Un­der­dogs

Bod­ding­ton in mon­u­men­tal up­set

Narrogin Observer - - Front Page - Michael Traill

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.

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