MEMORABLE milestones, big goal hauls and the next generation of stars were among the memorable moments from the weekend (and early in the week).
Pies show steel for Sidebottom
Steele Sidebottom has been a mainstay in the Collingwood lineup since his debut in Round Seven, 2009. On Sunday, his teammates showed their gratitude for his service over 200 games with a big win over rivals, Essendon. The Bombers led at both the main and final breaks by the narrowest of margins, but special efforts from skipper Scott Pendlebury and Jordan De Goey willed the Magpies over the line. The 2010 Premiership player and 2017 Copeland Medal winner has been in near career-best form this year, and it was no different this round as he collected 28 disposals, six marks and two goals to cap off his special day.
Hipwood hits Blues for six
It’s no secret that Lions fans have been excited about the potential of gun forward Eric Hipwood. As the mobile forward approaches 50 AFL games, he is really coming into his own and dominated on Saturday to boot 6.2 in a 65-point Brisbane win over cellar dwellers, Carlton. The Brisbane Lions Academy product clunked seven marks (six inside 50) in his 15 disposals, taking his season goals tally to 27 having played every game. Fellow 2015 first round draftee Charlie Curnow also impressed with his three goals in a losing side.
Gippsland powers to clear second
With a strong victory over country rivals Murray at a wet and windy Morwell Oval, Gippsland powered to clear second in the TAC Cup standings. Vic Country representative Caleb Serong was back for a rare TAC Cup game and earned an AFL Draft Central Player of the Week nomination with his 23 disposals, five clearances and two goals. Others to contribute were Austin Hodge and Riley Baldi with 20 disposals each, while debutant Harold Hood caught the eye with his 16 touches. The Power are now a game clear of Murray, Western and Sandringham’s 28 points with a healthy percentage of 155.95 as they look to finish the season strongly.
Under 16 SA and WA dominate Victorian sides
Division One of the Under 16 National Championships resumed on the Gold Coast with South Australia taking on Vic Country, while Western Australia battled Metro. The results confirmed that South Australian football is in very good hands as they accounted for Country by 42 points. Star forward Kaine Baldwin was unbeatable in the air, while the likes of Kye Dean and Luke Edwards collected plenty of the ball. In the second game of the day, WA’s Logan McDonald booted six goals in a best afield display, while Taj Schofield and Zane Trew were outstanding through the midfield in a big win over Metro. The results suggest that the figure of over 50% of draftees coming from Victoria could well change in the near future, but there is plenty of time for bolters to make their run.
Vic U18 girls get one back for their state
With the Under 16 Metro and Country boys getting worked over in their games, the Under 18 girls won some pride back for Victoria as both sides grabbed wins in their National Championship fixtures. Country stormed to a 56-point victory over Queensland on the back of Lucy McEvoy’s five-goal haul, with Nina Morrison strong through the midfield. Meanwhile, Metro remained undefeated with a hard fought 8-point win over Western Australia as the likes of Madison Prespakis and Northern Knights best and fairest winner Gabby Newton contributed well from midfield. On the second day, Metro went down to Queensland on Wednesday at Broadbeach, despite the best efforts of Prespakis, Eleanor Brown and Newton,, while Country got the job done against the Central Allies thanks to another four goals from McEvoy and top performances from Morrison and Sophie Van De Heuvel. Queensland was sensational in the win against Vic Metro, with the likes of Zimmorlei Farquharson and Lily Postlethwaite the top performers.