WARRIORS THROUGH TO TIV UNDER 18 DIV 1 FINAL
By SAM RICHARDS
An unexpected return of late winter weather wasn’t the only surprise this week in 2019 TIV Under 18’s football.
Starting with Division 1 and the opening Semi Final between Altona and Hoppers Crossing 1, shaped up as a blockbuster and wouldn’t disappoint.
The Vikings exploded out of the gate, kicking the first 4 goals of the game, while holding their counterparts goalless.
However – like they have all season – a resilient Warriors outfit would respond emphatically, kicking the next 5 goals in a breathtaking display of speed, skill and physicality, as Dylan Blair (3 goals) and Ezzat Haddara (2 goals) began to impose themselves on the contest.
Over the next two quarters, the two sides would exchange blow after blow, before a four-goal final quarter saw the Warriors claim a pulsating two-point victory over the Vikings, 10.11. (71) to 10.9. (69).
The last gasp victory sends Hoppers Crossing to the Division 1 Grand Final.
For Altona, Luke Whatman worked tirelessly all day, while Lars Vidovic’s (2 goals) second half surge almost proved the difference, in a game determined by the slightest of margins.
The Vikings will now play off in next week’s Preliminary Final, for the remaining Grand Final spot.
To Sunday’s First Semi Final and just one week removed from their breathtaking after-the-siren win in last weekend’s elimination final, Yarraville Seddon’s season came crashing to a halt, suffering a 69-point loss to Werribee Districts 1, 18.10. (118) to 7.7. (49).
Yarraville Seddon’s run and gun style was on full display in the first half, controlling the stoppages and stretching out the Werribee defence with an open and ominous forward 50.
With greater precision, discipline and awareness, the Eagles could’ve easily been inflicted greater scoreboard pressure.
The second half would be Yarraville Seddon’s undoing, with Districts 1 putting on a field kicking masterclass, kicking 7 third-quarter goals to extend their 17-point half-time lead to 52 points heading into the final quarter.
Werribee forward Jordan Riazati, was elusive all day, kicking a game-high 6 goals, while Kortez Hawea-King’s forward presence was a constant threat in a fiery opening half of physical Western Region finals football.
Meanwhile, Point Cook progressed to the Division 2 Grand Final by the slightest of margins, overcoming a defiant Werribee Districts 2 by one-point, 3.11 (29) to 3.10 (30) at Pennell Reserve.
After a goalless first half, Mason Roberts, Alberto Rappazzo and William Mason dragged Districts 2 back into the contest, with a series of clutch goalkicking.
However, the Bulldogs would not be denied and through outstanding efforts by William Colley, Darcy Harmer and Connor Brown, will enter next week’s Grand Final against Spotswood, with a wave of momentum.
Division 2’s Grand Final kicks off at 9.15 am on Sunday, September 15 at Avalon Airport Oval.