IT was a spectacular finish to the Alberton Football League’s Under 11 grand final on Sunday morning with Inverloch-Kongwak claiming victory in the dying seconds of the game over Phillip Island. After a hard fought battle in strong winds at the Foster Recreation Reserve it was a dream finish for a trailing IK when youngster Michael Kennedy-Mifsud snapped a goal just before the siren to win by three points. The Sea Eagles led the first half of the match, getting out to an early lead in a low scoring first quarter.
In almost impossible conditions, the league’s youngest players battled hard against the wind. The first and only goal for the quarter went to IK when Jared Lawson soccered it through for the six points. Phillip Island worked their way into the game in the second quarter led by Max Walton who was gaining plenty of possessions early. With the wind easing slightly, the Bulldogs were taking strong contested marks across the ground. IK were the first to get on the board with a run-in goal to Kye Benson, but the Bulldogs were quick to reply with a major of their own off the boot of Nicholas Rigby. With only eight points separating the two sides at half-time both sides came out firing in the third.
Phillip Island’s Max Douglas and IK’s Matt McCaughan were going head to head in the ruck, and it was the Bulldogs who were winning the stoppages.
Phillip Island goaled to bring the margin back to two points but the wind picked up and kicking was proving almost impossible. Another goal to Phillip Island’s Keith Robinson suddenly put the Island in front for the first time in the match. The strong winds continued to play havoc, and while Phillip Island was making the most out of kicking to the scoring end, IK were unable to get the ball inside their forward 50 for the quarter. Heading into the final term the Bulldogs held a three point lead, but the Sea Eagles had the wind advantage. IK were the first to score a point off the boot of McCaughan. Much of the quarter was being battled out in the Sea Eagles’ left forward pocket, with neither side able to clear the ball from the boundary due to the strong wind. With only seconds remaining on the clock and neither team scoring since the opening minutes of the quarter, a Bulldogs victory looked imminent. But then the Sea Eagles managed to break clear from the pack, and a swift handball to Michael Kennedy-Mifsud saw the youngster turn and snap a goal. Within seconds the siren went handing the 2013 premiership to the Sea Eagles by three points.