Country hits rare feat in footy series

TALENTED TRIO: Billy Evans is flanked by Bendigo Bank Pioneers clubmates Jaden McGrath and Jake Maher. All three are in Victoria Country's squad for the AFL national under-18 championships. Picture: GLENN DANIELS

TALENTED TRIO: Billy Evans is flanked by Bendigo Bank Pioneers clubmates Jaden McGrath and Jake Maher. All three are in Victoria Country's squad for the AFL national under-18 championships. Picture: GLENN DANIELS

Bendigo Pioneers defender Tom Cole played a key role off half-back in Victoria Country's latest win against Victoria Metro in the AFL national under-18 championships.

Bendigo Pioneers defender Tom Cole played a key role off half-back in Victoria Country's latest win against Victoria Metro in the AFL national under-18 championships.

Our defensive pressure all over the ground was excellent - Mark Ellis, Victoria Country under-18s coach

WINNERS in both contests against Victoria Metro, the Victoria Country team now has its sights on WA in the AFL under-18 championships.

Round four in the titles is on this weekend.

Victoria Country will be chasing its third win when it plays Western Australia at Fremantle Oval on Sunday.

The championships began with Country winning the all-Victoria clash with Metro at Sandringham by 15 points It was the first time Country had beaten Metro at national under-18 level since 2010.

Country's latest clash ended in a 44-point win against Victoria Metro at Geelong's Simonds Stadium.

Bendigo's Mark Ellis is coach of the Victoria Country team and was rapt with the latest performance.

"Our defensive pressure all over the ground was excellent," Ellis said of a match in which Country kept Metro goalless in the second half.

"We have done a fair bit of work on the defensive side of our game.

"The three key areas are contest, offence and defence. The workrate to get numbers back or around the contest and to pressure the opposition is really important."

Bendigo Pioneers clubmates Billy Evans and Tom Cole played key roles through the midfield and across half-back in Country's win.

"Billy has played all three games so far and is an important player at centre bounces and stoppages. Tom did really well in his national under-18 championships match."

Under the changed format, teams will play each other twice in the six-game series.

Victory keeps titles hopes alive

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