VAFA U18’s OFF TO WINNING START

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In the fifth edition of this annual series against the best footballers from AFLNZ, a selection of VAFA Under 18 players have defeated the best Under 18 talent from New Zealand.  This year the team returned to Parrs Park in Auckland and for the first time there were two games played on Saturday with an Australian Under 16 girls side playing against AFL NZ under 16 girls.  This set the scene for a great day of  football.
The Under 18 game against AFL NZ was hard fought with some extremely tough football played in the first quarter.  Both teams were approaching the football fiercely and with a strong rugby background the New Zealand players were laying some hard tackles.  Not be beaten in this area, the VAFA players rose to the challenge and showed they could tackle with just as much venom.  
New Zealand had a slight wind advantage in the first quarter and scored two goals before the VAFA kicked three of their own to arrive at the first break with a nine point lead.
In the second quarter, the VAFA team’s experience and football smarts saw them take a strangle hold of the match. The VAFA kicked five goals to one to extend the lead and this continued in the third quarter when the VAFA kicked another seven goals to one to have a commanding lead at three quarter time.  
The game slowed in the final quarter as both teams suffered the effects of a physical contest and the weather was quite warm too.  To the credit of the New Zealand team, they continued to fight the game out and kicked three goals in the last quarter.  
The VAFA ended up with a 52 point win but it was in no way an easy win as New Zealand made us fight for every goal and earn every possession.  Liam Hard was voted by the VAFA coaching staff as the VAFA’s best player and the New Zealand coaching staff voted Tom Johnstone as their best player from the VAFA.  Both teams had a rest day on Sunday to recover before playing the second game on Monday. 
Match 1 AFL NZ U18 v VAFA U18
AFL NZ
2.3    3.4    4.7   7.9.51
VAFA
3.5    8.9   15.11   15.13.103 
Goals VAFA – Ergul 3, Angley 2, Hard 2, O’Toole 2, Waters 2, Gregory 1, Healey 1, Lovejoy 1, Moore 1, 
Best VAFA: Hard, Johnstone, Lovejoy, Moore, Stoios, O’Toole