KANGAROO Flat rides a wave of momentum as it meets Sandhurst in the Bendigo Bank Bendigo Football Netball League’s under-18s footy grand final on Saturday.
The young guns from the Roos and Dragons will do battle at Queen Elizabeth Oval from 9.15am.
For Kangaroo Flat it’s a long-awaited grand final appearance.
The Jason Stevens-coached Roos have fought their way from an elimination final to take on Sandhurst for the premiership cup.
When the grand finalists last met in round 10 at the QEO, the David Gallagher-coached Sandhurst won 5.8 (38) to 5.7 (37).
Kangaroo Flat was at home when it faced the Dragons in the season’s opening round at Bendigo Mazda Oval, Dower Park.
On that occasion, Sandhurst won 81-44 as Zac Sims kicked three goals and Zac Featherby and Campbell Rowland added two each.
Flat’s attack was led by Nic Keogh and Lachlan Wilson, two goals.
Best for Sandhurst were Isaac Carracher, James Mittell, Kyle Johnston, Connor Sexton and Alex Welch.
Mitch Trewhella, Jade Mayes, Ryan O’Keefe and Josh Leersen played well for the Roos.
In round 10, Sandhurst led 26-15 at half-time, but the Roos dominated the third for a 35-27 lead at a quarter to go.
The Dragons fired up in the last to score a 38-37 victory.
Lachlan Baker kicked two goals for Sandhurst as Mitch Rovers and Lachlan Wilson marked the same feat for Flat.
Sandhurst’s best were Isaac Carracher, Alex Welch, Tanner Nally, Harvey Gallagher, James Mittell and Connor Sexton.
Best for the Roos were Mitch Sherlock, Mitch Trewhella, Dion Symons, Darcy Kelly, Josh Leersen and Mitch Rovers.
The under-18s finals kicked off with a 51-38 win for Sandhurst in the qualifying final against Gisborne.
There were eight goalkickers for the Dragons as Noah Walsh, Caleb Connick, Cobi Maxted and Isaac Carracher led the way.
Next day it was Kangaroo Flat which stayed in the premiership race after a 6.10 (46) to 6.9 (45) result in the elimination final against Golden Square.
The Roos led 23-15 at half-time, but the Bulldogs were in front, 30-25 going into the final term.
Kangaroo Flat had six goalkickers in a contest where Ryan O’Keefe, Mitch Trewhella, Josh Leersen, Jade Mayes were best.
The Dragons were first to the grand final after a 45-30 win against Strathfieldsaye in the second semi-final.
Storm surged to a 22-7 lead by half-time, but Sandhurst fought back to score 13 points as it kept Strathfieldsaye scoreless in the third term.
Zac Sims kicked a team-high two goals as Caleb Connick, Cobi Maxted, Isaac Carracher, Noah Walsh and Cooper Smith dominated in a 7.3 (45) to 4.6 (30) victory.
Kangaroo Flat has won two hard-fought finals the past two weekends.
Jack Hickman, Hakeem Johnson and Lachlan Wilson all kicked two goals in a 54-41 win against Gisborne in the first semi-final.
Mitch Sherlock, Mitch Trewhella, Hakeem Johnson and Lachlan Wilson were best.
The Roos made a brilliant start to last Saturday’s preliminary final against Strathfieldsaye.
Kangaroo Flat led 28-7 at quarter-time, but Storm fought back to trail 26-29 at the long break.
The Roos led 38-34 at the start of the last quarter and scored 3.2 to 2.2 in the final term for a 58-49 win.
Lachlan Wilson booted four goals for a season tally of 47 as Mitch Rovers added two.
Awarded the George Symons Medal as fairest and best in the under-18s competition, Mitch Trewhella was best afield as the Roos’ run rolled on.
Josh Leersen, Mitch Rovers, Lachlan Wilson, Max Johnson and Ryan O’Keefe also starred.
A talented Kangaroo Flat attack is led by Lachlan Wilson, 47; Mitch Rovers, 35; Hakeem Johnson, 27; and Ryan O’Keefe, 14.
Leaders on the Dragons’ goalkicking list are Zac Featherby, 25; Caleb Connick, 22; Zac Sims, 20; and Lachlan Baker, 12.
It may be Kangaroo Flat which marks a long-awaited premiership, or Sandhurst which adds to an incredible tally of under-18s grand final wins.
B: Brodie Hartland, Alex Welch, Kyle Johnston.
Hb: Jeremy Ellis, Cobi Maxted, Tanner Nally.
C: Zachary Johns, Blaze Houlden, Conor O’Farrell.
Hf: Lachlan Baker, Zac Featherby, Noah Walsh.
F: Harvey Gallagher, Caleb Connick, Nathan Vincent.
Foll: Connor Sexton, Isaac Carracher, Cooper Smith.
Inter: Henry Bombardieri, Joseph Fiske-Kealy, Zac Sims, Thomas Starr.
Coach: David Gallagher.
B: Darcy Kelly, Mitchell Sherlock, Luke Stagg.
Hb: Hakeem Johnson, Nicholas Keogh, Darcy McClure.
C: Lachlan Lee, Jade Mayes, Joshua Leersen.
Hf: Riley Bouwmeester, Hamish Lockhart, Jack Hickman.
F: Mitchell Rovers, Lachlan Wilson, Dion Symons.
Foll: Max Johnson, Conor McGrath, Mitchell Trewhella.
Inter: Lachlan Balcke, Corey McMillan, Callum Pickles.
In: Mitchell Sherlock.
Out: Ben Savy.
Coach: Jason Stevens.