Tyler Welsh celebrates a goal for South Australia against the Allies in the U18 National Championships on May 26, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

A TRIO of father-sons were important as South Australia overran the Allies in the opening game of the Marsh AFL Under-18 Boys Championships, while a number of northern Academy talents proved their wares.

South Australia trailed by two goals at half-time in Sunday's clash at Thebarton Oval but kicked eight goals to four in the second half to run out 12-point winners to start its carnival in strong form.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA v ALLIES Full match coverage and stats

Adelaide father-son prospect Tyler Welsh kicked three goals, including the last of the game with seconds on the clock to seal the 13.9 (87) to 11.9 (75) win, while Carlton father-son pair Ben (26 disposals, six inside-50s) and Lucas Camporeale (23 disposals) were also busy.

It was an even display from South Australia, with crafty small forward Evan Bradley kicking three goals, while tall forward Noah Howes, who is pushing to be selected in Wednesday's mid-season rookie draft, kicked 2.2 from 13 disposals in front of recruiters from around the country.


SA captain Sid Draper, who has overcome a long stint on the sidelines with a shin stress fracture, collected 19 disposals as he looks to back up his All-Australian honours last season as a bottom-ager.

The star of the bottom-agers on Sunday was midfielder Dyson Sharp, who had 25 disposals and a game-high nine clearances in an exciting display.

Tall forward Charlie Nicholls kicked one goal from nine disposals, while Sam Cumming's late goal to put South Australia ahead was the highlight of his performance.

Gold Coast Academy talent Leo Lombard was the Allies' best as they started their campaign with a defeat after last year being the title winners, with the rugged and physical midfielder gathering 27 disposals, eight inside-50s, seven clearances and a goal. His pace and power was on show at many stages, while Brisbane Academy midfielder Sam Marshall had a game-high 29 disposals.


Allies forward Josh Murphy kicked three goals, exciting Tasmanian Nathaniel Sulzberger had 21 disposals in a showing further up the ground and Daniel Annable, a 2025 Lions Academy prospect, looked comfortable at the level with 23 touches.

The Allies kicked five goals in the first term to open up a 14-point break at the opening change before the home team gradually dragged the deficit back and overran them with a strong final term.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA       3.2     5.5       9.7      13.9 (87)
ALLIES                    5.4      7.5       9.7      11.9 (75)

South Australia: Bradley 3, Welsh 3, Howes 2, Newton 2, Barker, Cumming, Nicholls
Allies: Murphy 3, Depaoli-Kubank 2, Dean, Delana, Gallop, Lombard, Stanley, Uwland