While Avenel’s Chayse Thomson and Connor McCloy shone, a slow start crippled Kyabram District’s chances of snaring an under-18 interleague win on Saturday.
But after gathering themselves at the main break, the visitors hit Colac’s Central Reserve with renewed vigour to match their opponent across all aspects of the contest.
Although unable to pull back the 54-point half-time deficit, Dean Wileman’s charges impressed him greatly in the final two quarters.
‘‘The second half really showed what we can do,’’ Wileman said.
‘‘We were pretty sluggish in the first half, but after a 4-hour bus trip in the morning that was probably to be expected.
‘‘I had a word with them at half-time and reiterated (the team goals) and in that second half they really represented themselves and the league very well.’’
Jai Utiger, Chayse Thomson, Connor McCloy and Jonathan Pearson were some of the Kyabram District troops who stood out for Wileman after the game.
‘‘Jai Utiger was playing at centre half-back — a position he isn’t used to — and he was a real general down there,’’ Wileman said.
‘‘He was giving away probably a head of height and just really read the ball well and directed some of the guys in front of him when we had the ball.
‘‘Connor McCloy and Chayse Thomson were really good as well and Jonathan Pearson looked really dangerous when we swung him forward.’’
The loss did not dampen the spirits of the group, excited to be given the chance to represent the league, the coach included.
‘‘I’d just like to thank the league for the opportunity to coach some of these good young men,’’ Wileman said.
‘‘In the end, we just lacked a bit of shine with the football.’’
Kyabram District Football League 0.0, 0.1, 2.5, 3.6 (24)
Colac District Football League 2.4, 8.7, 11.8, 12.11 (83)
Goals: Kyabram: Chayse Thomson, Nathan Woods, Jonathan Pearson
Best: Kyabram: Jai Utger, Chayse Thomson Connor McCloy, Matthew Fraser, Ike Jones, Mathew Macansh.