SHOW OF GRIT
Great Southern Storm will take plenty of positives away after rallying to finish third at the annual Great Southern Colts Carnival held in Kulin at the weekend. Two losses on the opening day ended Storm's title hopes, but they tested eventual winners Peel early in their clash and ended on a winning note against Upper Great Southern. In a carnival consisting of seven regions, Storm had four players named in the Great Southern 20 — a team of the best players picked by selectors.
Two losses on the opening day of the 2021 Great Southern Colts Carnival ended the Great Southern Storm's title hopes as they went on to finish third overall in Kulin.
Heading into the second day of the carnival, Storm were third on the ladder but their bid to win the title was already over, with Peel and Goldfields undefeated.
Despite registering three wins for the carnival, losses to Goldfields and Esperance dented their title hopes on day one.
Esperance proved too strong for the Storm in their second match, as six goals from power forward Jevan Tholstrup helped them beat the Storm by 33 points.
Tholstrup was the difference as Storm went down 5.2 (32) to 10.5 (65) despite two goals from Tristan Ballard and Carson Bristow.
Esperance piled on the first six goals of the contest, including three in a row to Tholstrup, before Max Baker stemmed the flow with a running goal.
Tholstrup added a fourth soon afterwards but the Storm rallied as goals to Bristow and Tristan Ballard trimmed the margin to 27 points at the main change.
However they would be denied as a longrange set shot and then a snap from Tholstrup got Esperance across the line.
Rhori WilliamsJolley, Luke Mowaljarlai Jr and Coen Jackman were among the best.
Storm lost a thriller against Goldfields, losing by just six points after Kyle Smith had a kick after the siren to draw the game. Smith marked and had a long range set shot from outside 50m that fell short and didn't register a score, as they lost 9.3 (57) to 7.9 (51).
Storm trailed by 22 points at halftime after Goldfields booted six goals to two in the first half.
Goals to Tristan Ballard and Ryley Valli got the margin back to 10 points late in the game but despite kicking five goals in the second half the Storm were left to rue missed opportunities.
Baker was lively with two goals while Valli and Darcy Wallinger both stood out in a losing affair.
Storm registered a gallant 11point victory in a lowscoring first game over Eastern Districts, kicking one goal in each half while holding their opponents goalless.
In a hardfought contest, a longrange goal from Cooper Childs in the second half helped his side run out winners 2.4 (16) to 0.5 (5).
Mohit Jaggi kicked the goal in the first half, while Smith and Valli were impressive.
Storm's second win of the carnival came against neighbouring association Ongerup in their final game of day one.
A 10goal second half secured the vital percentage boosting 93point victory.
Seb Ballard finished with four for the game while Jackman and Bristow ended up with three as their side won, 17.6 (108) to 2.3 (15).
Wallinger, Jaggi (two goals) and
Smith were among the better players. A slow start against Peel was costly on day as they fell to the eventual champions by 45 points.
Storm kicked the first goal of the game through Max Baker but Peel stepped up from that point on and slotted six unanswered goals to take a comfortable 35 point lead into halftime.
Carson Bristow slotted the Storm's only major of the second half and despite Storm keeping their opponents to just three goals in the last half, they went down 2.5 (17) to 9.8 (62).
Wallinger continued his stellar carnival, while Noah Madaffari and WilliamsJolley were strong contributors.
Storm finished on a high note against Upper Great Southern, coming from two points down at halftime to win by 19 points.
Bristow put Storm in front before Ryan Lazar (three goals) kicked the final two majors of the game to seal the 6.5 (41) to 3.4 (22) victory.
WilliamsJolley chopped plenty of attacks off across halfback, while Lazar was lively in the front half and Madaffari also impressed.