All Stars season finishes

Packed: Spectators took advantage of the good weather and flocked to Morwell Recreation Reserve for the Gippsland All Stars. Photograph: Tom Hayes





THE fourth and final round of the AFL Gippsland All Stars took place on the eve of the AFL Grand Final, seeing kids from Under 13s, 14s and 15s complete their representative duties.

The weather turned up for the conclusion of the competition, which encouraged a packed-out Morwell Recreation Reserve.

GAMES were underway as early as 8.30am for the U13s, beginning with Western Gippsland taking on Latrobe Valley.

Western Gippsland were always going to be tough to beat, as they sat on top of the ladder with Southern Gippsland.

But credit to Latrobe Valley for keeping themselves within touch throughout the encounter, only suffering a 14-point defeat, 7.5 (47) to 5.3 (33).

In the best for Latrobe Valley was Trafalgar’s Sullivan Jennings, Hill End’s Thomas Bastin, Kobi Hart-Theissling from Pax Hill (Traralgon), Tyler Siemens of TEDAS (Traralgon) and Archer Tangi and Levi Field from Police Boys (Traralgon).

The result proved just as sweet for Western Gippsland, who kept Latrobe Valley winless in the U13s, yet three of those losses had just three kicks in it.

Eastern Gippsland’s U13s record was drawn level after going down to Southern Gippsland by 63 points, 14.9 (93) to 3.12 (30).

This was perhaps a surprising result considering Eastern Gippsland managed to get the better of Southern Gippsland in Round 2, defeating them by 28 points back in June.

Eastern Gippsland were held goalless in the first half, while in the meantime, Southern Gippsland piled on seven goals.

The pace was picked up in the second half, yet the damage was done and inaccuracy in front of goal didn’t help.

Outstanding performers from Eastern Gippsland include Maffra’s Ace Burgiel, Wy Yung’s Luca Desio and Hudson Froud, Sale’s Hunter Wynd, Heyfield’s Max Cox and Bairnsdale’s Campbell Moncrieff.

With a win-loss record of 2-2, Eastern Gippsland finished third, one rung above the bottom-placed Latrobe Valley.

IN the U14s, both Eastern Gippsland and Latrobe Valley found themselves on the winner’s list, to provide a great ending to the competition.

Eastern Gippsland got on top of Southern Gippsland early in their game, giving themselves a three-goal cushion early into the piece.

They took it up a notch in the second half, taking their 18-point lead and turning it into a 46-point lead at fulltime, 10.6 (69) to 3.5 (23).

Five goals from Maffra’s Noah Romeril earnt himself best-on-ground. He was complimented on field by Eagles teammate Leo Stephenson, Sale’s Cooper Rand, Stratford’s Harry Bartlett, Bairnsdale’s Angus Tanner and Jonah Linford of Sale (JFC).

Now with a 3-1 record, Eastern Gippsland were hoping for Latrobe Valley to lose to hold onto top of the ladder, and for a little while it looked like there was a chance.

Latrobe Valley sealed their spot on the top of the U14s ladder, in a close nine-point win over Western Gippsland.

Nothing could separate the two sides in the opening quarter, giving Western Gippsland a slither of hope for the rest of the game.

Latrobe Valley dominated most of proceedings from here on out, but weren’t able to completely capitalise on the scoreboard, kicking 1.5 (11) in the second term, 1.1 (7) in the third term, and 1.2 (8) in the final quarter.

But it was enough to get them over the line after keeping their opponent’s goalless for more than three quarters.

A late fightback from Western Gippsland was not enough to claw back the margin, as Latrobe Valley secured their top spot, 3.10 (28) to 2.7 (19).

The standouts for Latrobe Valley were Kade Thorley of Combined Saints (Traralgon), Newborough’s Lachlan Willis, Traralgon’s Brodie Adams, Charlie Tatchell and Lucas Nicholls of West End (Traralgon) and vice-captain Lachlan Ainsworth of Morwell.

Adams was awarded player-of-the-carnival for Latrobe Valley, a standout in each game as his side took top spot honours with a 3-1 record and a percentage more than 150.

FINALLY in the U15s, Eastern Gippsland finished their carnival on a high note while Southern Gippsland completed a perfect 4-0 carnival against Latrobe Valley.

In one of the games of the day, the winless Eastern Gippsland turned their fortunes around in a nail-biting comeback win over Western Gippsland to secure their first win of the tournament.

Western Gippsland led at the first three changes, all by four, three and 13 points.

But a turnaround arrived in the favour of Eastern Gippsland in the final term, as they booted 3.3 (21) to 1.0 (6) to steal the win by two points and climbed from last place, 8.10 (58) to 9.2 (56).

Maffra’s Judd Burgiel was named best-on- ground, also in the best was club teammate Darcy Scott, Bairnsdale’s Kael Frith and Chiti Otuonye, Sale’s Harper Walker and Max Stevens of Lakes Entrance.

Latrobe Valley needed a thumping win to replace Southern Gippsland as the league leaders, but their opponents had other things in mind, more like finishing the carnival undefeated.

The game was kept close for most of the match in the grand scheme of things. Only two points were scored in the opening term (both going the way of Southern Gippsland), while just three points separated the two sides at the main break.

Southern Gippsland kicked away in the third term to run out to a 15-point lead, and it was just enough to get them over the line despite a late comeback from Latrobe Valley, to win by 10 points, 6.5 (41) to 5.1 (31).

Latrobe Valley still managed to finish second in the carnival with a 2-2 record and a percentage of 107.77.

Marlon Neocleous of Southside (Traralgon), Traralgon’s Blair Roscoe, Trafalgar’s Memphis McQualter, captain Archie Jones of Newborough, Traralgon’s Jaxon Murdoch (three goals) and Cooper Anderson were highlighted for their performances.

Congrats: Traralgon’s Brodie Adams was awarded Player of the Carnival for the Latrobe Valley Under 14s. Photograph supplied