Wolves leave Sharks floun­der­ing

Pilbara News - - Sport - Ali­cia Per­era

Wick­ham put all doubts to rest about their tag as favourites for this year’s North Pil­bara Foot­ball League premier­ship with a re­sound­ing 85-point win against chal­lengers Dampier Sharks on Fri­day, two rounds from the end of the reg­u­lar sea­son.

Sharks have been build­ing in the past few rounds and had as­cended to sec­ond place on the lad­der, mak­ing their meet­ing with lad­der­lead­ers Wolves a test of how they shaped up to the top side with fi­nals ap­proach­ing.

But Wolves’ dom­i­nant per­for­mance at Wick­ham Oval showed they are not to be un­der­es­ti­mated, stun­ning the Sharks with a 22.12 (144) to 9.5 (59) win.

The game be­gan with a fairly even first quar­ter in which both sides put some good num­bers on the score­board.

At the break the home team was up by a goal, 5.1 (31) to 4.1 (25).

But the Wolves lifted at the be­gin­ning of the sec­ond term, an­nounc­ing their in­tent with the first goal of the quar­ter.

They went on to dom­i­nate the sec­ond and third quar­ters and did sub­stan­tial dam­age on the score­board.

At three-quar­ter time the Wolves were 63 points ahead, and while the Sharks tried to steady the ship early in the last term, they were un­able to do enough to stop the mar­gin ex­pand­ing fur­ther.

Last year’s De Grey Medal win­ner and top goal­kicker Jar­rod Cross made his re­cent re­turn to the field felt with seven goals for the Wolves, while team­mates Tyson Ni­cholas and Ken­dall Tay­lor also booted five and four ma­jors re­spec­tively.

Wolves league coach Richard Coates said hav­ing some key play­ers back in the team, espe­cially in their back line, had helped to claim the win.

“We started off slow, but we had a talk at quar­ter-time and ad­dressed the things that we weren’t do­ing, and the next three quar­ters showed how good we can be,” he said.

The re­sult means the Sharks slip back to third, and face main ri­vals the Kar­ratha Kats in round 14, while Wick­ham Wolves will meet South Hed­land Swans af­ter a bye.

Wolves also recorded a sub­stan­tial win in the re­serves, de­feat­ing the Sharks 12.15 (87) to 3.3 (21).

The match also marked a mile­stone 300th game for Wolves’ club leg­end Richie He­sel­wood.

Pic­tures: Ali­cia Per­era

Sharks' Jack New­man tries to stay ahead of the Wolves’ pack.

A Wolves player takes a mark against Sharks' Chris Wailu.

Wolves' Brooke Ball and Sharks' Arthur Ramirez and Mor­ris Cop­pin chase.

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