Hawks plan to swoop on another football flag
A 31-year premiership drought and a rampaging Narrogin stand in the way of Katanning Wanderers claiming their first premiership in the Upper Great Southern Football League when they host the Hawks this Sunday at Quartermaine Oval.
Wanderers progressed directly through to the grand final after a 17-point second semifinal win over Boddington a fortnight ago after claiming the minor premiership with only three losses to their name for the season.
But one of those losses was to grand final opponents, the Hawks, who inflicted a 10-point loss back in round 6 but suffered a 72-point defeat on the return fixture in round 13.
The Hawks eliminated Bodding- ton in straight sets from the finals race with a 70-point win in the preliminary final last Sunday, after previously eliminating Williams from the finals race in the first semifinal.
Led by Leo Graham medallist Cameron Allison, the Hawks have rebounded this season after a disappointing 2016 and will look to claim their second league premiership in three seasons after their 2015 flag triumph.
Leading goal kicker Mitchell Banks (68 goals) and veteran Tim Fitzgerald (55) have been constant threats in attack along with Josh Bootsma (39 goals), highlighting the No.1 attack in the competition.
Bootsma, along with key midfield recruits James Laurino and Tim Stewart, have been stand-outs for the Wanderers all season.
Up the other end, veteran Hawks sharpshooter Ralph Kickett, who tied with Banks for the leading goal kicker award will be a key for the visitors along with Allison, Barton Thompson, Matthew Abraham and Darcy Boyle.
Katanning joined the UGSFL from the Great Southern Football League in 2004 and last played in a grand final in 2010, when Williams broke their hearts with a 15-point win after Wanderers led by 17 at half-time but only kicked one goal after the major break.
In the other grades, Narrogin will take on Katanning in the D-grade at 9am, followed by Narrogin and Boddington in the C-grade at 10.30am and Wagin battling Kukerin-Dumbleyung in the reserves at noon.
Katanning and Narrogin have met twice this season with each side recording a win.