Footy fun in field of dreams

Albany Extra - - Front Page - Saskia Adysti and An­drew Pritchard

Kuk­erin-Dum­b­leyung re­serves team took this cheeky shot in a canola field to cel­e­brate their premier­ship win last week­end. The pic­ture has since gone vi­ral on so­cial me­dia.

Katan­ning Wan­der­ers won the Up­per Great South­ern Foot­ball League premier­ship, beat­ing Nar­ro­gin Hawks by 43 points at Quar­ter­maine Oval last Sun­day, 17.14 (116) to 11.7 (73).

Quar­ter­maine Oval was filled with al­most 3500 spec­ta­tors who came from all around the Great South­ern to see the Wan­der­ers end their 31-year league premier­ship drought.

The Wan­der­ers dom­i­nated the game from start to fin­ish.

Wan­der­ers’ Mitchell Banks slot­ted three goals to help his side to 18 points at quar­ter-time.

The Hawks fi­nally found their way into the game dur­ing the sec­ond quar­ter as Ralph Kick­ett scored five goals.

How­ever, what­ever Nar­ro­gin could do, Wan­der­ers could do bet­ter, as Tim Ste­wart set the tone and scored a long goal, fol­lowed by Wan­der­ers’ cap­tain Tim Fitzger­ald, who scored two more goals for the team.

In the sec­ond quar­ter, Wan­der­ers scored a to­tal of four goals and still led by 24 points, with Katan­ning 9.3 (57) to Nar­ro­gin 5.3 (33).

The Wan­der­ers ex­tended their lead with an early goal from Lau­rence Col­lard dur­ing the third quar­ter, who scored from out­side the 50m line. Nar­ro­gin came back with an­other kick from Kick­ett and two goals from Ethan Boatwright, who man­aged to play on de­spite break­ing his hand dur­ing the first quar­ter.

By the end of the third quar­ter, Wan­der­ers main­tained the lead, 11.8 (74) to 8.4 (52).

In the fi­nal term, Fitzger­ald scored an­other three goals for the team as they moved Josh Bootsma into the for­ward line and moved Banks to play on Kick­ett.

Nar­ro­gin man­aged to score an­other three goals dur­ing the last quar­ter but Katan­ning still had con­trol of the game as they piled on six more goals and picked up the 43-point win for the UGSFL premier­ship.

Wan­der­ers coach Mark Pin­ney said he was thrilled with the fi­nal re­sult and proud of the sup­port from the crowd.

“There were a fair bit of emo­tion,” he said.

“It was re­ally great to see the com­mu­nity em­brace this win — it’s been a long time com­ing. And to have nearly 3500 peo­ple there, it was truly an amaz­ing turnout for a coun­try foot­ball game.”

Wan­der­ers’ James Lau­rino was given the South Fre­man­tle Award and Ste­wart won the Ge­orge War­ren Medal for fairest and best.

Ju­bi­lant Katan­ning play­ers cel­e­brate their premier­ship vic­tory.

Pic­ture: Toby Hussey

Katan­ning’s Todd Hether­ing­ton in a ruck con­test.

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