KELLER/TAMMIN proved themselves to be worthy league ladder leaders with a five-goal win over second-placed Federals at Jubilee Oval on Sunday.
In perfect winter conditions for football, even though the ground may have been slightly heavy, the KATs set up their lead early and were never headed.
Feddies on the other hand reduced the KATs’ winning margin from their last encounter by more than 20 points and coach John Watters said his young charges could “learn from it”.
One bright spot was Dean Dick’s complete eclipsing of the KATs’ goal-scoring machine Chris Maguire, keeping him goalless and forcing him to move up the ground.
Unfortunately for Feddies, the KATs’ star utility player James Venturini put in a virtuoso performance, booting seven goals for the match, four of them in the first quarter.
Venturini is arguably the best player in the competition and his effort on Sunday was a masterclass.
The first quarter actually set the trend for the game.
Although they sometimes came unstuck, the KATs were the more confident side, willing to use chains of long handball and to run with the footy.
Both sides played a similar brand of entertaining football, but the KATs are more experienced than the youthful Feddies players.
The KATs’ one real weakness appeared early in the match when too many of their opposing forwards were allowed to mark unchecked.
They tightened as the match progressed.
It was a fast game with little time for deep thought.
It was pressure football all day.
There was some very exciting football for the spectators with the umpires being helpful by being reasonably unobtrusive.
Venturini, a cool customer, was the KATs’ key player all day, ably helped by Tim Stewart.
Stan Winmar was another good player.
For Feddies, no one was better than Dean Dick who reduced Chris Maguire to a knock ruckman.
Skipper Glenn Smith was again a worker around the ground while Jarrad Lawrence again worked hard in the ruck.
With three goals, Lewis Henry was Feddies’ most effective forward.
Play was closer than the final score suggested and it is difficult to see who can displace the two sides from their top spot.
Beverley struggled early and it will be interesting to see how they fare now against these two sides.
It is almost certain these are the three sides who will feature in the finals.
Other matches on Sunday showed this.
Quairading beat Railways by 16 points, 17.15 to 15.11 and Beverley annihilated York by 151 points 25.21 to 3.2.
Round 11 will take place over the weekend of June 30 and July 1.
On Saturday, June 30 Beverley will host Cunderdin.
The following day Railways will be at home to Keller/Tammin and Federals will travel to Quairading.