AFL title for undefeated Under 19s

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Sydney University Australian National Football Club won an epic Under 19 Division One Sydney AFL grand final 62-61 over UNSW-Eastern Suburbs Bulldogs at Blacktown International Sportspark on Saturday.

In a see-sawing battle between the two universities each side landed nine goals, with Sydney University posting nine behinds to UNSW’s eight. Sydney University led 26-7 at the first break and stretched the lead to 40-20 at the main break.

But UNSW hit back with a four-goal third quarter to lead 47-40 going into the final term. In a gripping finish Sydney University land three majors to two to claim the title and remain undefeated for the season.

Archie Christies-Day led the scoring for the winners with four goals, while James Andrews, Luke Haddad, Max Negri, Declan Fitzpatrick and Daemon Lakatos each landed goals.

Zachary Nandlal, Mamadou Faye, Felix Rugg-Price and Jack Dadd also had strong games for the winners.

Jed Robbins landed five goals for UNSW, with Cooper Flint bagging two and Jack Jarvis and Hugo Roles also posting majors.

After collecting the minor premiership with an unbeaten 18-round run, Sydney University’s Premier Under 19 side finished the season proper on 72 points, with Pennant Hills (52), UNSW-ES Bulldogs (48), North Shore Bombers (48), Manly Warringah Wolves (40) and East Coast Eagles (28) making up the top six. Manly Warringah accounted for North Shore 35-32 in the elimination final, while UNSW-ES beat Pennant Hills 96-59 in the qualifying final.

Sydney University then accounted for UNSW-ES 82-30 in the second semi-final to earn a berth in the grand final, while Pennant Hills defeated Manly-Warringah 77-30 in the first semi-final. UNSW-ES then defeated Pennant Hills 85-74 in the preliminary final to earn a berth against the Students in the grand final.

Sydney University Premier Division Reserves also made it through to the grand final but lost 43-40 to North Shore Bombers in another low-scoring thriller at Blacktown.

The Bombers led 8-2 at the first break, 21-15 and the main break and 34-21 going into the final term when the Students turned up the heat with three goals and a nail-biting chance for the title.

William Stratford, Malcolm Picken, Dean Costello, Anton Damark and Egan Bradbury scored the University’s goals, while Ben Cunningham led the way for the Bombers with five goals.

After finishing second to the Bombers at the end of the season proper, the Reserves defeated Pennant Hills 63-59 in their qualifying final before losing the second semi-final 64-45 to the Bombers. They then accounted for Pennant Hills 45-40 in the preliminary final to earn a grand final berth.

Sydney University’s Division Two Under 19s made it through to the grand final but went down 42-18 to Manly Warringah in the premiership decider at Blacktown International Sportspark.