Bontempelli, wearing the game changer guernsey that doubled the points off his boot, drew a free kick from Luke Hodge in the dying seconds of the final qualifying game to banish Patrick Dangerfield’s Bolts, who finished with one win and two losses.
Riewoldt’s Rampage were the first team through to the decider after winning their opening two games.
Eddie Betts’ Deadly side was the pre-tournament favourite but the all-indigenous team was the first eliminated after defeats in their first two games before getting a consolation win against the Rampage.
The much-hyped but oft-criticised concept attracted an official crowd number of 23,828 although the top deck of the stadium was closed and there were plenty of seats available on the bottom two.
The players were familiar, as were the skills — but that’s about where the similarities to a normal evening out at the AFL ended.
From the rectangular pitch, with a rock climbing wall at one corner and a bar diagonally opposite, to the light-up goalposts to the multi-coloured beanbags scattered along the city wing — it was all a bit different.
But as Fyfe was at pains to point out in the days leading up to the tournament, AFLX was designed to be a bit of fun for kids.
Most of the news in the lead-up to the much-maligned tournament was about the players who dropped out.
Melbourne pair Tom McDonald and Steven May, Hawthorn trio Chad Wingard, Luke Breust and Isaac Smith, Port Adelaide’s Robbie Gray and North Melbourne’s Robbie Tarrant (shoulder) were all drafted before opting out for various reasons.
But those who did take the field embraced the idea and appeared to enjoy themselves immensely in the carnival atmosphere.