RISING Finley superstar Tom Hawkins has capped off a brilliant AFL Under-18 Championships with the Larke Medal for the best and fairest player in the competition and selection at full-forward in the All-Australian team.
The son of Geelong legend and Finley farmer “Jumping” Jack Hawkins led Vic Metro to its third consecutive division one championships after defeating Vic Country by 13 points at Princess Park on Saturday.
Hawkins plays school football with Melbourne Grammar.
Despite a handful of brilliant individual performances from footballers in the North East, no player based in the region was selected in the All-Australian side.
Metro’s victory was its 12th title win since 1989, when Victoria was separated into the two teams.
Since then Vic Metro has been outstanding, winning every year except in 1989, 1991, 1995, 1999, 2000 and 2003.
Vic Metro’s Matthew Vasilevski (30 disposals), Chris Varsamakis (21 possessions) and Patrick Veszpremi (20 touches) were among the best, as was Leigh Adams.
Robert Gray was the only multiple goal-kicker in the match.
Vic Country’s Robert Eddy and Shaun Grigg capped off an outstanding week, with 32 and 28 disposals respectively in this match.
Lachlan Hansen and Mitchell Brown were Vic Country’s only goal-scorers.
Grant Weeks, Ryan Williams and Jeff Ryan were among Country’s best.
Metro gained the ascendancy in the second term, and although it managed three goals to zip for the quarter its 14-point lead was a handy one, considering the testing climate.
Metro increased their lead to 19 points early in the third quarter when David Mackay kicked truly.
And it wasn’t until the 17-minute mark that Lachlan Hansen — who showed great courage to play after he was concussed, last Wednesday at Skilled Stadium — became the only other goal-scorer for the term.
Eight Murray Bushrangers were selected to compete in the championships, with Brad Collins, Ben Reid, Ben McEvoy, Ashley Hockey and Jarrod Harbrow impressing at various stages for Vic Country.
And fellow Bushrangers Tim McIntyre, Jay Koehler and Myles Aalbers didn’t hurt their hopes of being drafted, as they were three of the best players for NSW-ACT in the division two carnival.