Storm, Hurst’s young guns to tussle for flag

CUP UP FOR GRABS: Strathfieldsaye's Wade Donnan and Sandhurst under-18 captain Will Brohm. Picture: DARREN HOWE

CUP UP FOR GRABS: Strathfieldsaye's Wade Donnan and Sandhurst under-18 captain Will Brohm. Picture: DARREN HOWE

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A CRACK at back-to-back BFNL under-18 premierships presents for Strathfieldsaye in Saturday’s grand final against Sandhurst at the QEO from 9am.

The Storm will go into the grand final with just one loss for the season.

But that defeat came against the Dragons in the second semi-final a fortnight ago when Sandhurst upstaged the Storm by 14 points.

The Storm kicked 4.15 in that loss to the Dragons in what was a costly reminder of the importance of taking chances inside 50, particularly considering goals have been at premium in all three clashes between the two sides, with just 32 kicked.

“That 4.15 a couple of weeks ago really hurt us. There was one quarter where we kicked 1.8, so we can’t let that happen again,” Strathfieldsaye coach Bart Leahy said on Friday.

“They seem to have been fairly defensive games when we’ve played Sandhurst, so that makes it all the more important to be taking your chances in front of goal.”

Strathfieldsaye has had 11 of its under-18 squad play senior football this year, including eight who are part of Saturday’s team – Keelan Payne, Jack Neylon, Connor Aldous, Lachlan Gill, Josh Formosa, skipper Matt Harvey, Bailey Henderson and Daniel Clohesy. 

Following their slip-up against the Dragons a fortnight ago, the Storm last week bounced back in devastating fashion with a 119-point preliminary final win over Golden Square

I’d expect those who get to the QEO early on Saturday are going to see a really good game of under-18s football - Damien Featherby, Sandhurst coach

After a rare absence last year, the Dragons – who won four under-18 flags in a row between 2011 and 2014 – are back on grand final day and boast this year’s joint under-18 Symons medallist in Oliver Leonard-Shannon.

While coach Damien Featherby acknowledges Leonard-Shannon has had a fine season, he says it has been an even team performance that has been the backbone for the Dragons reaching the grand final.

“Ollie has had a terrific year, but it has been a very even season for us with a lot of other players who have probably played just as well as Ollie,” Featherby said.

“Looking at both teams, I think it’s fairly even in the midfield and key positions. Both sides have some big key position players and talent through the midfield, so I’d expect those who get to the QEO early on Saturday are going to see a really good game of under-18s football.”

SEASON MEETINGS:

2nd semi-final – Sandhurst 8.5 (53) d Strathfieldsaye 4.15 (39).

Rd 15 – Strathfieldsaye 4.8 (32) d Sandhurst 4.6 (30).

Rd 1 – Strathfieldsaye 8.9 (57) d Sandhurst 4.4 (28).

UNDER-18s

SANDHURST v STRATHFIELDSAYE

9am Saturday at Queen Elizabeth Oval, Bendigo.

Sandhurst

B: L. Casperson, C. Hamilton, J. Davie

Hb: W. Long, T. Nunn, B. Robertson

C: H. Schache, O. Leonard-Shannon, J. Stewart

Hf: I. Ruff, D. Graham,  S. Spijkerman

F: C. Guess, J. Bouwmeester, W. Brohm,

Foll: M. Bennett, J. Zimmer, B Evans

Inter: O. Crilly-Downing, T. Martin, O. Perez, N. Dynon

Emerg: N. Tobin

Strathfieldsaye

B: M. Keuken, C. Looney, L. Gill

Hb:C. Sheahan, K. Payne, W. Donnan

C: C. Simpson, P. Blandford, D. Clohesy

Hf: C. Aldous, M. Cheeseman, B. Henderson

F: C. Forte, J. Coleman, J. Formosa

Foll: L. Ratcliffe, W. Broad, S. Murphy

Inter: (from) M. Harvey, E. Dorrington, J. Neylon, A. Verbeek, S. Milne

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