Tri­umph for Hed­land’s ju­nior teams

Pilbara News - - News - Ben Leahy

Hed­land’s ju­nior footy play­ers can de­clare them­selves the Pil­bara’s best af­ter claim­ing the un­der-15 and 17s pre­mier­ships over the week­end.

De­spite both teams fin­ish­ing on top of the lad­der dur­ing the reg­u­lar sea­son, they met stiff op­po­si­tion from the Kar­ratha Fal­cons with both grand fi­nals cul­mi­nat­ing in tense fi­nal quar­ters at South Hed­land’s Kevin Scott Oval.

In the un­der-15s, the Fal­cons pushed the Reds ju­niors all the way, but it was the Hed­land side that fought back from a three­quar­ter time deficit to claim a three-point win.

Had the Fal­cons kicked more ac­cu­rately in the sec­ond half, they might have ended the Reds sea­son­long un­beaten streak in the grand fi­nal. But it was not to be as the Reds cap­i­talised on their chances to tri­umph 10.9 (69) to 9.12 (66).

Reds coach Michael War­ren named Fat­ulla Ramp­ton, Bayleigh Der­schow, Bay­ley War­ren and James Mor­gan as his side’s best.

Fal­cons player Tre­mayne Smiler was named best on ground.

In the un­der-17s, the Reds built a lead kick­ing with the wind in the third quar­ter and man­aged to hold off a fast-fin­ish­ing Fal­cons for an 11.5 (71) to 8.5 (53) win. Reds player Tyson Brown won best on ground.

With the V Swans pro­gram sup­ported by BHP Bil­li­ton helping launch the Hed­land Reds ju­nior pro­gram re­cently, de­vel­op­ment man­ager Shane Beros said he was proud of the two teams.

“The un­der-15s were rat­tled by a very fierce Fal­cons side but over­came a three-quar­ter time deficit of 22 points to claim the win,” he said. “They trusted in their coach and each other and came away with a three-point victory in a very ex­cit­ing game of footy.

“The Hed­land Reds un­der-17s had a barn­storm­ing first half and held on to win by three goals. It was a very sat­is­fy­ing day for Hed­land foot­ball.”

The two sides trav­elled 500km to Kar­ratha ev­ery sec­ond week­end to play and en­dured a tough few years as start-up clubs, much like their GWS and Gold Coast coun­ter­parts in the AFL.

“From what I know, there hadn’t been ju­nior footy in these age groups for around a decade prior to the re­cent ju­nior pro­gram,” Beros said.

“So this had been four years in the mak­ing, both of these sides have copped their share of hid­ings over the last cou­ple of years so to build up to this, makes the victory a lit­tle bit sweeter.”

Beros paid trib­ute to the many vol­un­teers, who helped the boys, in­clud­ing un­der-17s coach Ray Glas­son and un­der-15 coaches Michael War­ren and Chris Cot­tier.

Both War­ren and Cot­tier called on their vast ex­pe­ri­ence as vet­eran play­ers with the Flat­back Tur­tles Masters team to in­spire the un­der-15s to victory.

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