UGSFL 2023: Eight-goal blitz in opening term sets up big home victory for impressive Katanning Wanderers side

Andrew Pritchard Great Southern Herald
Katanning Wanderers notched their first win on Sunday.
Camera IconKatanning Wanderers notched their first win on Sunday. Credit: Daniel Rooney

A dominant eight-goal opening term helped Katanning Wanderers record a comfortable 71-point win over Williams at Quartermaine Oval on Sunday.

Led by former premiership player Kade Stewart in his first home game in two years, the Tigers built on their quarter-time advantage to win 18.13 (121) to 7.8 (50) in round two of the Upper Great Southern Football League season.

The Tigers had many avenues to goal while the Cats relied on coach Teke Vernon, who booted three goals.

Kicking with a useful breeze, the Cats scored had the first goal on the board through a clever mark by Quinn Donaldson and accurate kick.

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The home side got going with Caleb Keley, dominating in the ruck at centre bounces and Stewart, James Laurino, Willie and Tyrone Roe providing ample opportunities for a forward line that had six goal scorers in the quarter as they opened up a 44-point lead.

The game tightened in the second quarter, with the Cats having use of the breeze and it took six minutes before Simon Panizza converted a strong mark.

Willie Roe showed his cleverness with a snapped goal, as did Keley.

Laurence Collard finished the scoring in this quarter, with a clever grubbed kick to extend the half-time margin to 56 points.

Again, the Tigers dominated in the third quarter but didn’t capitalise, with four goals from 11 attempts.

Stewart showed his class with two goals, one a clever snap and one outside 50m after a courageous mark running with the flight.

Keley added his third with a strong mark on the lead, and despite the Cats adding three of their own, from Vernon, Noah Logue and Addison Dew, the home side were still well in control.

Forwards Collard and Travis Justins went down to injury and the home side rested defender Ryan Pontillo, whose long left foot kicking out of defence had been very influential to this point.

In hot conditions both sides continued to play a good brand of football in the last quarter as the Tigers kicked three goals to two to seal the result.

Stewart was outstanding, linking defence to attack with his penetrating kicks for the winners, while Willie Roe (three goals) was influential around the ground with his pace and accurate kicking.

Pontillo, Keley (four) and Tyrone Pinney were also among the best players for the Tigers.

For the Cats, Gerard Medlen marked strongly in defence, Riley Cunningham and Donaldson were effective through the midfield, Vernon contributed three goals from limited opportunities, and Simon Panizza aggressively attacked the football.

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