Jonty Faull kicks during Vic Country's match against the Allies during the 2024 Marsh U18 National Championships. Picture: AFL Photos

THE DRAFT class of 2024 may be dominated at the top by midfielders, but a number of tall prospects showed their talents on Sunday as Vic Country held on for a two-point win over the Allies in the Marsh AFL Under-18 Championships.

Vic Country's 13.12 (90) to 14.4 (88) win over the Allies at Brighton Homes Arena sets up next week's final clash of the carnival between the unbeaten Country and Vic Metro sides as the title decider.

ALLIES v VIC COUNTRY Full match coverage and stats

It came after an even spread for Vic Country, including in attack where strong tall forward Jonty Faull kicked three goals and had presence close to goal. The 195cm Greater Western Victoria forward, who had a long layoff to start the season with a back injury, was effective alongside tall Murray Bushrangers pair the Whitlock twins – Matt and Jack – with Matt kicking two goals from 15 disposals and Jack booting one from 12 touches.

The three-pronged forward half troubled the Allies at times, who had their own key forward Jobe Shanahan kick three goals from 17 disposals and nine marks.

Harvey Langford continued his superb carnival for Vic Country as the leading midfielder in the game with 30 disposals and a game-high nine clearances, while Vic Country half-backs Lachie Jaques (22 disposals and nine marks) and Tobie Travaglia (18 disposals, one goal) were also important in the win.

Two talented Vic Country prospects also stood up in the clinches, with Sam Lalor's late goal, his third of the day, and Finn O'Sullivan's final term steering their side to the win. Both have had injury-hit seasons, with O'Sullivan returning from injury against the Allies for his first game of the carnival, to gather 16 disposals.

Riley Onley (20 disposals) and Joe Berry (13 disposals, one goal) also had moments for the winners, who started slowly but kicked four goals to two in the second term to take advantage in the game.


Gold Coast Academy midfielder Leo Lombard capped off a terrific carnival for the Allies with 28 disposals and five clearances before booting the final goal of the game in the last minute to drag the deficit back to two points. His power, speed and consistency have been on show throughout the season, including at VFL level for the Suns, and he shapes as a top-10 contender at the draft in November.

Brisbane Academy's midfielder Sam Marshall collected 27 disposals and Swans Academy prospect Lachlan Carmichael had 20 disposals for the Allies, while Ty Gallop booted three goals to go with Josh Murphy's two.

Bottom-age pair Zeke Uwland (22 disposals) and Daniel Annable (17 disposals, one goal) also stood out as they ended the carnival having proved themselves as exciting talents for the 2025 draft.

ALLIES                       4.1          6.3          10.4       14.4 (88)
VIC COUNTRY           2.3          6.8          9.9          13.12 (90)

Allies: Gallop 3, Shanahan 3, Murphy 2, Annable, Davey-Motlop, Delana, Hogan, Lombard, Mentha
Vic Country: Faull 3, Lalor 3, M.Whitlock 2, Berry, Hynes, Travaglia, Unwin, J.Whitlock