Boddington in monumental upset
The Boddington Eagles were faced with a monster task walking on to their home deck for the 2018 UGSFL grand final on Sunday afternoon.
Eagles fans were praying for a massive upset against “country WA’s best footy side” and heavy favourites, the undefeated reigning premiers, Katanning Wanderers — who finished the season as minor premiers on 601 per cent.
Katanning had just watched their reserves collect premiership medallions, after they defeated Kukerin/Dumbleyung 10.6 (66) to 7.7 (49), and were full of confidence to walk off the field in similar fashion.
But it was Boddington who took control early.
Eagles captain Matthew White sparked his side with a massive first goal kicked outside 50.
Jayden Carratti and Jarrod Salmeri were comfortably repelling Katanning’s attempts to push the ball inside forward 50.
Mitchell Salmeri, Jye Depane and Lewis Gillespie tore the Wanderers apart through the middle.
Gillespie and Carratti found goal, while Jake Wilson beautifully set up White for his second, and Boddington went into the break with a 4.1 (25) to 0.2 (2) advantage.
Katanning hit back in the second term, as Kade Stewart scored instantly, while Josh Bootsma found his way into the game with a goal seven minutes in.
Another two goals to Bootsma, one to Stewart and one for Lau- rence Collard propelled the Wanderers in front 42 to 27.
A much-needed goal from Carratti settled the Eagles just before the main break.
After a game of momentum in the first half, the third term was an arm wrestle.
Tim Stewart and Todd Hetherington worked overtime for the visitors, while Wilson and Matt Giumelli lifted for the Eagles.
Harry Ellis opened the scoring in the premiership quarter with his first for the Eagles, lifting the home crowd along the way.
Nathan Crosby hit back with a major for Wanderers.
Ellis scored another two in the third term and led his side to a 68 to 49-point lead, with the help of goals from Depane and Carratti.
However, goals to Laurino and Kane Shephard brought the margin back down to seven points at the final break — 10.8 (68) to 9.7 (61).
Tim Stewart could not capitalise on a set shot from a 50m penalty as play began in the final quarter of the year.
Goals to Jarrod Salmeri and Gillespie pushed Boddington out to a 83-65 lead. Bootsma then snagged one for Wanderers, but a goal to Depane all but sealed the flag for Wanderers.
Shephard scored two late goals for the Tigers, ensuring a tense wait for the siren from the crowd.
But it was not enough. Boddington held on to a 13.13 (91) to 12.11 (83) victory, their first premiership since 2012.
Tim Steward was awarded with the South Fremantle award and Eagles vice-captain Mitchell Sal- meri took home the George Warren Medal for fairest and best on ground.
James Laurino fights the pack.
Harry Ellis celebrates one of his three third-term goals.