Af­ter an un­de­feated sea­son, Katan­ning fell at the fi­nal hur­dle to Bod­ding­ton in the UGSFL grand fi­nal on Sun­day.

Great Southern Herald - - Front Page - FOOT­BALL An­drew Pritchard

At un­back­able odds hav­ing not lost all sea­son, Katan­ning Wan­der­ers fell at the last hur­dle against Bod­ding­ton in the UGSFL grand fi­nal on Sun­day.

Bod­ding­ton out­played Wan­der­ers to com­plete an eight­point win, 13.13 (91) to 12.11 (83). De­spite this loss, Katan­ning fin­ished a great year, with two pre­mier­ships, in the un­der-14s and re­serves.

Bod­ding­ton did their home­work on Katan­ning’s play­mak­ers, in par­tic­u­lar Leo Gra­ham medal­list Kade Ste­wart, who was tagged by Ge­orge Wes­sells but Katan­ning’s pre­ci­sion kick­ing was miss­ing and it too eas­ily and too of­ten turned the ball over.

Bod­ding­ton won the toss and kicked to the Col­lie end of Bod­ding­ton Oval, which had been the scor­ing end in the ear­lier games, favoured by a fluky north-wester and the game panned out much like the sec­ond semi­fi­nal, with Bod­ding­ton tak­ing ear­lier con­trol.

They used the breeze to its ad­van­tage, with cap­tain Matt White, lead­ing by ex­am­ple, kick­ing a 70m goal, early.

Jay­den Caratti kicked his first from a clever snap and Lewis Gille­spie booted his first on the run. Bod­ding­ton led 4.1 (25) to 0.2 (2), at quar­ter-time but the gen­eral thought was that Bod­ding­ton could have been fur­ther in front.

Katan­ning Wan­der­ers, with their first use of the breeze, kicked into gear and had their first through Ste­wart on the run in the first minute. Cen­tre­half-for­ward Josh Bootsma, mark­ing al­most at will and Mitch Banks, in de­fence, re­pelling Bod­ding­ton’s for­ward moves, Wan­der­ers added six goals to one. Car­rati’s sec­ond, just be­fore half-time, took some of the mo­men­tum from Katan­ning, who led at half­time, 6.6 (42) to 5.3 (33) by nine points.

How Bod­ding­ton would use the breeze was the ques­tion in the third quar­ter and this was an­swered by full-for­ward Harry El­lis, who unseen un­til now and well held by Banks, kicked three of Bod­ding­ton’s five goals, one for­tu­itously when Banks slipped in the square. Car­rati added two more.

Katan­ning Wan­der­ers who was held goal­less in the first quar­ter, cru­cially kicked three against the breeze, to set up a thrilling last quar­ter, as it trailed by only seven points, 10.8 (88) to 9.7 (61). Kick­ing to what re­mark­ably, given the cross breeze, was the scor­ing end, Katan­ning would have been con­fi­dent of fin­ish­ing the game in front, par­tic­u­larly with its un­beaten form all year, but this was not to be.

Wan­der­ers won a free kick and a 50m penalty from the first con­test in the last quar­ter but could not kick straight and missed three kick­able goals early in the play.

Urged on by a vo­cal home crowd and with play­ers tir­ing on both sides, Bod­ding­ton kicked three cru­cial goals, two from a cre­ative Lewis Gille­spie. Bootsma kicked his fourth and Kane Shep­hard snapped two in quick suc­ces­sion, one on his right and one on his left but it was too late.

The siren sounded with Katan­ning Wan­der­ers deep in at­tack but Bod­ding­ton had pre­vailed, 13.13 (91) to 12.11 (83) by eight points.

For Bod­ding­ton, their lead­ers led the way with White and Michael Salmeri out­stand­ing and com­ple­mented byJar­rod Salmeri, Ge­orge Wes­sels and Jye Depane.

For Wan­der­ers, Tim Ste­wart was a stand­out at the bot­tom of

packs, Mitch Banks starred in de­fence, Khal­lon Zilm did well in the ruck and Todd Hether­ing­ton and Braden Crosby was solid on the ball.

In great news for Katan­ning, they won the re­serves’ premier­ship, de­feat­ing a Kuk­erin Dum­b­leyung side, 10.6 (66) to 7.7 (49).

In do­ing so, they won back-to­back pre­mier­ships and turned around a de­feat in the sec­ond semi­fi­nal. It was a a team ef­fort, where in­struc­tions to keep the ball away from Jon Ward, Graeme Bolt and Nathan Ditch­burn by work­ing the ball around the flanks was fol­lowed ex­pertly.

Ty­rone Roe and Coen Mar­wick con­tin­ued their rich vein of form and with veter­ans and young­sters do­ing their bit, Wan­der­ers won a hard-fought game.

Kerry Crosby kept Ditch­burn goal­less, Stephen Bar­rett led the de­fence, young­ster Bodean Mor­ton was very ef­fec­tive on his wing and James Bar­ritt and Paul Ke­ley com­bined for six goals.

For Kuk­erin Dum­b­leyung, Ward marked strongly and tried to lift his side, Bradley Gar­stone was tough in de­fence and An­drew Shep­herd and Ben Hall got a lot of the ball.

In the un­der-14s, Katan­ning Wan­der­ers went back to back, with its 11.6 (72) to 4.4 (28) win over Nar­ro­gin. Af­ter quar­ter-time, when Nar­ro­gin led by a point, Katan­ning kicked 9.6 (60) to 2.3 (15) to run out com­fort­able win­ners.

Best play­ers for Katan­ning were Wil­liam Roe, Is­abelle Per­rin, Toby Quar­ter­maine, Clay­ton Mil­lan and An­ton Tay­lor.

Bod­ding­ton cap­tain Matthew White, pres­i­dent Greg Day and coach Rocket Wil­liams are all smiles af­ter the UGSFL grand fi­nal vic­tory on Sun­day.

Katan­ning play­ers em­brace af­ter the loss.

Katan­ning play­ers look on with dis­ap­point­ment dur­ing the post-match pre­sen­ta­tion.

Bod­ding­ton cel­e­brate their UGSFL premier­ship.

Bod­ding­ton’s Jar­rod Salmeri looks to seize pos­ses­sion.

Pic­ture: Michael Traill

Kade Ste­wart is com­forted.

Katan­ning play­ers leave the field af­ter the loss.

Harry El­lis cel­e­brat­ing one of his three third-term goals.

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