Side slip to third after Wolves loss
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.
Kats and Wolves players compete for a mark.
Kats' Rhys Bilston lines up a mark.
Wolves' Tyler Lockyer chases down a stray ball.