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U18s: Magpie father-son prospect Cal Brown stars as Vic Metro prevails in thriller

U18s: Last two minutes of VC v VM Watch the thrilling final moments of this clash between the two Victorian rivals

VIC Metro has produced a stunning comeback to defeat Vic Country by two points at Simonds Stadium on Monday.

Trailing by 20 points at the final change, Metro stormed home with six goals to two in the last quarter to seal a thrilling 14.10 (94) to 14.8 (92) victory.

Magpie father-son prospect Callum Brown in TAC Cup action earlier this year. Picture: AFL Media

Daniel Venables was the hero with a goal in the final minute, while Callum Brown – the son of Collingwood premiership star Gavin Brown – was very impressive.

Vic Country's Brett Blair (l) wins the ball ahead of Metro's Taylin Duman at Simonds Stadium on Monday. Picture: AFL Media

For Country, highly touted prospects Will Brodie (29 possessions), Ben Ainsworth (four goals) and Hugh McCluggage (25 disposals, three goals) all had standout games.

In a game of distinct momentum shifts, Country held a 22-point break at the opening change before Metro hit back to take a three-point lead at quarter-time.

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Ainsworth's four-goal haul came in the third term to give Country their break heading into the last quarter, but they squandered their opportunity to win their first game of the carnival.

Metro co-captain Andrew McGrath was the star of the final term, with the athletic half-back shifted to Ainsworth and shutting him out of the game.

McGrath not only did that, but also managed to provide terrific rebound, run and intercept marking to push Metro towards victory. 

Metro's Jack Higgins (l) feels the heat. Picture: AFL Media

The thrilling contest would have provided plenty of insight to club recruiters, with a significant number of players showing good glimpses of their talent.

Brown's 27-disposals, eight-clearance and one-goal game proved the father-son prospect to be a legitimate first-round contender, while Dylan Clarke (the brother of North Melbourne's Ryan) collected 26, six clearances and two goals. 

Country's Tom Jok looks for options. Picture: AFL Media

Tim Taranto's class in attack was also important for Metro, with the Sandringham Dragon's three-goal bag from 18 disposals proving he can move through the midfield and half-forward.

Venables' last 10 minutes of the game showed why some clubs view him as a possible top-10 pick, with the powerful Western Jets midfielder/forward setting up the second-last goal to Brown before kicking the match-winner. 

Country's Myles Poholke (r) fights for the ball with Metro's Andrew McGrath (l) and Jack Maibaum (c). Picture: AFL Media

Country's trio of stars was well supported by Myles Poholke (18 disposals and two goals), and bottom-agers James Worpel (16 disposals, nine tackles) Lochie O'Brien (16 disposals).

Country's defeat follows its 61-point drubbing by Western Australia, leaving last year's championships winners without a victory after two rounds.

They have the bye in round three next weekend, while Vic Metro will travel to Adelaide to take on South Australia on Sunday at AAMI Stadium. 

Metro's Jack Scrimshaw (r) grabs the ball with Shannon Beks (l) closing. Picture: AFL Media

VIC COUNTRY    5.2    6.3    12.4    14.8 (92)
VIC METRO        1.4    6.6    8.8    14.10 (94)

GOALS
Vic Country: Ainsworth 4, McCluggage 3, Drew 2, Poholke 2, Worpel, Battle, Blake
Vic Metro: Taranto 3, Clarke 2, Larkey 2, Brown, Bunker, Gallucci, Duman, Venables, Lynch, Brown

BEST
Vic Country:
Brodie, McCluggage, Poholke, Worpel, Ainsworth, O'Brien
Vic Metro: McGrath, Brown, Clarke, Taranto, Gallucci, Higgins

Want more?

• Listen to this week's Road to the Draft podcast
• NAB AFL Under-18s: 2016 fixture, results, news and video