Kats hold off plucky Wolves in semi-final
Karratha Kats will host the North Pilbara Football League grand final for the second year in a row after clawing their way to victory against Wickham Wolves on Saturday night and earning a straight shot at the holy grail.
It was first plays second at Wickham Oval and what was expected to be a blockbuster match lived up to the hype, with four lead changes throughout the match despite an unforeseen start.
The intensity was high from the outset but the Wolves were unable to penetrate the Kats’ unshakeable defence in the first quarter, with the minor premiers struggling to get the ball in their forward 50 and going goalless for the term.
Throughout the first half, Karratha kicked six unanswered goals, soaring to 34-point lead and looking likely to run away with an easy win.
But Wickham weren’t about to roll over and concede defeat, the team rallied at the end of the second term and finally kicked a major with six minutes left.
They continued to surge in the dying minutes of the quarter and kicked three more goals before the siren sounded to trail by just nine points at the main change.
The game was on in the second half with the Wolves kicking the first two goals of the third quarter to take the lead for the first time after six minutes of play.
The Kats fired back to lead by five points at the last break.
The Wolves kicked the first goal of the final term and edged to a two-point lead, before Kats’ Brayden Lee snapped a goal to put his team back in front.
Ultimately the Wolves ran out of steam and despite fighting to the end were unable to score again, while the Kats added one more goal to win the game by eight points.
The final score was Karratha 9.6 (60) to Wickham 7.10 (52).
Kats coach John Wellington said at half-time he reminded his players it wasn’t going to be an easy game.
“We were playing a side that’s a good footy team and you’re never going to keep a side like that goalless forever,” he said.
The Wolves take on Dampier Sharks at Wickham Oval on Saturday night, with the winner to face the Kats in the grand final on September 7.
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