Round 5 Under 18s Match Report – West v Central

Round 5 saw us play Central District for the second time in 4 weeks. The first round of college football meant we had 10 changes to our side and provided a good opportunity for some players to come in to our side who had been training very well and waiting for their opportunity. Amongst the inclusions were Jameson Whitbourne and Liam Westdijk who came in for their first game of U18 football.

We fully expected a tough game as Central are renowned for their contested ball as well as their defensive pressure and running capability. The first quarter was an arm wrestle with both teams having opportunities but struggling to convert on the scoreboard. We took a 5-point lead in to the first change in a low scoring opener.

The second quarter saw the game open up slightly but neither team were able to get a break. A late Central goal put them in front by a point at half-time. Most of the key stats were even and that was the way the game looked live. We needed to be more creative with the ball and that was our focus at half-time.

The third quarter saw both sides play excellent football in parts. Central burst out to a 26-point lead as they began to gain ascendancy in the middle and surged it forward. We needed to change something and bought Mitch Hahn on-ball. He had not played midfield before at this level but combined beautifully with our other mids and we had a burst of our own, just 6 points down at the last change.

The last quarter saw the lead change hands multiple times and with 4 minutes to go the scores were level. Liam Westdijk goaled late and we were 7 points in front when Central kicked a goal on the siren. The barest of margins the final result. Central very unlucky as either side would have deserved the points.

Skipper Cade Kennedy continued his excellent start to the year and was our best on the night with 30 disposals. Oscar Steene was dominant in the air and David Midwinter was excellent down back. Mitch Hahn helped us in multiple roles, Jesse Thackeray enjoyed his best outing for the club on-ball and Hugh Desira’s speed really helped us in the second half. Luke Young led the scoring with 3 goals.

Full credit to Central District for the way they played. Their style of football was fierce and competitive and we took some time to adapt. I was pleased with our ability to find a way to win under trying circumstances. This week we play South Adelaide on Saturday at Noarlunga, 11am start. We will have a couple more debutants as we aim to keep our momentum going.

Best: Cade Kennedy, Oscar Steene, David Midwinter, Mitchell Hahn, Jesse Thackeray, Hugh Desira

Goals: Luke Young (3), Saleh Baltagie, Lachie Baker, Jaeden Watts (2), Hugh Desira, Dylan McCormick, Liam Westdijk, Mitchell Hahn (1)

Paul Streatfield

U18 Coach