Wolves hand Kats first sea­son loss

Pilbara News - - Sport - Ali­cia Per­era

North Pil­bara Foot­ball League lad­der-lead­ers the Kar­ratha Kats have suf­fered their first de­feat of the sea­son at the hands of ri­val top-ofthe-ta­ble con­tenders Wick­ham Wolves in round 7.

The teams met on a chilly Fri­day night at Wick­ham Oval and while the game was close through­out, Wick­ham con­sis­tently had the edge and the Kats strug­gled to find an­swers, lead­ing to a 22-point win for Wolves.

Round 7 was also the NPFL Talk To A Mate round, in which the league fo­cused on re­gional men’s health and en­cour­aged men and boys to share is­sues rather than strug­gle in iso­la­tion.

The first quar­ter was close and char­ac­terised by fast, scrappy play thanks to the dewy con­di­tions.

Wick­ham man­aged to move a goal ahead by the break and went toe-to-toe with their op­po­nents to main­tain the same mar­gin in the sec­ond term.

They suf­fered a blow af­ter goal­kicker Stephen Grigg was given a red card af­ter an al­ter­ca­tion late in the term.

By the third quar­ter, the Wolves had warmed up. They came out pep­per­ing the goal, de­liv­er­ing two ma­jors in the open­ing min­utes and a few points, while keep­ing the ball well away from the Kats’ for­ward 50.

Kats scored a goal mid­way through the quar­ter, re­duc­ing the mar­gin to 12 points, and kept fight­ing into the last term.

But they were un­able to cap­i­talise on op­por­tu­ni­ties in the fi­nal quar­ter, with in­ac­cu­rate kick­ing cost­ing them dearly.

With five min­utes re­main­ing and 12 points still the dif­fer­ence, two suc­ces­sive Wick­ham goals through a shaky Kats de­fen­sive back­line ce­mented their win — and a first de­feat of the sea­son for Kar­ratha.

The fi­nal score was a win to the Wolves, 11.12 (78) to 7.14 (56).

Wolves coach Richard Coates said with a lot of in­juries in the league team, the dif­fer­ent play­ing style of the new smaller play­ers had given them an edge.

He said beat­ing the Kats would be a good con­fi­dence builder.

Kats came out the win­ners of the re­serves match, beat­ing Wolves by 30 points in a game that was close un­til the last quar­ter.

The score was 11.8 (74) to 6.8 (44), with ac­cu­racy in front of goal in the fi­nal term mak­ing all the dif­fer­ence.

Pic­tures: Ali­cia Per­era

Wolves' Tim Ren­ton slips a hand­ball through to team­mate Brodie Brown.

Wolves and Kats play­ers com­pete for a mark in front of goal.

Wolves' Beau Alec shoots for goal as Kats' Todd Ko­vace­vich de­fends.

Wolves play­ers cel­e­brate a goal against the Kats.

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