Last Sunday the Northam Railways Football Club headed to Tammin where all three teams were represented in the 2018 grand final, but by the end of the day the club would have to settle for two out of three.
League: After a well earned week off and watching the KATS and Federals in the prelim final the week before Matthew Stokes and his League boys came into the grand final full of confidence and slight favourites over a Keller/Tammin team they had beaten by nine goals in the second semi, but knew the job was not done until the cup was in their hands by the end of the day. Craig Medlen came into the team after spearhead Kepler Bradley was unavailable due to WAFL commitments at Claremont and his absence would be hard to cover.
The game started in bright sunshine on Tammin Oval in front of a good crowd and the first quarter was as most people predicted, hard and tough. No team could gain the upper hand as most of the football was played between both defences, but Jordon Kickett finally broke the drought to kick the first goal of the game. Keller responded through Jedd Brennan to narrow the gap to two points at quarter-time: RFC 1.4 – Kats 1.2.
The second quarter was much of the same with neither team giving up easy goals. Chris Luff and James Venturini were once again having a great tussle and the Kats’ #7 marked and converted from outside 50 to get the first goal of the quarter. But the Bombers got a quick reply after a strong tackle from Dave Grafton who converted from 40 out. Grafton then pumped a massive torpedo out of half back to see Tyrone Garlett gather the ground ball and dodge several opponents to get the ball to the dangerous Jordy Kickett who kicked his second goal. The Kats scored a late goal through Tim Snook to cut the margin back to two points at the half: RFC 3.8 – Kats 3.6.
The start of the Premiership quarter saw neither team bothering the scorers until the eight-minute mark when James Morris finally got Railways moving with a much needed goal to take a narrow eight-point lead. The Railways backline lead by de Blecourt, Holmes, Hart, Negus and Luff were outstanding, restricting the Kats to just two points for the quarter and in a low scoring game would prove invaluable. Stacey medallist Steven Caccetta started getting his hands on the footy and with Morris, Armstrong and Grafton in support took control of the midfield. Harry McInnes finished the quarter with another valuable goal to see the Bombers 13 up at three-quarter time: RFC 5.8 – Kats 3.7.
Railways started the last quarter strongly kicking the first two goals through Hunter and Kickett to take a four-goal lead, and when young Kickett took a screamer in the goal square to kick his fourth goal the Bombers were home. The Kats kicked three late goals through Venturini (2) and Snook but the horse had bolted and the Railways FC would record their first Premiership since 2009. Final scores: RFC 8.9 (57) – Kats 6.8 (44). Kickett finished with four goals and at 16 years of age looks to have a promising future. Other young fellas in the team, Jared Wynne and Mitch Heitia, also had solid games.
Railways Best: Kickett, Hart, Holmes, Grafton, Morris and Negus; Kats Best: Taylor, Williams, Brenna, Snook and Rogers.
Reserves: After convincingly beating cross town rivals Federals in the 2nd semi final the Reserves came in as slight favourites to take out the premiership, but after a 17 goal win in the Prelim Final minor premiers Feddies would prove hard to knock off. Railways started well kicking into a slight breeze with Bailey O’Driscoll scoring a goal in the first minute, but Feddies responded and had all the play for the next 10 minutes but were unable to convert kicking 7 points on the trot. Shannon Davis scored a goal against the flow for the Bombers to go 6 points clear but a late goal to Russell Fitzgerald saw the scores level at 1/4 time, RFC 2.1 FFC 1.7.
The second quarter saw Railways have a lot of the play early but wasted opportunities going inside 50 where veteran Fred Hunter mopped up numerous ground balls. Davis scored another goal but Feddies responded scoring three through Ben Casey, Mitch Johnson and Stirling Hayden. It was Feds by 11 points at the long break. The third quarter belonged to Feddies who scored 4.4 to 2.1 to hold a comfortable 26-point lead going into the last: RFC 5.4 – FFC 8.12. It seemed Railways would need a miracle to get up and kick five unanswered goals in the last, after only scoring five for the game. In a tight last 20 minutes of footy for 2018 Feddies held Railways at bay restricting the Bombers to just three points and scoring 1.3 themselves. Final scores: RFC 5.7 (37) – FFC 9.15 (69).
Railways Best: A. Riley, S. Davis, C. Watson, G. de Blecourt and D. Winsor; Federals Best: Hunter, Hayden and Beazley.
Netball: The Fast Tart Netball girls got the day going for Railways with a thrilling 1 goal win over the Cunderdin Magpies who were going for the rare three-peat. This win proved a major boost for the League who were just next door watching the Reserves going down to Federals. Hayley Moore has done a wonderful job with the girls this year and with the support of BOG Medallist Katie Leeder and Kate Swenson are well deserved premiers.