Jack Billings collected 20 touches and kicked a goal in Vic Metro's loss to South Australia
SMOOTH moving Vic Metro duo Josh Kelly and Jack Billings shone in round four of the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships, but it was South Australia who collected the spoils in fine conditions at Simonds Stadium on Friday.
The South Australians held off a late charge from their Victorian counterparts, holding on to a three-point win, 8.10 (58) to 8.7 (55).
Kelly followed up his 30-possession effort from last round, with another 28 touches and a goal, while Billings (20 touches and a goal) turned in his best game of the Championships.
Kelly's work-rate and efficiency were features of his game. Billings' clever repeat leads saw him involved in an array of Metro's scoring chains as a half-forward.
Kelly and Billings are considered potential top-15 draft choices.
South Australian defender Matthew Scharenberg – a likely top 10 draft prospect – showed his worth with 21 disposals, aided by Luke Dunstan's 22 and George Hewett's 20.
Darcy Hourigan booted three majors and the highly-rated James Aish was solid with 16 disposals for the Croweaters.
Metro forward Max Hayes' goal late in the game brought the deficit down to three points, but his side left its run too late as South Australia ensured remained the only unbeaten side heading into the pivotal final round of the Championships.
Metro's Jay Kennedy-Harris tries to escape a tackle during Friday's game against SA: Photo: AFL Media
VIC METRO 2.1 3.2 5.7 8.7 (55)
SOUTH AUSTRALIA 3.1 4.4 7.4 8.10 (58)
Vic Metro: Billings, Lennon, Bontempelli, Kelly McLaren, Honeychurch, Apeness, Hayes
South Australia: Hourigan 3, Reynolds 2, Fantasia, Hewett, Johansen
Vic Metro: Kelly, Honeychurch, Greiser, Kennedy-Harris, Billings
South Australia: McKay, Scharenberg, Pitt, Hewett, Hourigan, Spina, Giles, Dunstan
Ben Guthrie is a reporter for AFL.com.au. Follow him on Twitter: @AFL_BenGuthrie