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U18s: Lions academy players star for Queensland

Eyecatchers: Big guns dominate Callum Twomey and Michael Ablett wrap up a big day of division one action at the NAB AFL Under 18 Championships
GEELONG, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 27: Eric Hipwood of Queensland celebrates a goal during the 2015 AFL Under 18 match between Queensland and Tasmania at Simonds Stadium, Geelong on June 27, 2015. (Photo by Darrian Traynor/AFL Media)
Eric Hipwood booted four goals for Queensland on Saturday

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• NAB AFL Under-18s news, fixture & results 

ERIC Hipwood starred with four goals as Queensland beat Tasmania by 39 points in the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships to move a step closer to the division two title.

The Brisbane Lions academy player started the game stationed at centre-half back, but the 200cm prospect was swung forward in the second term by coach Adrian Fletcher as Queensland struggled for goals.

The left-footer kicked four for the term – including a brilliant shot on the run from the boundary line – to steer his team to a half-time lead. They went on with the job in the second half, finishing 8.18 (66) to 4.3 (27) victors at Simonds Stadium on Saturday.

Hipwood's exploits were the talking point, with the raw and athletic 17-year-old gathering 20 disposals and seven marks in a best-on-ground display. His pace and agility make him a unique mix for a player his size, and some see him as a top-20 draft selection.

Ben Keays, also eligible to join the Lions via the academy, was busy again for Queensland with 23 disposals, while athletic Sudanese ruckman Mabior Chol showed some brilliant snippets, including a high mark in the third term. 

A trio of Queensland prospects for next year's draft also contributed in the win, with Jacob Allison (21 disposals and 1.4), Brad Scheer (16 disposals) and Jack Rolls (19, seven inside-50s) proving their talent. 

The second-round win leaves Queensland as the only undefeated team in division two, with the third and final round to be played next week.

Tasmania started the contest well and held a four-point advantage at the opening break, but its run stalled in the second term and it was held scoreless in the third. 

The goal drought broke midway through the final term when Luke Webb slotted a running shot, but the wave after wave of Queensland forward forays wore Tasmania down: the inside-50 count was 33-6 in the second half. 

Midfielder Kieran Lovell backed up his 42-disposal effort in last week's win over NSW-ACT by gathering 29 touches and six-rebound 50s for Tasmania, while its captain Jordan Hayden was also prominent with 25 possessions.

Mitchell Hibberd, who starred in the win over the Rams in round one, was busy early and had six disposals in the first term. He slowed up from there after a couple of heavy knocks, but finished with 18 disposals. 

Logan Reynolds offered Tasmania some run out of half-back (he recorded 10 rebound-50s), and Isaac Franks won his battle at full-back with opponent Wylie Buzza, but Queensland proved too strong. 

TASMANIA         2.1       3.3     3.3    4.3 (27)
QUEENSLAND    1.3       5.3     7.7    8.18 (66) 

GOALS
Tasmania: Pearce, Sushames, Webb, Rainbird
Queensland: Hipwood 4, Buzza 2, Allison, Wagner

BEST
Tasmania: Pearce, Hayden, Lovell, Gardner, Reynolds, Webb, Donnellan
Queensland: Hipwood, Weller, Allison, Dennis, William, Keays