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Vic Country notches a win

Vic Country has bounced back from a first-round thrashing to hold off a spirited South Australia by 11 points in the second game of the division one National's AFL under 18 championships double-header at Skilled Stadium on Wednesday.

Country 9.8 (62) defeated the Croweaters 7.9 (51) to notch its first win in this year's carnival, which now means that every division one side has recorded a victory in 2004.

Despite a late surge by South Australia in the final term, Vic Country had enough poise - on top of its first half efforts - to fend off the Croweaters.

Likely No.1 draftee - Vic Country's Brett Deledio - showed exactly why he is rated one of Australia's hottest young prospects for this year's National's AFL Draft, as he dominated the match with 23 disposals and three goals in a best-on-ground display.

Ruory Kirkby continued his impressive form with 18 touches and two goals, while Jarryd Roughead - another highly rated youngster at 193cm - was also among his side's best.

South Australia's Craig Taylor was the leading possession winner for the match with 26 touches, while Angus Monfries showed booted two goals and was creative with 24 possessions.

Vic Country took the honours into the first break when it booted two goals to zip to lead by 12 points. South Australia could muster just two behinds during the opening term.

Country increased the margin to 17 points at half-time, when it added two goals, while South Australia kicked its first goal via James McLeay. In the process, the Croweaters wasted their opportunities in front of goal, finishing with 1.5 during the opening half.

Vic Country had plenty more of the ball in the first half, accumulating almost 50 more disposals. Seven Country players were into double figures with their possessions, while Ben Eckermann was South Australia's highest ball-winner with nine touches.

South Australia added three goals to two in the third term to peg the margin back to just 10 points in favour of Vic Country, setting up a thrilling final term.

Vic Country broke away to a 17-point lead early in the last quarter, but South Australia produced a terrific comeback and produced three in succession to hit the front by one-point at the 12-minute mark.

Monfries' set-shot gave South Australia the lead for the first time in the match since the early part of the first quarter. But when Vic Country answered and kicked the last two goals of the match via Kirkby and Roughead, the home side sealed the victory.


South Australia: 0.2 1.5 4.9 7.9 (51)
Victoria Country: 2.2 4.4 6.7 9.8 (62)

Goals: South Australia: Meyer 2, Monfries 2, Griffen, Grundy, McLeay
Vic Country: Deledio 3, Kirkby 2, Marsh, Roughead, Sherringham, Young
Best: South Australia: Taylor, Monfries, Wood, Brockhouse, Stribling, Russell
Vic Country: Deledio, Kirkby, Roughead, Rosa, Hill, Dwyer