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U18s: Tassie tyro Lovell inspires superb comeback win against Northern Territory

Eyecatchers: A new Rioli emerges Callum Twomey and Michael Ablett wrap up a big day of action at the 2015 NAB AFL Under 18 Championchips
Kieran Lovell was superb for Tasmania during its win over the NT - ${keywords}
Kieran Lovell was superb for Tasmania during its win over the NT

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A BRILLIANT individual performance from midfielder Kieran Lovell has helped a barnstorming Tasmania overcome Northern Territory at Etihad Stadium on Wednesday.

Tasmania trailed their NAB AFL Under-18 Division Two Championships rival by 19 points at the last change but kicked six goals to one in the final term to win 11.7 (73) to 9.6 (60).

They hit the front with just over two minutes remaining when Ben McGuinness – younger brother of Brisbane Lion Josh – thumped home a set shot from outside 50m.

The result keeps Tasmania's chances of winning the division two alive, ahead of Thursday's final game between Queensland and New South Wales/ACT.

Midfielder Lovell was the standout, racking up 34 disposals and kicking three goals in a dominant display that no doubt boosted his draft chances.

The powerfully built Tasmanian ran hard for all four quarters, showing a mix of ball-winning ability, nous around goal, and even some aerial expertise with a strong contested mark on the wing in the second quarter.

He also claimed eight marks, a game-high eight clearances, seven inside 50s and four tackles.

Lovell stars as Tassie beats NSW/ACT

Highly rated teammate Mitchell Hibberd was also eye-catching, finishing with 24 disposals, five marks and three clearances in a polished performance.

For the Northern Territory, it was a case of so near yet so far, after a five-goals-to-one second quarter gave them what looked a match-winning lead.

Daniel Rioli – the cousin of Hawthorn star Cyril – was terrific.

Rioli, who plays for North Ballarat in the TAC Cup, finished with 15 disposals and two goals.

During the second-quarter blitz, the 18-year-old showed his class, picking up a ball in traffic and off one step snapping truly from 40m on the right boot.

He looked to have iced the game midway through the last term with a contested mark and goal, but Tasmania kicked five goals in the final 10 minutes to win.

Daniel Rioli gets set to take a strong grab during the Tasmania v NT clash. Picture: AFL Media

TASMANIA                           3.1       4.2      5.4      11.7 (73)
NORTHERN TERRITORY    1.3       6.5       8.5       9.6 (60)

GOALS
Tasmania: Lovell 3, Dodge 2, Webb 2, Franklin, Smith, Franks, McGuinness
Northern Territory: Rioli 2, Turner 2, Frank 2, Parfitt, Lawrence

BEST
Northern Territory: Parfitt, Tilmouth-Turner, Rioli, Taban, Barry, Maroney, Jeffrey
Tasmania: Lovell, Reynolds, Quinn, Franklin, Rainbird, Pearce

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs