Phillip Island Under 11s coach, Andy Walton, at the back, together with the rest of his match committee and Bulldog supporters were delighted with the efforts of their boys in the grand final at Foster on Sunday.
AT HALF time in the Under 11s grand final, between Korumburra-Bena and Phillip Island at Foster last Sunday, only one goal had been scored for two tightly contested quarters and it was still anyone’s game.
Even then it needed a free kick for Phillip Island’s Mitchell Moschetti to open their account early in the first term after good attacking work by Orlando Kane-Gillard.
It wasn’t until one of the smallest players on the ground, Liam Dayson, kicked another at the start of the third quarter that the young Islanders had some breathing space.
In between times, the defences of both sides stood up to a lot of pressure as the ball see-sawed between scoring zones.
The tight struggle continued until Mungo Charles led up strongly, marked and kicked their third early in the last quarter seemingly making the result safe.
Even then, the Korumburra-Bena boys didn’t give in, racing the ball forward via Byron Walker for Jed Harris for a goal and the light still flickered right through to the end for the Burra-Bena Bulldogs.
But it was to be the Phillip Island boys who won the day, although, as Korumburra-Bena’s coach Mat Walker noted during the presentations, his players were also winners after a fantastic final series.
“We came from the backblocks to make the finals and were real dark horses to make the grand final so the parents should be absolutely stoked with how much the boys have improved in the second half of the season.”
The Island had plenty of contributors in the opening quarter with Jack Opitz, Jude Grace, Orlando Kane-Gillard and Max Walton getting their hands on the ball. The Burra-Bena on-ballers including Jack Mitchell, Jed Harris, Taylen Loughridge and Matt Slattery tried to limit their effectiveness and the likes of Jay Walker tackled fiercely.
The second quarter was more of the same with Jack Mitchell and Isaak Fox defending stoically but with the Island’s Dylan Susic, Griffin Chambers, Finn Merryfull, Tom Niven, Kane-Gillard and Moschetti among those pushing the ball forward.
Korumburra-Bena opened the third quarter in attack via Aaron Turton and Travis Hall but it was the Island which scored on a rare move forward. The Burra-Bena boys got the next centre break through Walker and Harris but a fine mark by Tom Niven relieved the pressure.
Time ran short and the Islanders continued to hold the advantage.
Both team attracted huge crowds.
Final scores: Phillip Island 4.3.27 def Korumburra-Bena 1.0.6.