Patton Leads Metro To Victory
VIC METRO forward Jonathon Patton booted six goals to propel his team to an emphatic 85-point win against Queensland in the second round fixture of the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships at Visy Park on Saturday.
Six months out from the NAB AFL Draft, Patton is widely regarded as the favourite to be claimed first overall by Greater Western Sydney and his performance in the 17.17 (119) to 5.4 (34) win only enhanced his credentials.
Patton took 11 marks and kicked 6.4 in a display that saw him adjudged best on ground by coach Rohan Welsh and earned him the praise of AFL national talent manager Kevin Sheehan.
"We saw today why he is talked of so highly," Sheehan said.
"Patton is a special talent up forward. His contested marking ability and his marking on the lead are excellent. He just tracks the ball so well in the air. He's got massive hands and just looks like he's not going to fumble the ball when it's in his area.
"He's got a great leap, takes off early to make it nearly impossible for the defender behind him to spoil and clunks the mark. He was a little bit off target today, but he was still the most important player on the ground."
Patton's ability to burst through packs has seen him likened to Brisbane Lions' forward Jonathan Brown and it was an attempt to do just that in the third quarter that saw the 197cm youngster come off second best.
He crashed to the ground in pain before limping from the field, but allayed fears of any serious damage when he came back on just a few minutes later.
Metro ruckman Billy Longer, a hard figure to miss at 202cm, used his height and bulk to his advantage and was also a key player in the win.
The Metro onball brigade took control of the contest in a second half in which the division two Queensland team was only able to muster two points against its division one rivals.
Toby Greene worked tirelessly throughout to finish with 24 possessions and a goal with Jack Viney, bound for Melbourne via the father-son rule, also busy with 17 touches and five clearances. Liam Sumner also caught the eye through the middle with 20 disposals.
Hawthorn father-son prospect Tom Curran, son of Peter, worked into the game after a slow start and finished with 15 possessions and two goals.
Richard Newell was Queensland's best player with 17 touches in an outgunned midfield with two other father-son eligible players in Jackson Starcevich and Tom Fields also ranked among their team's best players.
Starcevich is the son of Collingwood's Craig and Fields is the son of the Bombers' Neville and their progress through the carnival will be followed closely by the two AFL clubs after Saturday's performances.
Vic Metro 4.4 6.8 11.12 17.17 (119)
Queensland 2.1 5.2 5.4 5.4 (34)
Vic Metro: J Patton 6, T Curran 2, T Greene, L Sumner, T Totevski, H Crozier, D Markworth, D Tyson, B Ellis, S Frost, B Longer
Queensland: J Starcevich 2, L Russ, J Rolfe, A Sexton
Vic Metro: J Patton, B Longer, T Greene, J Viney, T Totevski, L Sumner
Queensland: R Newell, J Allen, A Boston, J Starcevich, J Wagner, T Fields
By Jason Phelan courtesy of afl.com.au