By Callum Twomey, afl.com.au
Queensland pair Lachie Weller and Liam Dawson strengthened their claims as players to watch with impressive displays in their side’s three-point win over Northern Territory on Thursday.
Northern Territory looked set to clinch its first victory of the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships in the final round before Queensland big man Matt Hammelmann dribbled through a goal with less than four minutes to play.
It was the final score of Queensland’s 7.4 (46) to 6.7 (43) win, which was played in blustery and chilly conditions at Victoria Park in Melbourne.
Weller and Dawson, both level one AIS-AFL Academy members, are eligible for the 2014 NAB AFL Draft and have shown enough to suggest they will be prominent prospects next season.
Weller, the brother of Gold Coast midfielder Maverick, had 18 disposals and was smart with the ball, while Dawson is a mid-sized rebounding defender who had a game-high 24 touches and kicked a goal.
Isaac Conway had 22 disposals, while Tyler Cornish had 15 disposals and laid 11 tackles in a typically determined showing.
The win followed Queensland’s last-quarter heroics against NSW-ACT last Saturday, when they booted five goals to none in the final term to snatch a nine-point win.
Northern Territory has been largely uncompetitive throughout the Championships but saved their best performance for last, with Abraham Ankers showing some dash through the midfield.
Ankers is small (173cm and 66kg) but he gathered 20 disposals and kicked two goals for NT, while Daniel Cox, another smaller midfielder, burrowed into stoppages and had 16 disposals.
QUEENSLAND 3.2 5.2 6.4 7.4 (46)
NORTHERN TERRITORY 3.3 5.3 5.5 6.7 (43)
Queensland: Cameron-Reeves, Cornish, Dawson, Hammelmann, Rutledge, Stiller
Northern Territory: Ankers 2, Cockatoo, Hamilton, Hunkin, Stokes
Queensland: Dawson, Weller, Hammelmann, Tickner, Cornish
Northern Territory: Cockatoo, Musgrove, McAuliffe, Roberts, Nyhuis
Follow AFL website reporter Callum Twomey on Twitter: @AFL_CalTwomey.