Under 18 Nationals kick off in Bendigo

Opening Ceremony
Opening Ceremony
Image © Lachlan Williams  
Vic Vs SA
Vic Vs SA
Image © Lachlan Williams  

The 2014 Under 18 National Championships began in Bendigo today, with large amounts of people turning out to watch. 

Held at Epsom Huntly Reserve, this is the first national lacrosse tournament that has been hosted by Bendigo. 

With both state and local government support, access to state of the art facilities and grounds have been made available. 

Greater City of Bendigo Mayor Barry Lyons said the tournament will 'add to the colour of Bendigo'.

'We've become the centre of events in regional Victoria. There's hardly a weekend that goes by that we don’t have a major event, and this is a major event.'

Councillor Lyons said he thinks this weekend will have a 'big impact' on both Bendigo and lacrosse in the region. 

'It (lacrosse) just needs a bit of a bump and with an event like this it will create a lot of local interest,' he said. 

Cr. Lyons opened the championships alongside ALA president Mike Slattery and Lacrosse Victoria General Manager Rod Kimmitt, before play began. 

The tournament got underway with Victoria taking on South Australia in the boys, and Western Australia playing New Zealand in the girls. 

The Victorian boys came into the tournament carrying the title of favourites, with a core group of players from last year's championship team playing again this year, and they lived up to this title. 

South Australia were never really in the game, going into the half time break 7-1 down, eventually losing 18-4. 

In a game where both sides struggled to maintain discipline, earning penalties consistently, one standout was Victorian Joel Adams, clinical up forward with five goals. 

The girl's game taking place at the same time was in stark contrast to the blowout victory in the boys.

In a back and forth affair, New Zealand took a two goal lead into half time, before four unanswered goals from WA twisted the game on its head.

The drama continued when WA shot out to a 9-5 lead with ten minutes left, only for New Zealand to claw back and score an equaliser with 30 seconds remaining.

With scores locked at nine a piece, WA's Shannon Robinson put away the sealer with only 12 seconds remaining in the game to secure a win for the West Australian girl's.

Following these games were WA vs. New Zealand in the boys, and Victoria playing South Australia in the girls.  

A strong WA team showed an inexperienced New Zealand outfit what ruthless lacrosse looked like, taking out a 20-1 win.

An eight-goal first quarter, including four from Connor Davies, set the tone for the match.

WA controlled the game with high intensity defense, never allowing New Zealand to settle in their forward half.

Although New Zealand were comprehensively beaten, they fought hard for the ball on the ground, and made the most of their size, laying big hits on a regular basis.

In the game being played at the same time on the other field, a confident Victorian unit took on South Australian team ready to make a statement to the competition.

The game was tight until half time, with South Australia leading 10-8, but that was where the battle ended.

South Australia's 7-3 goal second half giving them an 18-11 win, and placing them in prime position to end Victoria's streak of success.

Tomorrow's fixture is:

1pm Boys Vic vs. WA 
Girls SA vs. NZ
3pm Boys SA vs. NZ 
Girls Vic vs. WA


For live scores from the action on Day 2 at the Under National Championships, like the Lacrosse Victoria Facebook page or follow us on twitter @laxvic. 


Vic 18 def. SA 4.
WA 20 def. NZ 1.
WA 10 def. NZ 9
SA 18 def. Vic 11.




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