Round 11 U18 Match Report
West Adelaide 10.3 (63) def by North Adelaide 15.8 (98)
Round 11 saw us head to Prospect to face North Adelaide for the first time this season. With college football returning we had 7 changes to our side and we welcomed Lukas Zvaigzne and Jack Oates to the team for their first games of U18 football. Both Lukas and Jack are U16’s and the game was actually on Jack’s 16th birthday – a day he will remember for a long time I’m sure. Cade Kennedy received a late call up to the reserves team which is great acknowledgement of his excellent season to date. Our side featured 8 Riverland players for this game which is the most this season and a high number of country players for any side – great reflection of the commitment of the players and connection our club is forming in our regional zones.
The match started quite slowly with both teams struggling to find connection around the oval. Once the game settled North found two quick goals and we needed to respond. Mitch Hahn took a nice mark and slotted our first goal and Luke Young kicked our second to have scores even. Unfortunately not long after this Mitch Hahn suffered a bad leg injury after taking a terrific mark in our forward line. The game was halted for 45 minutes as an ambulance was required and obviously player wellbeing is the only focus at that point. When the game resumed Dylan White slotted the goal and Jesse Thackeray snapped a great goal from the pocket as we took a 12 point lead in to the first change.
The second quarter saw the game open up and both teams scoring freely. Four goals each meant we took a 9 point lead in to half time. In the second half we didn’t match North’s run and they were able to capitalise on too much uncontested ball. We needed to be more instinctive with the ball and move it quicker, which has been a strength of ours this season. Despite our boys working hard we didn’t win enough of the critical moments and in the end North ran out winners by 35 points.
With a competition bye this week for the U18’s, we turn our attention to next weekend where we will return to prospect to face North Adelaide again. It is very clear to us how we can improve and our training will focus on these areas to ensure we are better equipped to face North again.
Jesse Thackeray continued his recent run of great form with 29 disposals and 2 goals, Nick Martin and Charlie Pridham were very good in defence and Oscar Steene was the best of the big men on the field in the ruck.
Finally, I’d like to thank everyone who has reached out to Mitch and the club to offer support as he deals with his injury. Whilst we go in to battle each week on the field, it has been great to feel the support from all angles after a difficult day on Saturday. Special thanks to North Adelaide who were tremendous in their support on the day and in the aftermath. Mitch has a long recovery ahead of him but he is on the right track and we will help him every step of the way.
Best: Jesse Thackeray, Nick Martin, Charlie Pridham, Oscar Steene, Luke Young, David Midwinter
Goals: Jesse Thackeray, Luke Young, Saleh Baltagie, Cain Satanek (2), Dylan White, Mitch Hahn (1)