The 18 & Under Invitational Tournament has concluded today with the third place playoffs and finals at Ashfield Pool in Sydney for the girls and Challenge Stadium in Perth for the boys.
The boy’s final saw Western Australia take a narrow 7-6 victory over NSW 2 with the fourth quarter being the defining period for the home team.
The game started in favour of New South Wales with Tim Reeves opening the scoring before Western Australia’s Luke Pavillard equalised with his first of two opening quarter goals, as James Smith also scored for NSW to have the game locked at 2-2.
It was a quiet second quarter with Lach Pethick scoring the only goal courtesy of a five-metre penalty earned off a foul from New South Wales’ Lachlan Clarke.
The contest picked up heat in the third with NSW equalising and then jumping ahead via Reeves and Will Cotterill, before Western Australia responded through goals to Jake Leavy and Pethick. The term ended at 5-5 with Keegan Wicken levelling for NSW.
Western Australia took just 25 seconds to take control in the fourth quarter with Pavillard notching his third goal for the game, only for Tom Rigoli to extend his team’s advantage minutes later.
New South Wales kept fighting and narrowed the margin through a goal to
Josh Hayes, but that was the end of the comeback as WA held on for the win. Western Australia coach Paul Oberman highlighted defence as the key to his side’s victory.
“We have prided ourselves on defence and averaged five goals against us for the tournament,” Oberman said.
“NSW also had good defence, and both keepers were exceptional throughout the game.”
“Luke Pavillard and Lach Pethick had some individual brilliance, however we also played well as a team which is what we had set out to do.”
In the boy’s playoff for third NSW 1 defeated Queensland 7-5. The first quarter saw Queensland lead 2-1 with Nicholas Pace and Kieran Mulcahy scoring. NSW stayed in touch via James Reid, before Gianni Taranto and Conor Wolohan combined to put NSW up 4-2 at half time.
It wasn’t until half way through the third quarter that the scoreboard changed with Nick Dempsey and Angus Lambie scoring for NSW.
Adam Hall extended New South Wales’ lead early in the fourth to put the game to bed, with Queensland gaining some consolation via goals to Peter Pavlides and Patrick Flanagan.
Gold Medal Playoff
WA 7 (L Pavillard 3 L Pethick 2 J Leavy T Rigoli) NSW (2) 6 (T Reeves 2 K Wicken J Hayes W Cotterill J Smith)
Third Place Playoff
NSW (1) 7 (J Reid 2 C Wolohan A Lambie G Taranto N Dempsey A Hall) bt Queensland 5 (P Pavlides N Pace L Johns P Flanagan K Mulcahy)