Ben Brown was one of Tasmania's best in its 18-point victory over NSW/ACT
IMPRESSIVE performances by John McKenzie and Ben Brown helped Tasmania record their first victory of the NAB U18 AFL Championships, defeating NSW/ACT by 18 points at Aurora Stadium on Saturday.
The victory was set up for the home team in the first three quarters as ruckman Ben Brown dominated all over the ground, accumulating 12 possessions and 12 hit-outs before injuring his shoulder early in the third term to take no further part in the team’s 13.13 (91) to 10.13 (73) victory.
Midfielder John McKenzie elevated his NAB AFL Draft prospects with a scintillating first half, racking up 19 of his 25 disposals while Brody Mihocek was lively with 24 possessions and 7 marks.
Julian Dobosz was also influential in the victory with the forward kicking four goals from his 17 touches.
The game appeared out of reach for NSW/ACT at three-quarter-time with the team trailing by 46-points, but an inspired eight possession quarter by Tom Stevens got the RAMS to within two straight kicks before time got the better of them.
Forward Jack Lynch played a consistent four-quarter match with one goal among his 14 touches while Beau Black competed well all game.
NSW/ACT started well, kicking the first goal of the match but Tasmania hit back almost instantly as Ben Brown started to find plenty of the football while winning the centre bounce and clearances. Tasmania appeared to be harder at the football and went into the first change with a six-point lead.
With the momentum behind them, Tasmania continued their high intensity game kicking the first three goals of the quarter as McKenzie continued to win the ball out of the midfield. The home team had an opportunity to go into the main break with a comfortable lead but squandered their chances, kicking six behinds and two out-of-bounds on the full for the term.
Two goals to Tasmanian John McKenzie in the third quarter all but put the game out of reach for the RAMS as the home team piled on six goals to one to head into the last break with a 46-point lead.
NSW/ACT came out determined to get their way back into the contest in the final quarter and despite getting to within two goals, Tasmania steadied to record their first win of the championships.
Tasmania 3.2 6.8 12.13 13.13 (91)
NSW/ACT 2.2 4.5 5.9 10.13 (73)
Tasmania: Dobosz 4, McCulloch 2, McKenzie 2, Jenkins, Joseph, Smith, Webster, Musicka
NSW/ACT: Johns 2, Hampton 2, Cunningham, Breust, Lynch, Potter, Guthrie, Ryan
Tasmania: McKenzie, Mihocek, Hislop, Brown, Dobosz, Webster
NSW/ACT: Lynch, Black, Guthrie, Stevens, Milne, Cunningham