By Ben Pollard
Despite an undefeated run to the Metro Champs grand final, the SMJFL’s Under 14 Division 2 interleague team wasn’t able to bring home the silverware on Saturday.
In very windy conditions at Highgate Recreation Reserve in Craigieburn, the Yarra JFL jumped the SMJFL early and didn’t let up, going on to win by 44 points.
A six goal to two opening quarter set up the match for the YJFL, and the SMJFL displayed some strong resistance in the second term to keep the half time margin at 26 points.
But as the game wore on, the SMJFL just couldn’t match their bigger-bodied opponents.
SMJFL Under 14 head coach Steve Walton heaped praise on the YJFL team.
“They were just a bit bigger; a bit better side and they probably handled the (windy) conditions a lot better than what we did,” he said.
“They hit the ground running right from the first bounce and they were disciplined in bringing the ball in (to the middle) from one side all the time, rather than just blazing away.”
However, the SMJFL can still take some positives from the loss.
Walton said the experience will be significant for the boys’ development, while the form of the team’s key players throughout the series – such as Xavier Jordan and Oscar Don – would hold the group in good stead for the future.
“The consistency shown by those players was a real positive for us looking forward to next year,” he said.
SMJFL 2.0 (12) 3.3 (21) 3.3 (21) 4.4 (28)
YJFL 6.2 (38) 7.5 (47) 9.5 (59) 11.6 (72)
Goalkickers: M. Palmer 2, L. McCabe, M. Freeman
Best players: X. Jordan, M. Freeman, K. Sinclair, O. Don, T. Soust, M. Hurst