South Australia Under 19s dominate patched-up Allies to run out 92-point winners
SOUTH Australia is on the board at the 2021 AFL Under 19 Championships, destroying a makeshift Allies side by 92 points at Adelaide Oval this morning. Aside form a purple patch in the second term where the Allies booted back-to-back goals to draw within 15 points, the Croweaters piled on a ridiculous 14.8 to 2.3 from the that moment to run out 19.10 (124) to 4.8 (32) winners. South Australia had six multiple goalkickers in the win, with the side also missing three of its top four stars in Jason Horne-Francis (rested), Arlo Draper (injured) and Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera (Reserves Grand Final) all out.
The game was scratchy from the start with both teams having plenty of different faces, and the Allies ending up being patched together by a combination of Northern Territory, Australian Capital Territory and a host of South Australian Under 17s, making cohesion difficult. The first score did not happen until six and a half minutes into the contest, when Adam D’Aloia gave it off to Brayden Calvett for a shot who missed to the left for South Australia. The Allies chances were few and far between in the opening term, as Beau Tedcastle recorded the first inside 50, but was chopped off by Cade Kennedy, with the Allies not able to hit the passes inside 50 with the unfamiliar forward line.
Whilst the disposal might have been inconsistent, the tackling pressure was good with both teams up for the fight. After the Allies had a chance going forward, once again it was chopped off by the South Australian defence, and an end-to-end play finished with Harvey Harrison reading the crumbs from a Harry Lemmey contest to snap the Croweaters’ second of the game. At the same time, Hugh Jackson was helped off the field – but would return – while the South Australians were controlling the play. Jase Burgoyne returned to the side and had a couple of likely moments with a set shot – just missing – and a nice kick inside 50, but it was not until Morgan Ferres nailed a set shot following a free kick that gave the home team a three-goal lead at the break.
Mani Liddy was leading the midfield with nine touches, with Blayne O’Loughlin – coming off his best-on performance for South Australia at Under 19s level – also busy, whilst Josh Green (seven disposals) and Andy Moniz-Wakefield (five) the bigger ball-winners for the Allies.
The second term looked like it might be going towards a blowout as the South Australians kicked the first couple of goals. Whilst there was nothing scored early, the Allies kept peppering with a behind, but also a rushed shot going out on the full. Lemmey set up Lukas Cooke inside 50 who snapped and goaled in the eighth minute of the game to break the goal drought. An attempted soccer off the ground from Ferris was deemed kicking in danger to his opponent Brodie Lake, and the Allies were holding up as best they could. Then when the South Australian team combined for a nice running play, Matty Roberts got it to Hugh Stagg who found Harrison in space to kick his second major midway through the quarter, and the lead was out to 29 points.
Sam Frost and Kobe Ryan were among the best for the Allies, with the South Australian Under 17s’ midfielder Ryan showing why he is one of next year’s standout prospects. Whilst Harrison Grintell missed a chance snapping around his body straight in front of goal, it would be Ryan who produced a beautiful run inside 50, a one-two and then slammed home the Allies’ first on the run 17 and a half minutes into the second term. Not long after, Central District’s Austin McDonald snapped the goal of the day around his body after great work from Ronald Fejo, and hands off Max Blacker to set McDonald up from the pocket. An answer from Calvett and then Stagg up the other end answered immediately for the Croweaters in the final five minutes of the term, and for all of the Allies’ better work in that term, the lead was still out to 27 points.
The Allies had two more disposals than their opponents, but South Australia had nine more tackles (28-19), with D’Aloia and Kennedy leading all-comers with 13 disposals, whilst Liddy (11) and Harrison (nine and two goals) also busy. For the Allies, Tyson Walls had a team-high 11 touches and four marks, leading Moniz-Wakefield (10 disposals, five marks) and Fejo (10 and four).
Whilst the Allies needed a big third term to mount a comeback, it went the other way and South Australia put the foot down with six unanswered goals, making it eight on the trot after the Allies’ two consecutive goals. The big forwards of South Australia feasted, as Ferres kicked a couple to bring his total to three, and Lemmey – after missing a set shot uncharacteristically out on the full – made good with a second goal. Calvett booted his second in the opening few minutes to keep the run going, whilst a nice pass inside 50 from Cooper Beecken found Roberts all alone who made no mistake as well.
D’Aloia had a sensational third term, kicking a goal off a couple of steps then setting up another one not long after to Ferres who handballed off to Jackson, and when Ferres converted his third from the next mark inside 50, the lead had blown out to a whopping 69 points, with a 7.2 to 0.2 quarter, doubling their score in the term. The Croweaters only had eight more disposals, but there was a lowly nine tackles in the quarter (5-4 in favour of the leaders), with D’Aloia finishing the term with 10 touches, as Buroyne (seven) and Liddy (six) kept accumulating. Walls lead the Allies with 18 for the game ahead of Lake (17) who was trying hard out of defence for run and carry, while D’Aloia was the clear standout with 23.
Effectively a dead rubber last quarter the Croweaters looked destined to win by a triple-digit margin as Becker went forward and slotted the first major within two minutes, then missed another chance not long after. Halting a run of nine consecutive goals, Jaeden Watts intercepted a rushed kick by marking at the top of 50, slotting the Allies’ third following a missed chance from Tedcastle on the goalline. South Australia had a couple of shots on goal but an out on the full from Stagg, and a flying shot from Nick Sadler both missed, with Burgoyne and Lemmey (twice) also missing gettable chances to extend the lead. Stagg and Becker ended up with two more to take their tallies to three to join Ferres, while 2023 AFL Draft prospect Will Rowlands being the only other addition to the Allies goalkickers.
Stagg had a prominent final term with eight touches and two goals, as Becker had six and three in what was a dominant quarter by the duo. D’Aloia and Roberts continued their ball-winning ways, with Frost and Watts the most prominent for the Allies with five apiece. By the final siren, D’Aloia had racked up seven more touches than anyone else on the field with 29, whilst Kennedy (22), Liddy (20), Stagg (20) and Burgoyne (19) also found plenty of it. Ferres pulled down seven marks from 14 touches, as Becker had 16 disposals, eight marks and three goals, the majority of which came in that final term. Lake finished with a team-high 23 disposals for the Allies, whilst Frost (21 disposals, four marks), Walls (20 disposals, five marks) and Fejo (15 disposals, six marks) were also impressive.
SOUTH AUSTRALIA 3.2 | 7.2 | 14.4 | 19.10 (124)
ALLIES 0.2 | 2.5 | 2.7 | 4.8 (32)
South Australia: M. Ferres 3, H. Stagg 3, Z. Becker 3, H. Harrison 2, B. Calvett 2, H. Lemmey 2, L. Cooke, M. Roberts, A. D’Aloia, H. Jackson.
Allies: K. Ryan, A. McDonald, J. Watts, W. Rowlands.
South Australia: A. D’Aloia, H. Stagg, H. Harrison, Z. Becker, M. Ferres
Allies: S. Frost, T. Walls, B. Lake, K. Ryan, A. Moniz-Wakefield
Image Credit: SANFL via Twitter