Un­der-18s out of finals, but fu­ture is bright

The Tatura Guardian - - Sport -

In re­mark­able cir­cum­stances, Tatura’s un­der-18s side capped off a suc­cess­ful sea­son with its first finals ap­pear­ance in sev­eral years at the week­end.

The Bull­dogs’ re­cov­ery from hav­ing no un­der-18s team at all last year to a finals-con­tender this year has been noth­ing short of amaz­ing.

Tatura hosted Shep­par­ton Bears in the first elim­i­na­tion fi­nal at Tatura Park on Satur­day and while the score­board would sug­gest it was a tough day at the of­fice, the young Bull­dogs ac­quit­ted them­selves very well and should be proud of their achieve­ments over a long sea­son.

In blus­tery con­di­tions and kick­ing against a strong breeze, Tatura had its chances in the first quar­ter, how­ever it was the Bears who grabbed their op­por­tu­nity to kick four im­por­tant goals.

Tatura’s mid­field com­peted well, win­ning plenty of the ball, but the Bull­dogs were un­able to cap­i­talise when they went for­ward. .

They also failed to take ad­van­tage of the breeze in the sec­ond term and could only add one goal, while the Bears piled on an­other four.

The sec­ond half re­flected the first, with the Bears grasp­ing every op­por­tu­nity and the Bull­dogs just miss­ing theirs.

Ai­den Moor seemed to be in every con­test across half-back and through the mid­field and the ath­leti­cis­mofMatt Lange-Richards was a fea­ture.

Ma­son Far­ley con­tin­ued his fan­tas­tic sea­son with a dom­i­nant per­for­mance in the ruck, while cap­tain Jay­den Arm­strong played his ever-con­sis­tent game in the cen­tre.

Cal­lum Min­u­toli was very lively and Cooper Eyles tried hard all game.

Shep­par­ton went on to win the game con­vinc­ingly, how­ever the Bull­dogs’ ef­forts should not go un­no­ticed.

The ma­jor­ity of those in the team had never played with each other be­fore this sea­son and the fu­ture of Tatura’s un­der-18s pro­gram looks very promis­ing.

The scene after the game was one of dis­ap­point­ment and lost op­por­tu­nity, how­ever the sense of achieve­ment among the group was still present.

With coach Joe Min­u­toli stand­ing down at the end of the sea­son, the club took the op­por­tu­nity to an­nounce the ap­point­ment of pop­u­lar se­nior foot­baller An­drew Ci­avarella as one of its’ joint un­der­18s coaches for next sea­son.

The club is look­ing for­ward to build­ing on the ef­forts of this sea­son and hopes to make fur­ther im­prove­ment.

Finals scores: Shep­par­ton 13. 11 (89) de­feated Tatura 4. 8 (32)

Best: Ai­den Moor, Matt LangeRichards, Ma­son Far­ley, Jay­den Arm­strong, Cal­lum Min­u­toli and Cooper Eyles.

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