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Ben Guthrie  June 28, 2013 3:02 PM


Cameron McCarthy soars for the mark that allowed him to kick the winning goal for WA over Vic Country

WEST AUSTRALIAN skipper Dom Sheed finished the day with a broken collarbone, but Cameron McCarthy stepped up to deliver the game-winning goal against Vic Country in round four of the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships.

McCarthy's goal came from a soaring pack mark, in between a nest of Country defenders, with just 30 seconds left on the clock, as he steered his side to a thrilling three-point victory at Simonds Stadium on Friday.

Sheed almost played the full game for Western Australia, but a heavy collision with Country's Pat McCartin in the final term saw him finish in a make-shift jumper sling and in a considerable amount of pain.

Before the collision, Sheed thrived in the contested packs to gather 29 disposals, six clearances and four goals in a phenomenal display.

The 195cm McCarthy's contested marking was a feature all game and it came to the fore at the critical moment, while his right boot was equally sound under pressure, slotting the winning goal from about 35 metres out.  

At the other end of the ground, forward McCartin was unstoppable for Country, pulling down 11 marks and booting five goals – showing a strong ability to attack the ball fiercely in the air.

He was ably supported by Zak Jones (18 disposals) and James Tsitas (18).

The hard-working Josh Scott added three goals and earned plaudits for his ability to win a key contests, while Billy Hartung exhibited  break-away speed in patches.

But it was the profound influence of Sheed that carried his side to a memorable victory. The only shame was that the game's standout player was not on the field when the siren sounded.

The WA players celebrate their last-minute win. Picture: AFL Media

                     4.0       5.2       7.7       10.10 (70)          
WESTERN AUSTRALIA            3.2       4.5       7.7       11.7 (73)        

Vic Country: McCartin 5, Scott 3, Willsmore, Crouch
Western Australia: Sheed 4, McCarthy 3, Acres, Main, Cameron, Johnson

Vic Country: McCartin, Impey, Goddard, Fort, Leslie, Herbert
Western Australia: C Smith, Sheed, Hodgeson, McCarthy, Winton, Acres

Ben Guthrie is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter: @AFL_BenGuthrie