Prospective No.1 draft pick Will Brodie bolstered his claims on the coveted title, but the Allies snatched victory away from Vic Country thanks to a fantastic banana goal from Brad Scheer with just minutes remaining in the final match of the 2016 NAB AFL Under-18 Championships on Wednesday.
Scheer, who had 21 disposals and six tackles for the Allies, received a free kick for a high tackle deep inside 50 and was called to play on by the umpire, but not before he slotted a classy goal off the outside of his boot.
The Allies held on to clinch their first victory of the Championships as Vic Country pressed hard late in the game, winning 10.10 (70) to 10.6 (66).
Brodie, a classy 189cm midfielder, had a team-high 21 disposals and seven clearances to lead Country for much of the game, his team opening up a 27-point three-quarter time lead before the Allies stormed home.
The Murray Bushrangers product also kicked a fantastic goal from deep in the right forward pocket to open the scoring early in the game.
Lead-up forward Josh Battle, on the cusp as a possible top-20 draft pick, booted four goals to lead the way for Country.
Country’s midfield was on top for much of the contest, as Joe Atley – the brother of North Melbourne’s Shaun – hit his straps with 21 disposals.
James Worpel, who is eligible for next year’s draft, showed himself to be a real talent with 15 disposals and seven inside 50s.
As has been the case for much of the carnival, Koby Mutch continued to find plenty of the footy for the Allies, finishing with a match-high 28 disposals.
Jamie Hampton, the brother of Adelaide’s Curtly, excelled in taking the game on, displaying his breakaway speed on the way to 20 touches and seven rebound 50s.
The biggest highlight of the game came in the second term as the Allies’ Ben Long cleaned up Country’s Myles Poholke with a huge bump on the outer side of Simonds Stadium.
Aside from the big hit, Long did a fantastic defensive job for the Allies, holding dangerous Country forward Ben Ainsworth (five touches and a goal) in check for much of the game.
South Australia’s Jack Graham was named as the Larke Medallist, awarded to the best player in the Division One Championships.
Earlier, Vic Metro won its first Division One title since 2012 with a comfortable victory over Western Australia.
VIC COUNTRY 3.1 4.3 10.5 10.6 (66)
ALLIES 3.2 4.7 6.8 10.10 (70)
Vic Country: Battle 4, Brodie, Piper, O’Brien, McCluggage, Fowler, Ainsworth
Allies: Marshall 3, Maguire 2, Williams, Olango, Sproule
Vic Country: Brodie, Atley, Battle, Worpel, O’Brien, Fowler, Drew
Allies: Mutch, Hampton, Scheer, Long, Perryman, Maguire, Marshall
Bt Ben Guthrie www.afl.com.au