Side slip to third af­ter Wolves loss

Pilbara News - - Sport - Ali­cia Per­era

A loss to lad­der-lead­ers Wick­ham Wolves in round 12 has seen the Kar­ratha Kats slip to third place on the league lad­der and the Wolves con­sol­i­date their rep­u­ta­tion as the team to beat this sea­son.

Wick­ham al­ways had the edge in what was oth­er­wise a close, high­pres­sure game in a top-two matchup at the Kats’ Mil­lars Well Oval home ground on Fri­day, from which they came away with a 15point win.

Wolves had an early lead in a low-scor­ing first quar­ter, go­ing to the quar­ter-time break with a 13point lead, and main­tained that in the sec­ond af­ter the Kats kicked their first goal.

The sec­ond half was more even, with the Kats match­ing the Wolves on the score­board and hang­ing in the game de­spite trail­ing by about two goals at most points.

How­ever, it was not enough to over­come the dam­age done in the first half and Wolves stayed in con­trol, lead­ing to a fi­nal re­sult of 9.15 (69) to 7.12 (54).

The Wolves looked con­fi­dent through­out the game, and with three more wins than their clos­est ri­val on the lad­der by round 12, hav­ing dropped only one game all sea­son, are shap­ing up to fin­ish the sea­son as mi­nor pre­miers.

Wolves cap­tain Tim Ren­ton said this had been a close match but one they were proud to win.

“This was a re­ally big con­test for us,” he said. “We put it on our­selves dur­ing the week . . . and guys are hunt­ing us now, so to step up to the chal­lenge, which we did, we’re happy with.”

Kats coach John Welling­ton said his team had suf­fered from start­ing on the back foot but had done well to hang on, and would take a lot of pos­i­tives from the game.

“Ob­vi­ously our boys knew we were in a for a hard-fought bat­tle — it’s al­ways go­ing to be a good game against this side,” he said.

“I think if you look at it against a side like this it’s prob­a­bly go­ing to be fi­nals footy ev­ery time you play, and that was the in­ten­sity tonight from both sides.”

In the re­serves it was a dif­fer­ent story, with Kar­ratha Kats de­feat­ing Wolves 10.11 (71) to 8.6 (54).

Kats led for most of the game but ac­cel­er­ated away in the the third quar­ter, and de­spite a strong fi­nal term from Wick­ham, they could not come back. Wolves face an­other chal­lenge against the in­form Dampier Sharks next week, while the Kats play a derby against the Kar­ratha Fal­cons.

Pic­tures: Ali­cia Per­era

Kats and Wolves play­ers com­pete for a mark.

Kats' Rhys Bil­ston lines up a mark.

Wolves' Tyler Lock­yer chases down a stray ball.

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