Juniors take centre stage with premierships on the line
Sunday August 25 marks the end of the 2019 AFL Central West season, but not before four premierships are won. Following last week’s Preliminary Finals, the matchups have been decided, with all the second placed sides winning through. With four high quality matches expected to be played, several questions remain. Will Dubbo end the Cowra Blues’ dominance in the Under-12s? Can the Blues topple the almost unbreakable Tigers Under-14s? Will the Giants Youth Girls finish undefeated?
Hosting the Junior Grand Finals for a sixth consecutive season are the Bathurst Giants with all games at George Park #1
AFL CW Under-12s Grand Final
Dubbo Juniors vs Cowra Blues – 9:30am
In their first year since returning to the AFLCW junior competition, Dubbo Juniors had close to the perfect season. One mid-season hiccup drawing with the Bathurst Giants Davis outfit, and one late season slip 43-40 away in Cowra. Their opponents, have also been nothing short of spectacular, having won seven straight games leading into Sunday. This match showcases two extremely talented groups of kids, who both play a strong, competitive brand of football. Expect Mason Bright and Aaron Hall to give the Blues the best chance for the result, whilst in Dubbo, Cooper Smith, Declan McGregor and Austin Hunt have been standouts this season.
Cowra Blues 1.3-9 def by Dubbo Juniors 10.3-63 Round 2, George Park #2
Dubbo Juniors 10.11-71 def Cowra Blues 7.6-48 Round 5, South Dubbo Oval
Cowra Blues 6.7-43 def Dubbo Juniors 5.10-40 Round 9, Mulyan Oval
Final word: If you aren’t a morning person, make Sunday the exception and get to GP1 for the match of the round. The Blues are in inspired form and are capable of causing an upset however Dubbo have been the best side all year and deserve to enter the match as favourites.
AFL CW Under 14s Grand Final
Orange Tigers vs Cowra Blues – 11:10am
Two equally talented teams face off in the Under-14s final. GWS Development Squad players make up a third of the Tigers team and Cowra will compete with a side of AFL CW representative players. Cowra and Orange have lost three games between them for the season, Cowra – two defeats to Orange, whilst the Tigers lost their only match to the Blues. Matthew Brown, Will Chamberlain, Jake Egan and Thomas Bock headline a fantastic Tigers lineup and their performances will be key. Cowra have made some slight changes to their team and will be assisted again by their Under-12s players who regularly back up.
Orange Tigers 10.10-70 def Cowra Blues 3.2-20 Round 2, George Park #1
Cowra Blues 9.16-70 def Orange Tigers 5.2-32 Round 9, Mulyan Oval
Orange Tigers 11.4-70 def Cowra Blues 0.3-3 Round 11, Waratah’s
Final word: A last-meeting mercy-rule sends the Tigers into the clash high on confidence. These sides have been competitors for several seasons now and are regularly meeting each other at this time of the season. Look for the first half to be a tightly contested affair and the game to open up after the main break.
AFL CW Youth Girls Grand Final
Bathurst Giants vs Orange Tigers – 12:40pm
The Bathurst Giants Youth Girls just keep winning. Having completed an undefeated season, and enjoying the week off, the Giants now come up against the Orange Tigers in an attempt to secure the club’s first piece of silverware for the season. Both teams faced each other in last year’s corresponding fixture but since that day, the Giants have continued to get stronger. Rhiani Rozga has kicked more goals than any other junior player this season, and will be a focus in the forward line for the Giants. Ineka Hart and Sophie Beatty lead the way with 13 and 9 goals respectively for the Tigers who will be hoping for top performances from the likes of Elizabeth Gibson, and Anna Macpherson to remain competitive.
Orange Tigers 4.5-29 def by Bathurst Giants 10.3-63
Bathurst Giants 7.10-52 def Orange Tigers 0.2-2
Bathurst Giants 11.5-71 def Orange Tigers 4.1-25
Final word: The Giants have named 24 players compared to the Tigers 14. They have had significantly more players than their opponents in every match this season. They have been a powerhouse side in 2019 and should complete the perfect season.
AFL CW Under-17s Grand Final
Bathurst Giants vs Orange Tigers – 2:15pm
With only the two sides competing in 2019, it was anyone’s guess who would make it to the last weekend in August. There have been five matches this season with the spoils going to the Giants three games to two. Jack Goodsell and Zac Yandle have been standouts for the Giants who have gone on to play significant Senior Men’s game-time this year. Additionally, the Tigers Ike Dean, Peter Byrne, Max Bylsma, Zachary Cullis and Charlie Kemp have all had excellent seasons either in both the Under-17s and Senior Men’s. Although a small competition this year, the Under-17s players have represented their clubs admirably throughout what has been a challenging season. The season has been ultra-competitive and both sides have definite claims of victory.
Bathurst Giants 5.7-37 def Orange Tigers 3.9-27 Round 1, George Park #1
Orange Tigers 2.5-17 def by Bathurst Giants 12.10-82 Round 2, Waratah’s
Orange Tigers 6.5-41 def Bathurst Giants 6.4-40 Round 3, Waratah’s
Bathurst Giants 6.8-44 def Orange Tigers 5.6-36 Round 5, George Park #1
Bathurst Giants 11.6-72 def by Orange Tigers 11.15-81 Round 9, George Park #1
Final thoughts: Throughout the five meetings only one has been decided by greater than two goals. With so much talent on display, a close game is expected. These two teams are already filling Senior Men’s sides and those who aren’t playing Saturday’s will be contending for spots in the near future. With the best up-and-coming talent in the Central West on display, stick around for this match. At home, and used to the big stage, we are tipping the Giants by two to five goals.
Unlike Senior finals, there is no entrance fee for junior finals, make your way to George Park #1 on Sunday.
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