THE AFL South Coast senior representative team recorded a comprehensive 99-point victory against Sapphire Coast at Hanging Rock Oval in Batemans Bay on Saturday.
With 10 players making their representative debut - five athletes aged 18 years or younger - there was a sense of trepidation; however that was quickly dispelled with Scott Phillips and Ben Green leading the way with their attack on the ball and some strong tackles, which quickly set the scene for what was expected from everyone at this level.
At the first change, South Coast had opened up a handy six goal lead which quickly blew out to 77 points at the main break thanks to a seven-goal blitz in the second term and a strong defensive effort from Aiden Steele, Courtney Ward, Phillips, Carter Lovell, Jarod Falconer and Daniel Leary that kept the opposition scoreless.
As expected and to their credit, Sapphire responded in the second half and while AFLSC continued to outscore their opponents, they certainly didn’t have it all their own way in what was a much more even contest, with the final score being 21.7-133 to 5.4-34.
In what was a full team performance, South Coast was best served by Ben Green, who was adjudged ‘best-on-ground’ and received the ‘Joe Tatnell Medal’ for the second year running.
Steele, Ward and Phillips were particularly strong in defence, while Jack Boxsell, Jack Nugent, Tyron Fejo and Rohan Watson stood out in the midfield.
In attack, Jake Hogarth presented well and marked strongly across half-forward, while Ricky Neels with five goals was the pick of a forward line that produced no less than 12 goal kickers.
South Coast squad: Ash Preist (staff), Ray Burgess (asst coach), Rod Richards (coach), Courtney Ward, Ben Green, Rohan Watson, Jake Hogarth, Jake Evans, Daniel Leary, Ethan Kimball, Aiden Steele, Jarod Falconer, Tom Hines, Cabbot Stewart-Browne, Brent Lipscombe (asst coach), Terry Shahmatov (runner) Neville Hickmott (manager), Sam Hodge, Ricky Neels, Carter Lovell, Jack Boxsell, Ben Williams, Scott Phillips, Jack Nugent, Tyron Fejo, Sam Schiller, James Ryan, Lachlan Kirk, Will Cook and Chris Cook.