Taranto torments WA as Metro win the Under 18 championships

Under 18 Championship winners Vic Metro (Photo TAC Cup/AFL Photos)
Under 18 Championship winners Vic Metro (Photo TAC Cup/AFL Photos)

Vic Metro claimed the Under 18 championships for the first time since 2012, with a 23-point win over Western Australia at Simonds Stadium today.

Metro led from start to finish and were just too strong for the travelling team.

Tim Taranto starred with 24 disposals and a goal, making it the second game down at Simonds Stadium in the championships where he has stood out.

The Sandringham Dragons half forward has thrown his name into first round calculations and will be one to watch in the second half of the TAC Cup season.

Fellow St Kevin’s College teammate Patrick Kerr kicked 3.3 for Vic Metro in another game where Kerr could have had a bag of five or more, if he brought his kicking boots. Kerr also kicked a remarkable goal snapping on his non-preferred left boot in the third term.

Inside midfielders Luke Bunker (25 disposals, six clearances) and Dylan Clarke (23 disposals, five tackles) worked hard for the Vics in the centre of the ground.

Across half back, Vic Metro co-captain Andrew McGrath finished with 24 disposals and was a worthy winner of Metro’s MVP for a carnival which has seen him average 24 disposals having the most running bounces for the carnival.

Callum Brown begun the match on fire with 12 disposals, but fizzled out disappointly ending with just 18 disposals after his great start to the match.

For WA, Quinton Narkle was their best with 17 disposals, five marks and two goals using his pace forward of centre.

Possible No.1 draft pick Sam Petrevski-Seton had 18 disposals, five inside 50s and kicked a goal but still looked a touch off pace.

Wingman Shai Bolton showed plenty of flare with a superb goal in the final quarter and used his elite agility to get past his Metro opposition.

Tim English shone in the ruck for WA and has all the qualities to be the first ruckman picked come November. English used his good leap to get above the Metro ruckman, whilst was also able to cover the ground and hit targets with his footskills that are better than some of the midfielders running around.

VIC METRO                         1.4      5.6      7.8      12.9 (81)
WESTERN AUSTRALIA     0.3      3.6      4.7      8.10 (58)                           

 Kerr 3, Venables 2, Hayes 2, Gallucci 2, Taranto, Daicos, Lyons, 
 Narkle 2, Fisher, Petevski-Seton, Strnadica, Clarke, Logue, Bolton,

Matt Balmer’s BEST
 Taranto, Bunker, Kerr, McGrath, Gallucci, Brown
 Narkle, Petrevski-Seton, English, Rotham, Bolton, Logue

In the second game, the Allies came from behind the pinch their first and only win of the carnival defeating Vic Country by four points.

In the absence of Jack Bowes (rested) and Will Setterfield (foot), the Allies snatched the victory in the dying minutes of the game.

Gold Coast Suns academy prospect Brad Scheer had 21 disposals and six tackles, booting the final goal with a snap that Brian “BT” Taylor could only dream of calling with a big ‘banana’ off his right boot that sailed through.

The Allies held on despite an incident in the final few seconds where Country midfielder Lochie O’Brien ducked into the tackle and was collected high- only for the umpire to call “play on” before the siren sounded.

Kobe Mutch had plenty of the ball in his bright boots for the Allies, finishing with 28 disposals.

Like Mutch, fellow GWS Academy member Harry Perryman was the worthy winner of the Allies MVP, backing up from winning the NSW/ACT MVP in the division two championships.

Jamie Hampton showed dash off half back, showing off his speed at stages running through the centre of the ground finishing the game with 20 disposals and seven rebound 50s.

Ben Long did a superb job on Country forward Ben Ainsworth– keeping him to five disposals and a goal but an incident will be looked at where he cleaned up Country forward Myles Poholke in a contest in the second quarter.

Inside 50, NSW/ACT tall forward Todd Marshall kicked 3.2 and looms likely as the first key position player picked.

For Country, Will Brodie continued his good form in the carnival with a team-high 21 disposals and seven clearances. Brodie’s name will come into consideration for the teams down the bottom of the ladder and will likely be a top five pick come November.

Dandenong Stingrays forward Josh Battle booted four goals and will be one of the few key forwards picked early in the draft.

Bottom agers Luke Davies-Uniacke and James Worpel also showed promise in the centre of the ground and will be two names to look out for next year.

Hugh McCluggage spent most of the game inside 50 and was down on his recent output from the rest of the championships.

VIC COUNTRY          3.1      4.3      10.5    10.6 (66)  
ALLIES                      3.2      4.7      6.8      10.10 (70)                            

 Battle 4, Brodie, Piper, O’Brien, McCluggage, Fowler, Ainsworth 
 Marshall 3, Maguire 2, Williams, Olango, Sproule

Matt Balmer’s BEST
 Brodie, Battle, Worpel, Fowler, Atley, Drew
 Mutch, Long, Hampton, Scheer, Marshall, Maguire

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