Sport

Hawks plan to swoop on an­other foot­ball flag

Narrogin Observer - - Front Page - Tim Ed­munds

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.

Picture: Casey Doak

Katan­ning and Nar­ro­gin have met twice this sea­son with each side record­ing a win.

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