Lavington brings its best on big day

Lavington celebrates its grand final win in the under-16 grand final. Picture: PETER MERKESTEYNLAVINGTON unleashed a powerful second half to blow away Wodonga by 46 points in the Albury-Wodonga Junior Football League under-16 grand final at Bunton Park yesterday.

After leading by 15 points at half-time, the Panthers gradually wore their opponents down with coach Rod Garthwaite paying tribute to his entire playing list at the end of the match.

It was the first time Lavington had beaten Wodonga this year after losing the previous battles by seven and 19 points.

“We built for it and did everything right today. It was a fantastic effort,” Garthwaite said.

“I thought our second and third stringers lifted their intensity and closed them down around the ground and that was the secret today.

“Our game plan clicked and I can’t speak highly enough of the boys for the effort they put in.”

While Lavington had an even spread of contributors, Harry Nunn was outstanding with captain Connor Meredith, spearhead Ryan Garthwaite, Ben King and Jake Mitchelson also prolific.

Garthwaite kicked five goals to be the most effective forward on the ground.

Although Wodonga went into the clash as favourites, Lavington remained confident of turning the tide as it missed Nick Cooke, Jack Kirley and Ryan Haberecht in their last confrontation.

Wodonga was best served by George Haynes and Nick English.

Garthwaite said he felt Lavington started to get on top during the second term.

“We started to get our clearances out the centre in the second quarter and when we broke we looked good,” he said.

“Wodonga is a good side and we had to play good football to get on top.

“It was a terrific win for the club.”

Officials were delighted with the record gate of $5250 with five clubs — Wodonga, Wodonga Raiders, Lavington, North Albury and Albury — represented in the four grades.

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