FUTURE stars for both the men and women’s games were the centrepiece on the weekend, while a number of memorable wins headlined this week’s Fantastic Five.
Future AFL stars battle it out on MCG
The top Under 18s from across Victoria descended on the MCG for the big Vic Metro and Vic Country clash. Vic Metro won by 26 points, but there was plenty to like about players from both sides. It was no surprise to see probable top 10 picks Sam Walsh and Bailey Smith star on the big stage, while Curtis Taylor and Ned McHenry were able assistants on the day with multiple goals up forward. Connor Idun did a good job on Ben King, while up the other end, James Blanck was impressive in the air and rebounding.
TAC Cup Girls star in VFLW
A record amount of TAC Cup Girls took the field in the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s competition on the weekend. The Southern Saints had players from Eastern Ranges and Sandringham Dragons, while the Dandenong Stingrays were represented by both the Saints and Casey Demons. A number of Ranges pulled on the brown and gold for Hawthorn, while Calder had a couple of players pull on the red and black. Carlton, Collingwood, Melbourne University and Western Bulldogs all had TAC Cup Girls represent them in what was a great look into the future.
Southern Saints topple experienced NT Thunder
No-one would have predicted it at the start of the year, but the Southern Saints toppled the experienced and previously unbeaten Northern Territory Thunder at Frankston. The Saints, led by Alison Drennan through the midfield and Kayla Ripari and Lauren Arnell up forward, proved too quick for the Thunder. Shelley Heath, Courtney Jones, Charlotte Wilson, Gabriella De Angelis, Ashleigh Allsopp and Eleanor Brown were among the TAC Cup Girls playing for the Saints, and their talent showed against senior bodies.
Under 16s clash in first round of Division 1 Championships
After the Division 2 sides went at it the week before, it was the Division 1 teams’ turn this weekend. Vic Metro came from behind to defeat Vic Country at Ikon Park, while South Australia had a great win over Western Australia in a thriller. All four sides are set to bring plenty of competitive action to the National Under 16s Championships, which continues on the Gold Coast from July 9.
Bendigo powers to second win
It was a long time between victories, but Bendigo Pioneers celebrated a rare 2018 win when it toppled Gippsland Power at Windy Hill. The top four Power have been ultra-impressive this season, but it was the Pioneers who got the job done in an upset victory, as the likes of Noah Wheeler and Flynn Perez had huge games. Bendigo booted seven goals to two in the second half to run over the top of the Power and claim a vital four points.