By Will Hunter
Sunday was another brilliant day for the SMJFL with both Under 13 sides emerging undefeated in the Round Robin Interleague Lightning Carnival at Centenary Park to claim the Division 1 and Division 2 shields in a clean sweep.
UNDER 13 DIVISION 1
SMJFL: 11.9 (75)
EFL: 4.2 (26)
The Division 1 Under 13 South Metro Stars started their interleague campaign on a positive note, registering a 49-point win over Eastern FL in their opening match.
South Metro began the match in terrific fashion, kicking three opening term goals to jump out of the blocks against their Eastern opponents.
Their work rate lifted even more in the second term, and their defensive pressure was simply outstanding, limiting the EFL’s forward entries. The result was a scoreless quarter to Eastern, with South Metro adding another three majors to lead by 35 points at half time.
Eastern fought back briefly in the third, adding two goals to their tally, but couldn’t quite narrow the gap enough. The Stars took a 30-point advantage into the last change, a bridge too far with a term to play.
The final stanza was party time for South Metro, who booted four goals to the EFL’s one to extend the final margin out to 49 points.
Nick Salmon, Scott Beilby and Jackson Ellwood each kicked two goals in the Stars’ win while Rex Kilburn also stood out.
SMJFL: 12.12 (84)
YJFL: 1.0 (6)
The Division 1 side’s second match was a stunning result, with the Stars running out comprehensive winners over Yarra JFL by 78 points.
Early indications were that this match would go down to the wire, as both teams looked evenly matched in the first quarter. Little separated the two teams until South Metro’s second goal broke the deadlock and gave them an eight-point lead heading into the huddles.
From there it was a procession for the South Metro boys, who clicked into gear and showed the large contingent that lined the pavilion just what they were capable of. They were simply unstoppable through the midfield, monopolising possession and pressing forward time and again.
Such was the Stars’ dominance they held Yarra scoreless after quarter time, while adding 11 goals themselves in a terrific all-round team effort.
Yarra fought valiantly, but unfortunately had no answers for the Stars’ onslaught. However, their defence held up very well in the face of constant pressure and should be commended for their resilience.
Josh Sinn booted four of his team’s goals in a best afield display, while Nick Salmon and Lachlan Brooks (one goal each) were also superb.
Most Valuable Player: Josh Sinn
Runner up MVP: Rex Kilburn
Coaches Awards: Lachie Benton and Finn Callaghan
UNDER 13 DIVISION 2
SMJFL: 6.12 (48)
YJFL: 1.2 (8)
Like the Division 1 team, the Under 13 Division 2 boys began their day on a high, accounting for Yarra JFL with a 40-point win.
The previous day’s intermittent rain soaked Centenary park, and turned the centre wicket area to mud. Combined with the morning dew, both teams struggled to maintain any flow in the slippery conditions during the early stages. The Yarras, however, took the early advantage with the only goal of the first term.
The low-scoring affair continued after the first change, but South Metro managed to claim the lead with consecutive goals either side of half time.
Just three goals in total were scored to three quarter time by both sides, though straighter kicking from the Stars, particularly in the third term, would have increased that figure. Nevertheless, they led by 14 points heading into the last quarter.
Angus Edgar provided the highlight of the game five minutes in with a strong contested mark in the goalsquare, and the resultant goal jolted South Metro into action. The Stars then turned on the afterburners, booting four goals in six minutes mid-way through the last quarter to scoot clear and cruise home.
SMJFL: 7.5 (47)
SEJ: 5.3 (33)
The Stars took their form from the YJFL match immediately into their game with the South East Juniors, picking up exactly where they had left off some 10 minutes earlier.
They backed up their four-goal final term in the previous game with three goals straight in the opening term, en route to a 14-point win.
The sun shine helped dry up any residual moisture on the playing surface, allowing the Stars to played terrific, free flowing footy and dazzle their opponents with their run through the middle.
SEJ manage to keep in touch with a goal in the opening term and added the only goal of the second to get within seven points at the half.
But the Stars again lifted after the long break, kicking three goals to one to extend their lead to 21 points with a term to play. And despite the SEJ’s best efforts, it was a large enough margin to secure South Metro their second victory of the day.
Harrison Andronaco booted two goals in South Metro’s win.
Most Valuable Player: Rhys Gillard
Runner up MVP: Luke Gaudion
Coaches Awards: Hamish Adams and Brett Boscacci