UGSFL round 12: Hawks cause big upset to hand Warriors first loss, top four is decided after Cougars’ victory
The top four in the Upper Great Southern Football League competition is now confirmed after Kukerin-Dumbleyung came from behind to beat fifth-placed Williams, ending the Cats’ season in the process at Stubbs Park on Sunday.
The Cougars were without star Justin Joyce who was on State duties and they had to come from two points down at the main break to record a seventh win of the season, stitching up a finals berth as a result.
The Cats were without playmaker Simon Panizza, who was also representing WA, and they trailed by 16 points at the first change before kicking three goals in the second term to pinch a slender lead.
Impressive forward Eric Botha continued to provide the Cougars with a target in attack and the home side took a three-point advantage into three-quarter-time.
The Cougars had four goals to the visitors’ three in the fourth quarter to record a tight eight-point win as Botha starred with six goals.
Byron Blevin, Marshall Browne and Damon Joyce were outstanding for the home side as they prevailed 12.4 (76) to 9.14 (68).
The Cats were left to rue poor kicking in front of goal but Addison Dew was superb with five majors in a losing affair.
Gerard Medlen, Jonathon Price, Daniel Harley and Jason Roney also toiled hard but the Cats’ finals hopes were ended, falling 2½ games adrift of the Cougars with only two rounds left this season.
Meanwhile, Katanning Wanderers all but secured a top-two spot after thumping Wagin by 105 points.
It took the Tigers until the third quarter to create scoreboard dominance over the Bulldogs as they booted 12 unanswered goals on their way to a big win, 17.14 (116) to 1.5 (11), at Matera Oval on Sunday.
The visitors kicked poorly early on and held a 14-point buffer at quarter-time and again wasted chances in the second term, but repeat efforts from Callum Collard led to a Caleb Keley goal.
Mitchell Banks kicked his second from a free kick, but against the run of play Brodie Bates, who had been lively in the Bulldogs forward line, kicked the home side’s first and only goal.
A late Dionne Woods major helped the Tigers to a 30-point lead at the main break and his side used the ball far better after half-time as they added seven goals, including a couple more from Banks and two from the boot of Woods.
The Tigers dominated the final term, as Woods and Josh McMahon kicked truly from free kicks, while Callum Collard and full-forward Josh Goodwin also got in on the action.
Woods finished with five majors and was well supported by Banks (four goals) and McMahon (three).
The winners were well served by their defence in Liam Hansen, Ryan Pontillo and Deklan Georgy while ruckman Khallon Zilm also stood out.
Hamish Jannings led the way for the Bulldogs and was well supported by Josk Kirk, Bronson Harry and Jack Manners.
The result leaves the Tigers one game and significant percentage clear of the third placed Boddington.
In the other round 12 games, the Eagles ran out 26-point winners at home over Brookton-Pingelly on Saturday as Ryan Smith bagged five majors.
Lloyd Padwick kicked six goals for the Panthers but they fell short, 8.7 (55) to 12.9 (81).
On Sunday, Narrogin caused the biggest upset of the season as they ended Wickepin’s winning streak.
The Hawks produced their best performance of the season, beating the previously undefeated Warriors by 13 points.
Playing in Wickepin, the Warriors led by 11 points at the last change but the visitors stormed home kicking five goals to one in the last to stun the flag fancies.
Tom Kilpatrick, Ryan Fleay, Jordan Heil, Ben McMillan and Tyler Rowe were all instrumental in the Hawks’ 13.5 (83) to 10.10 (70) triumph, with Ralph Kickett booting four goals and Declin Mumby adding three.
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