Central West junior sides impress at Shoalhaven junior AFL carnival

GET IT AWAY: Central West and Orange Tigers midfielder Peter Byrne gets a kick away during blustery conditions at Shoalhaven. Photo: DAMIAN McGILL
GET IT AWAY: Central West and Orange Tigers midfielder Peter Byrne gets a kick away during blustery conditions at Shoalhaven. Photo: DAMIAN McGILL

Two Dubbo Demons have helped the Central West under 17s side to a commendable second-placed finish at the weekend’s Shoalhaven junior AFL carnival.

Elouise Stanbrook and Staci Phillips were part of the youth girls side which suffered a 5.7.37 to 1.2.8 loss to the Sapphire Coast in the grand final.

Sapphire Coast went through the tournament undefeated, handing Central West a big 10.5-65 to 1.0-6 defeat on the opening night of the tournament. 

Central West’s two other games were both strong wins, with eight goals coming across the two matches.

The Youth Girls defeated Saints Pink 4.3-27 to 2.0-12 and Saints Blue 4.5-29 to 1.0-6 on Saturday to finish in second place on the ladder, and while the teams escaped the dreadful weather which lashed the Central West over the weekend, all teams across all age groups struggling across all their games with strong, blustery winds. 

In the boys’ side of the carnival, Central West under 17s coach Ben McKenna praised his side’s “unreal” efforts to finish third.

McKenna was determined the side, which has traditionally struggled at the Shoalhaven carnival, wouldn’t be hangers-on. 

“I told them before the first game we weren’t there to make up the numbers and we were there to win and they played really well,” he said.

“They played incredibly, they had people stunned in the crowd.”

He cited the Bathurst Giants contingent of Riley Mitchell, Aidan McCauley, Nic Broes and Ryan Cooke as well as young ruckman Jack Goodell as standouts.

The under 13 and under 15 sides both finished without a win in the group stage of the carnival.

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