A MATT YOUNG golden point has given Western Australia a remarkable win in the first game of the 2017 NAB AFL Under 18 Championships.
In what was largely a one-sided contest for most of the day with WA leading by 30-points at three quarter time, South Australia fought hard with five scoring shots in the opening six minutes of the final quarter, before Izak Rankine goaled to level the scores at Domain Stadium with a few minutes remaining.
Both sides fought hard, before Western Australia took the ball inside 50 and Matt Young marked, with his kick at goal missing – but securing the golden point to give WA a win by the narrowist of margins.
The home sides attack on the ball carrier was obvious from the get go, laying 19 more tackles than SA throughout the contest, with Callan England laying a team-high seven tackles.
Brayden Ainsworth was West Australia’s best in the final term, fighting hard despite the one way traffic, finishing the game with a game-high 26 disposals and eight clearances.
Bottom age midfielders Tom Joyce (21 disposals, four tackles) and Ian Hill (14 disposals, four tackles) were impressive and will be two likely draftees from the home state in 2018.
Gordon Narrier was important in the opening quarter with seven disposals, working hard on the outside finishing with 15 disposals and seven inside 50s.
AFL Academy member Jake Patmore impacted the game in the third quarter, finishing with 19 disposals and five marks for the day.
Western Australia co-captain Oscar Allen showed some good signs in the opening half, collecting 10 disposals and booting three goals playing at centre half forward, while his other co-captain Aaron Naughton used the ball well coming out of defence on his left foot with 15 disposals and four rebound 50s.
For South Australia, Mitch Crowden was their standout using his bigger body to impose the contest. Crowden collected an equal team-high 23 disposals (10 contested) and the 179cm midfielder impressed all day.
Possible Adelaide father-son prospect Jackson Edwards also had 23 disposals (11 contested) playing through the midfield. Edwards started slowly, but built into the game with a superb last quarter with his seven disposals important in getting the ball forward for South Australia.
Isaac Hewson (22 disposals) and Charlie Ballard (20 disposals) performed well in the midfield, winning the contested ball.
Possible number one draft pick Darcy Fogarty had a quiet game with just 12 disposals, four marks and two first quarter goals for the afternoon.
Bottom ager Izak Rankine kicked two goals for the contest from his 20 disposals, which included seven inside 50s playing in the midfield. Fellow 2018 draft prospect Connor Rozee laid 10 tackles and found the ball on 16 occassions on the outside.
SA tall Callum Coleman-Jones clunked six marks (four contested) and ammassed 22 hit outs in a strong performance mixing between ruck and deep up forward.
Western Australia take on Vic Metro next Sunday at Domain Stadium, while South Australia will host the Allies at Adelaide Oval in a televised Fox Footy game on Saturday.
WESTERN AUSTRALIA 2.4 6.7 10.12 10.14 (74)
SOUTH AUSTRALIA 2.2 5.3 6.6 10.13 (73)
WESTERN AUSTRALIA: Allen 3, Stewart 2, Stack, Starcevich, Hill, Young, Ainsworth
SOUTH AUSTRALIA: Fogarty 2, Rankine 2, Houlahan 2, Rozee, Lukosius, Giro, Rowe
WESTERN AUSTRALIA: Ainsworth, Joyce, England, Allen, Narrier, Patmore
SOUTH AUSTRALIA: Crowden, Edwards, Rankine, Ballard, Hewson, Coleman-Jones