Battle set for spot in final
Narrogin will face Boddington in Kukerin for a spot in the Upper Great Southern Football League grand final this weekend.
The winner will face off with the Katanning Wanderers at Quatermaine Oval in two weeks time, after the Wanderers defeated Boddington 17.15 (117) to 14.16 (100), at Clayton Road Oval, Narrogin.
It will be Katanning’s first UGSFL grand final since 2011.
This win gives Katanning Wanderers their best chance of breaking a long premiership drought of 31 years, since its last premiership in 1986.
In a highly entertaining and skilful game Wanderers withstood a determined fightback in the third quarter from Boddington, in which it reduced a four-goal, half-time deficit to two points at three-quarter time.
In the last quarter with the aid of a freshening breeze and with Josh Bootsma, who was moved to the forward line in the third quarter, kicking two goals Wanderers steadied to record a hard-fought win and a week’s rest.
Again Tim Fitzgerald provided a reliable avenue in the forward line, with five goals and pacey forward Kane Shephard kicked four, two of which were outstanding — one an overhead goal square snap and the other a set shot deep in the right forward pocket — in the second quarter.
In ideal spring-like weather conditions, in front of a big crowd, Boddington started strongly and had their first goal on the board within 30 seconds after a strong mark from full-forward Damian Hayward. Wanderers responded with three goals from Fitzgerald, all from strong marks on the lead.
In a fast-paced start Wanderers led 6.4 to 3.3 at quarter-time.
In an even second quarter, Wanderers jumped Boddington with Shephard kicking three and Fitzgerald his fourth.
However, Boddington responded and Herman Humphries and Hayward and Eric Moody combined to kick four goals to keep Boddington within striking distance. Wanderers led by four goals at half-time, 11.7 to 7.7.
The third quarter for long periods was controlled by Boddington and aided by Wanderers’ inaccurate kicking at goal. Matt Guimelli and Josh Kelly provided drive out of the middle and they moved within two points of Wanderers at three-quarter time.
An enthralling last quarter was on the cards. Wanderers prevailed with Bootsma taking telling marks in the forward line and Jacob Wintle, Ricky Marris, Dillon Newman and Ryan Pontillo either marking strongly or spoiling opposition marks to finish with a five to two final quarter and book a place in the grand final, at home in a fortnight.
For Katanning Wanderers, James Laurino and Tim Stewart led the midfield, Pontillo, Wintle and Marris played strongly in defence, and Fitzgerald, Shephard and Barden Crosby were lively in attack.
For Boddington, Andrew Moody and Humphries were busy in the midfield and in attack, Giumelli worked tirelessly around the ground, and Mitchell and Jarrod Salameri were pacey around the ground.
In the reserves, Wagin defeated Katanning Wanderers by 23 points 8.9 (57) to 5.4 (34). In the under-14s, Narrogin and Katanning Wanderers fought a tight battle, with Narrogin winning by nine points, 5.3 (33) to 3.6 (24).
This win gives Wanderers their best chance of breaking a long premiership drought.