South Metro Junior Football League (SMJFL) was prepped and ready for a big day of premiership football, as the Under 15 AFL Victoria Metro Junior Championships were decided on Saturday 23 June.
In 2018, the Under 15 Boys teams played in Division 1, and both Pool A and B teams made it to the big dance; proof of the dedication and effort of the entire squad, and coaching group.
The Grand Finals were both played against Yarra Junior Football League (YJFL), on their home turf at Bulleen Park.
In the very first match of the day, it was the SMJFL Umpires not players that took to the field. An SMJFL group was appointed to officiate the Under 15 Girls Grand Final. Well done to all that were selected.
In the first Under 15 Boys match of the day, it was SMJFL 2 that came up against a strong YJFL fit out.
Both teams kicked 2 goals a piece in the first term, and the margin was only 3 points YJFL’s way at the break.
YJFL came out from the first break refreshed a put some pace on the Stars. Kicking another 3.2 in the second quarter; the buffer now 20 points.
In the third term, SMJFL added two majors to the scoreboard. A goal booted right on the siren, completed the scoring from our two goal scorers – B. Boscacci (3) and A. Loughnan (2).
This inspired a sense of belief at the 3/4 break for the Stars as they entered the final term. The Stars were trailing by 12 points, but with a bit of late momentum that they hoped to carry into the fourth quarter.
A strong final term from Yarra, who demonstrated a consistent game with quality ball movement, was enough to seal the deal. A bit too much for SMJFL who demonstrated stellar effort and skill but inconsistent in patches throughout the match.
A great premiership match-up but the Stars were just outclassed on the day.
SMJFL Best Players: B. Boscacci, R. Amendola, C. Brown, L. Alao, W. Richards
|Yarra Junior Football League||2.4-16||5.6-36||8.9-57||11.9-75|
|South Metro Junior Football League||2.1-13||2.4-16||5.4-34||5.8-38|
Up next, the SMJFL 1 team entered the Grand Final with a resolve determination. After the ’round’ match loss against YJFL in miserable conditions, this was the Stars chance against their strongest rivals, and they were ready to go.
Both teams came out with high energy and skill, with the first 15 minutes of football the best Under 15 football you’d want to watch.
Even though the accuracy in front of goal was slightly off for SMJFL, they led at the first change by 8 points.
YJFL consolidated in the second term, dominating the center clearances. While the Stars had a few chances to score, the scoreline was 4.4 a piece at the half-time break.
Both teams could taste the premiership in the third term, and the contest was tight. SMJFL curated more successful movement out of the middle, and built a small 4-point lead at the 3/4 break.
An inspiring pep-talk from Head Coach Nick Murray at the break, set the Stars on the path to the premiership. As the players were set to play for the last time in the AFL Victoria Junior Metro Championships, they played how they deserved to finish their time at this level of representative football.
The Stars brought their A-game and outplayed YJFL in the last quarter, despite a gutsy effort from their opponents who didn’t give up until the final siren.
Four individual goal kickers helped the Stars solidify their win – 1 each from L. Brooks, M. Sullivan, and L. Benton; and N. Dear kicking 3.
With a competitive final margin of 13 points, the Stars were awarded the Under 15 Boys Division 1 Pool A premiership.
Both teams appreciated the significance of the moment, and came together unprompted before the official presentation. As soon as the siren sounded rivals became peers, and young men celebrated sportsmanship in the best way.
Best Players: L. Liakakos, C. McLeod, J. Ellwood, R. Kilburn, L. Brooks
|Yarra Junior Football League||1.1-7||4.4-28||4.7-31||4.8-32|
|South Metro Junior Football League||2.3-15||4.4-28||5.5-35||6.9-45|
Stay tuned for the Under 14 Boys premiships, upcoming on Saturday 30 June.
You can find them at Eltham Central Park from 12.00pm next Saturday.
Saturday 30 June – Under 14 Boys – Eltham Central Park, Eltham, VIC
- SMJFL 2 @ 12.00pm v Yarra JFL
- SMJFL 1 @ 2.15pm v Northern FNL