QUEENSLAND has survived an almighty last quarter scare from Tasmania to post a narrow two-point win at Yeronga as part of the states’ clash for the AFL Under 19 Championships. After a scrappy first term, the home team piled on seven of the next eight goals to lead by as much as 35 points late in the third term. Tasmania found the momentum in the last 23 minutes, booting six of the last seven themselves to roar to within two points, and even have a shot after the siren for the win, but the kick sailed out on the full. For all the last quarter fight, Queensland held on to a narrow 9.8 (62) to 8.12 (60) win.
In perfect sunny conditions with a breeze blowing to the Queensland end early, it was in fact Baynen Lowe who would have the first shot of the day from outside 50. Easily making the distance, it sailed out on the full, providing an eerily opening and closing symmetry to the match. Despite Queensland having more chances in the opening term, it was key forward Will Splann who marked on the lead from an Oliver Davis pass inside 50, who kicked the first major of the contest five minutes in. Only one more goal in the next hour of play went the way of the visitors, as Toby Triffett‘s perfect set shot from the boundary getting Queensland on the board.
From the second term on it was all Queensland, as they piled on the five consecutive goals including Triffett’s major, with Max Pescud providing a high-flying highlight for mark of the game with a pack effort and subsequent goal. From the next stoppage, Saxon Crozier burst away and launched from 55m in a 90-second purple patch of of bliss. The key forwards started to get involved and were overpowering the smaller Devils defenders, with Will Tasker and Will Bella both converting majors, and the lead was suddenly out to beyond 25 points. A late goal against the flow to Bailey Gillow on the run gave Tasmania some hope, with both Jonty McIvor and Jye Menzie hitting woodwork either side, and the team combining for an inaccuracy 1.5 to Queensland’s 4.1.
Accuracy was the difference in the game and Queensland kept the foot on the pedal with Jack Briskey marking well and kicking a goal early in the third term, and then some more Pescud magic found Bella on the line for one of the easiest goals of his career. Briskey gave fans a sense of deja vu as he marked and delivered from an almost identical place as his earlier goal, and the Queenslanders were blowing the game right open with a six-goal lead. Desperate for a major and a late momentum swing, Sam Collins hit up McIvor inside 50 who marked and then made no mistake from straight in front to give the Devils a sniff heading into the last.
That was all they needed, as the top-agers of Ollie Sanders, Davis and Collins went to another level in the final term, determined to drag their team across the line. Collins was thrown forward and immediately had an impact just 75 seconds into the match, and then a couple of poor turnovers inside their defensive 50 saw the Queenslanders cough up two consecutive goals to Sanders and Menzie. A couple of almost chances drew to a single-digit deficit and the visitors were storming home. Luckily for the home side, Briskey kicked his third with a clever snap around his body to settle the home fans nerves, putting it back out to a 14-point lead.
The boys from the Apple Isle were not done yet though, with Sanders launching a ripping shot from 55m and then in the dying moments, Alex Davies kicked a goal with the outside of the boot to draw within two points. With less than a minute left, the next centre clearance was crucial, and it went the way of Queensland. A quick kick inside 50 fell in front of Bella who rushed the kick and it flew out on the full. Desperate times saw an end-to-end play by the Tasmanians, finishing with Sam Tilley moments before the final siren. Looking just outside his range, he was told to settle down and the siren sounded forcing him to attempt a barrel. The shot on goal sailed off the side and out on the full, handing Queensland the victory.
Triffett was a consistent performer throughout for Queensland, with Jed Foggo providing some good drive off half-back. Crozier was busy through the middle, and the likes of Briskey, Bella and Tasker all played their roles by hitting the scoreboard. For Tasmania, the trio of Sanders, Davis and Collins stepped up when required, whilst Zac Morris in defence, and the likes of Sam Foley and Dom White in midfield, provided good run and carry.
QUEENSLAND 1.4 | 5.5 | 8.8 | 9.8 (62)
TASMANIA 1.2 | 2.7 | 3.9 | 8.12 (60)
Queensland: J. Briskey 3, W. Bella 2, T. Triffett, M. Pescud, S. Crozier, W. Tasker.
Tasmania: O. Sanders 2, W. Splann, J. McIvor B. Gillow, S. Collins, J. Menzie, A. Davies.
Queensland: T. Triffett, S. Crozier, J. Briskey, W. Tasker, J. Foggo
Tasmania: O. Sanders, O. Davis, S. Collins, Z. Morris, S. Foley