Kats fight tooth andclaw to claim title

Alicia PereraPilbara News
Kats' Riley Dungey under pressure from Falcons.
Camera IconKats' Riley Dungey under pressure from Falcons. Credit: Pilbara News, Alicia Perera

The Karratha Kats have claimed the 2017 North Pilbara Football League reserves premiership after defeating the Karratha Falcons by just three points in a thriller grand final.

The reserves game between the two Karratha sides, played at Wickham Oval on Saturday before the league game, was a relentlessly close affair in which scores were drawn at three-quarter-time.

With every shot counting in the end, it was the Kats’ handful of extra points which got them over the line to claim the flag, with a final score of 7.10 (52) to 7.7 (49).

Kats reserves coach Tom Seccull said it was always a close contest between the two sides and the Kats had done well to win by a nose.

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“In the first semi when we played the Falcons out here ... we won on the last kick of the game and won by about five points, and I told them never to do that to me again,” he said.

“They just completely ignored that and went and did another heartstopper.

“But I suppose it’s always nice to win a tight one.”

Kats had finished the 2017 regular season as the reserves’ minor premiers, while defending premiers the Falcons finished second on the ladder but were on a roll having felled the Wickham Wolves by 16 points the previous week.

The first quarter was even as both teams scored early on and showed they were there to play.

Kats had more shots for goal but inaccuracy proved costly, and they went to the first break only slightly ahead on 2.5 (17) to 2.0 (12).

Play was similarly hard-fought in the second term as both teams kept up the pace, though Kats still remained a goal in front by half-time.

In the third quarter, Kats scored in the opening minutes and had an opportunity to break away, but Falcons were not about to let that happen.

They stepped up and kicked two majors back, and a missed shot after that saw them draw even with their opponents.

The scoreboard stood at 6.7 (43) at the beginning of the final term, making for a nailbiter of a final term.

Both teams peppered the goals but had little luck.

However a few extra scoring shots for the Kats, including some near misses, helped them get three points ahead, and with the Falcons unable to do the same, it was enough for Kats to win the game.

Seccull praised the Falcons’ efforts in putting up such a strong grand final contest.

“They’re always a pretty tough opponent, pretty hard and physical and that’s what they did in the third quarter, really got themselves back in just by being physical and hard,” he said.

“And then, credit to our boys, we were probably on the ropes and then we actually stood up in the last quarter like I asked them to and brought it home.”

Kats’ Cody Moore was awarded the Miller Medal for best-on-ground.

Meanwhile, scoring was a team effort for both sides.

Daniel Farmer, Shaun Derschow and Brent McDonald kicked two goals each for the Kats and Peter Rowe slotted through one.

For Falcons, Shaun Sullivan, Jeremy Regan, Michael Bunting, Charlie Sinagra and James Foster-Reed were all contributors to the scoreboard.

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