Wolves hand Kats first season loss
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.
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.