By Sam Watson
THE Gippsland League has won the AFL Gippsland under 18s interleague carnival for the eighth year in a row.
The day at Morwell Recreation Reserve started at 9am with a match between West Gippsland FNC and Ellinbank and District FL.
All matches were two 20-minute halves with no time on, and West Gippsland won the first match despite not kicking a goal.
Their 11 straight points in foggy conditions were just enough to edge out Ellinbank who kicked 1.2.
After West Gippsland and Ellinbank kicked the due off the ground, Gippsland took on Mid Gippsland.
The Mid Gippsland side took it right up to the powerhouse team but in the end, it was the Gippsland League who won by 22 points.
Gippsland League coach Kristian Gray said he was extremely impressed with the way the Mid Gippsland side played.
“They were very impressive, their ball movement and attack on the footy really challenged us at times,” Gray said.
The Gippsland League would go on to win their next two games against North Gippsland and Ellinbank, then they met West Gippsland for the final match of the day at 4.30pm.
Much to the surprise of many spectators at Morwell, West Gippsland caused an upset under lights and picked up the win by four points.
Unfortunately for West Gippsland, their earlier six-point loss to Mid Gippsland meant they didn’t finish on top of the carnival ladder, as the Gippsland League had a massive percentage.
The final standings of the carnival are as follows:
* Gippsland League 3-1 12pts 388 per cent.
* West Gippsland FNC 3-1 12 pts 190 per cent.
* Mid Gippsland FNL 2-2 8pts 147 per cent.
* Ellinbank and District FL 2-2 8pts 83 per cent.
* North Gippsland FNL 0-4 0pts 10 per cent.
Gippsland League captain Zac Carlson (Morwell) was named player of the carnival.
The players of the day for their respective teams are as follows.
Gippsland League – Will Bromage (Bairnsdale), West Gippsland – Archie Whitta (Koo Wee Rup), Mid Gippsland – Alex Battersby (MDU), Ellinbank – Ryan Atherton (Ellinbank), North Gippsland – Charlie Moulton (Rosedale).
Our local players
Gippsland League – Ned Hanily (VC), Jesse Burns, Tom Crocker, Darcy Hume, Ty Hall, Levi Hickey (Leongatha), Blake Cornelis (Wonthaggi).
West Gippsland FNC – Jack Opitz (C), Liam Dayson, Hayden Smith, Coby Olarenshaw (Phillip Island), Josh Williams, Jamieson Soumilas, Mitch Hewitson (Inverloch-Kongwak), Kodie Walker, Jay Walker, Joel Cuman (Korumburra Bena).
Mid Gippsland – Oliver Callcott (C), Oliver Lemchens (Foster), Alex Battersby, Kayden Scrimshaw, Jacob Whiteside (MDU), Lachlan Marr, Darcy Berryman, Lachlan Gale, Tyler Cocksedge (Fish Creek), Ethan Woodall, Harri Mahoney, Beau Peters (Mirboo North), Sam Bright (Stony Creek).
Ellinbank – Alex Henshall (VC), Zac Gray (Poowong).