UNDER 15 GIRLS
SMJFL: 8.5 (53)
EFL: 1.5 (11)
A vigorously contested start, proved little hindrance to the SMJFL Under 15 girls as they ran away to record a thumping 42-point win under lights against Eastern at Walter Galt Reserve.
Both sides were nervous in a low-scoring opening stanza, registering just one goal apiece. Eastern added two behinds, which was enough to see them put their noses in front at the first change.
The teams managed to acclimatize to the chilly conditions after the first break and scoring became a more regular occurrence. Thankfully for the South Metro Stars their game started to flow. The South Metro girls ran hard and tackled well, putting on 3.4 to 0.0 in the second quarter to lead by 20 points at half time.
From there the girls continued to play to their structures, with two goals in each of the remaining quarters extending their advantage at every change.
Their determination around the contest saw them often gaining first possession of the football, while their defence held the committed EFL to three behinds after quarter time.
Up forward Sarah Hartwig slotted three majors to be named among the side’s best, while Amelia Story was South Metro’s other multiple goalkicker.
Sophia Rothfield received the medal as the Best Player on ground from the Stars , though she had able support in Nayely Borg, Charlotte Davis and Lucy De Gleria Cade all showing stellar Round 1 efforts.
UNDER 15 DIVISION 1
SMJFL: 5.9 (39)
EFL: 8.10 (58)
South Metro pushed their fancied opponents Eastern all the way in a tight contest at Moorleigh Reserve, but unfortunately couldn’t finish off the job, going down by 19 points.
The two sides were locked in a tense battle for the majority of the opening term, but consecutive goals allowed EFL to gain an early foothold. However, Corey Watts squeezed a clever snap between the big sticks mere seconds before the quarter time siren to keep the SMJFL in touch at the first break.
The second term was a real arm wrestle in every sense for the work, with most of the game being played between the arcs. Neither side would give and inch, and as a consequence scoring opportunities were hard to come by. But the Stars’ Jack Mahoney finally broke the deadlock with a long-range set shot – the only goal of the term – that helped the home side get within three points at the half
When play resumed after the long break the EFL were quick out of the blocks and had the opening goal within minutes. But as had been the case for most of the night, the SMJFL responded – Sam Kristensen hit the scoreboard.
At three quarter time the margin stood at seven points Eastern’s way, and all signs pointed to a cliff hanger of a last quarter. But as the evening fog and dew cloaked the ground and the mercury dipped to frosty levels it was clear that whichever side could master the tricky conditions would claim victory.
Unfortunately, that was to be the bigger-bodied Eastern team, who were too strong around the contest and cleaner with their marking and disposal. As a result they piled on the first three goals of the term to snuff out any change of a Stars victory.
Fabian Stellato won the medal as the SMJFL’s best player.
UNDER 15 DIVISION 2
SMJFL: 3.6 (24)
EFL: 12.3 (75)
A slow start proved fatal for the SMJFL Under 15 Division 2 team as their Eastern opponents went on to triumph by 51 points at Moorleigh Reserve.
A four-goal-to-nil opening quarter to Eastern had the South Metro Stars behind the eight ball from the outset, however, this was not due to a lack of effort. The boys continually pushed forward in the latter half of the term, but unfortunately could find neither targets inside 50 nor avenues to goal due to the impressive Eastern defence.
It took until the midway point of the second term before the Stars registered their first major through the agency of Nick Burke, but it would be their only cause for celebration as the EFL boys opened up a 34-point advantage by the main break.
Although SMJFL more competitive round the stoppages in the third, goals still proved hard to come by, with Ryan Byrnes adding the team’s second in the shadows of three quarter time.
With the boys playing for pride in the last term, we saw plenty of effort and endeavour but no inroads into the hefty deficit. Kya Austin sealed a best on ground performance with a late goal from a classy snap, providing the highlight of the night.
Tom Deane-Jones, Chris Perkins and Will Mackay was also valuable contributors in the side’s loss.
UNDER 14 DIVISION 1
EFL: 4.8 (32)
SMJFL: 6.10 (46)
The SMJFL pulled off one of the all-time great interleague comebacks to record a memorable 14-point victory over Eastern at Bayswater Oval.
The South Metro Stars were comprehensively outplayed in the early stages of the match, with EFL dominating in all facets. A 14-point quarter time deficit swiftly blew out to 26 by the main break, with the SMJFL without a goal to their credit.
Things were looking decidedly dire for the SMJFL boys as they were staring down the barrel of an enormous defeat. But whatever was said by coach Ray Breed at half time seemed to work, and the boys flew out of the blocks after emerging from the sheds.
They kept the home side scoreless in the third term and slammed on three goals themselves to move right back into contention. The SMJFL trailed by less than a kick at the final change and probably would have claimed the lead had they kicked straighter than the 3.6 they managed.
It was a moot point as the SMJFL finally claimed the lead not long in to the final term, before storming away to a remarkable victory.
The SMJFL recorded 13 scoring shots to the EFL’s 3 after half time, underlining their dominance.
Sam Pirola was awarded the best on ground medal for the SMJFL, tough he had solid support in Griffin Murray and Harry Manton.
Sam Seach, Luke Cleary and Andrew Covac featured among the SMJFL’s six individual goalkickers.
UNDER 14 DIVISON 2
EFL: 4.8 (32)
SMJFL: 7.8 (50)
Earlier the Under 14 Division 2 side proved too strong for their Eastern opponents, running out winners by 18 points at Bayswater Oval.
The South Metro Stars led from go to woah in an impressive display to kick off their interleague carnival with a bang.
The boys booted two goals to the EFL’s one in the opening term as both sides settled after early nerves. But a couple more South Metro majors in the second saw them comfortable 16-point leaders at half time.
The third term saw the SMJFL add another three majors to the total, which all but put the result beyond doubt.
Although they seemed to have put the cue in the rack in the last, the damage was already done and there would be no coming back for Eastern.
Sam Rausch was best afield, while Zac Buckley and Liam Hayes were also prolific.
Tom Williams was the SMJFL’s most prolific goal scorer on the night with three.
Under 15 Boys Div 1 & 2 Highlights @ Moorleigh Reserve