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It was a huge interleague long weekend for the SMJFL, with the Under 14 & 15 teams competing in the AFL Victoria Metropolitan Junior Championships on both Saturday and Monday. Let’s wrap up what happened:

Under 14 Division 1

The SMJFL had a tight loss in Round 1 and came out all guns blazing against the Riddell District FL in Round 2 at Gisborne on Saturday. This one was all over at quarter time, our boys keeping their opponents scoreless while booting five goals of their own. It was a 76-point thrashing by the end of proceedings, with standout performances from Blake Hayes, Andrew McGrath and Jonah Wise.

The SMJFL needed a win and plenty of percentage in its Round 3 clash with the Essendon District FL to make the Division 1 grand final, but one look at Moorleigh Reserve on a bitterly cold and foggy Monday morning suggested that task would be difficult…

Our boys defied the tough going with some incredibly clean play early on, establishing a match-winning 23-point lead by quarter time. As both sides became used to the slop, the game developed into an arm wrestle, but the hometown heroes held on by 12 points. Reuben Hayward was the SMJFL’s best, while Ash Krakauer capped off a stellar series with another top performance. A great win, but unfortunately not enough of a percentage booster to advance to the granny.

Under 14 Division 2

The Division 2 squad showed the depth of the SMJFL’s Under 14 ranks on the weekend, advancing through to the grand final undefeated. A date with the Yarra JFL awaits… Superb effort!

Our boys had a tough time of it on Saturday morning at Moorleigh though, slogging out a 25-point victory over the Western Region FL behind a strong defensive showing in the last quarter. Xavier Jordan and Oscar Don backed up their match-winning performances from Round 1 in this one.

Monday’s game against the EDFL at Tullamarine proved slightly easier, with the SMJFL’s brilliant team defence restricting their opponents to absolutely no score after quarter time. Nick Baltas shone in the 53-point victory, while Xavier Jordan had another ripper. Dylan Bone and Kyle Sinclair also played key parts in the win. Every player will be looking to replicate their great performances on June 30 in the grand final.

Under 15 Division 1

After losing in Round 1, the Division 1 SMJFL boys rebounded with a victory against the RDFL at Gisborne in Round 2. Harry Witts, Nick Pirrie, Luke Globan and Jack Vorbach continued their strong form from Round 1 and helped the SMJFL emerge with an eight-point win. It took every minute to get over the top of the RDFL though, and the effort may have told in Monday’s game…

In those sloppy conditions at Moorleigh described earlier, our boys put in a hard, competitive first quarter against the EDFL, but fell away sharply after the first break. The opposition was harder at more contests for longer and the result was a 65-point loss. Unfortunately, there were few positives to come out of this one, but Jack Vorbach played well once again and the games of Kyle Parsons and Theo Thompson were also solid. The boys had to settle for third on the table, with just the one win.

Under 15 Division 2

The Division 2 boys bounced back from a Round 1 thrashing with an inaccurate win over the WRFL at Moorleigh on Saturday. The 14-point margin could have been so much greater if it wasn’t for our 5.13 (43) scoreline. The best players from the Round 1 defeat bobbed up again – Sam Barca, Jesse Tonilo, Andrew Tashelski-Beckwith and Jamie Sackville.

That good work was stamped out in Round 3 though, when our boys suffered a heavy defeat at the hands of the EDFL at Tullamarine. The SMJFL was never in the hunt, bowing out of the race for a grand final berth with a 62-point loss. Ben Kuang and Lachlan Palfrey joined the in-form Jesse Tonilo in the best players on a tough day. The Division 2 boys matched the third placing of the Division 1 boys, also with just the one win.

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Regardless of results, everyone selected to compete at the Metro Champs should be congratulated for their efforts in representing our league so well. A big thank you to the Sandringham Dragons for all their work with the Under 14s and 15s, particularly Mick Roberts, Steve Walton, Mick Lovejoy, Tony Pucella and Jay Watts, as well as all assistant coaches and support staff.

The Under 14 Division 2 grand final will be held on Saturday, June 30 at Highgate Recreation Reserve, Craigieburn (Melway map 386 JF). The action kicks off at 11.30am. Let’s get behind the boys and help them bring home some silverware!

* To view the full results from Rounds 1 to 3, please visit the Opens external link in new windowAFL Victoria Metropolitan Junior Championships website.

* To view sample photos from Greg Miller Photography for all interleague games, please visit our photo gallery under the ‘Media’ tab at the top of this page (photos will be posted soon). For the full range, head to Opens external link in new windowgregmillerphotography.net.au and click on ‘Portfolio’. All photos are available to be purchased on the Greg Miller Photography website.