By Jed Lanyon
The Eastern Ranges Under 19 Boys put their season back on track with a thrilling two point win over the Dandenong Stingrays on Saturday 3 July.
The Ranges took a 15 point lead heading into the last quarter after breaking open the game with a three goal third term. But it was the Stingrays who rallied by kicking four rapid goals to take a hold late.
The game looked all but over for the Ranges as an attempted set shot on goal was quickly turned over for a coast to coast goal by the Stingrays, who had all the momentum and a raucous crowd behind them.
But a composed Eastern side kicked the final two goals and maintained possession until the final siren sounded.
Coach Travis Cloke was impressed with his team’s victory.
“They were outstanding, showed real grit and determination. From both teams, but our boys persevered and got over the line,” he said.
The win came without two of the Ranges senior midfielders in AFL draft hopeful Tyler Sonsie, who remains out with bruising to his knee, and captain Josh Clarke, who was called on to play for Sydney’s VFL side on Sunday.
Ball-magnet Jake Soligo and Max Hall were called on to shoulder the midfield load against the Stingrays with both kicking a goal each and being named amongst the team’s best.
Both had been chosen as Vic Metro representatives in the Under 19 trial matches alongside Jackson Weatherill, Corey Preston and Jake Arundell.
“It feels really good, the boys got up and about. We’ve had a bit of a tough patch, but we’re back in it,” Jake Soligo said
The Ranges have now won back-to-back games after beating the Jets in Williamstown the week prior, snapping a four game losing skid.
That match was won in a similar fashion as the Ranges wrestled a few goals off the Jets to run away with a 27 point win. Josh Clarke led his team with an inspiring 38 disposal, one goal performance in just his second match back from a long-term leg injury.
1.3, 2.5, 5.10, 7.10 – 52
0.3, 2.5, 3.7, 7.8 – 50
M. Hall, J. Soligo, F. Kroeger, T. Charlton, J. Eales, P. Haasbroek, J. Arundell
M. Hall, F. Kroeger, J. Soligo, J. O’Connor, L Hill, J. Diedrich