AFL VicCountryAFL Victoria | The VAFA under 19’s squad has broken its four-game losing streak to Energy Safe Victoria Country, after securing the 2018 Under 19 Challenge Cup by 23-points in blistery conditions at Mars Stadium in Ballarat. Mark Koelmeyer reports.

Led by Old Brighton’s Anthony Zimmerman and Old Haileybury’s Durras Seccull with two goals apiece, VAFA ran out to an early lead and never looked back.

Making the most of a slight wind advantage, Mazenod’s Shaun Lovell opened the scoring with a goal from point blank range at the seven minute mark, before Sam Bennett slotted VAFA’s second goal in as many minutes.

A defensive wall set up by VAFA trio Ben Huggard, Matthew King and Ben Connolly managed to keep Vic Country scoreless in the first term and take a handy 35-0 lead at the first change.

Vic Country managed to flip the script in the second term, using the wind to their advantage and keeping the ball in its forward half for most of the quarter.

After 22 minutes, Vic Country found its first goal through South Barwon’s Lachlan Noble as he snapped from close range.

Noble made it two goals in two minutes to cut the deficit to just 18 points at half time.

In the second half it was Country who struck first, kicking the opening goal of the third through the left boot of Joe Richards.

With the game in the balance, VAFA speedster Anthony Zimmerman booted two of his side’s four majors for the term to extend the margin to 41 points at the break.

The fourth quarter was an arm wrestle before Vic Country finally broke the deadlock through Yarrawonga’s Matthew Casey who dribbled one through from 20 metres.

Wangaratta’s Joe Richards snagged his second for the day just a minute later to cut the deficit to 25 points, but the damage was done.

VAFA claiming the 2018 AFL Victoria Under 19 Challenge Cup 9.13.67 to 5.14.44.