starting well in each quarter, but with the Panthers coming back in each quarter and we took a 4 point lead into half time. In the 3rd quarter they took a bit of control of the game after we kicked the first goal, South then replied with 3 of their own getting out to a 9 point lead around the 11 minute mark only for us to rally and kick the next 3 goals to have an 11 point buffer at three quarter time. The last quarter continued with the ebbs and flows of the previous three, with us kicking the first goal, then defending well before South kicked 2 goals to make it a 5 point game around the 10 minute mark and we then traded goals before we kicked 2 goals in a row and with South attacking to the end, we eventually ran out winners by an 11 point margin.
We genuinely had every player who stood up when they were needed at some point during the game, and our defence were magnificent led by Nick Mitzithras, Liam Ueding and Ryan Williams, Jase Burgoyne continued to pay well in the midfield along with Taj Schofield, Caleb Poulter and Harry Dawkins, and Henry Smith provided a great target for us up forward.
So to this week and we take on Sturt in the Preliminary Final from 11.00am at Thebarton Oval, and we know they will be tough opponents and we are looking forward to the challenge.
As has been reported we inadvertently put an extra player on the field for less than 40 seconds during the last quarter. I have apologised to Mark Clayton the SAFC Under 18s Coach for our error and we have taken steps to ensure it does not happen again. We acknowledge the independent review conducted by the SANFL that concluded no advantage was provided by the extra player and the result was not affected.