Willyama show class
Friday, 11th August, 2017
After over 1000kms travelled, the Western School’s AFL Knock Out final was played and won by Willyama High School.
The match, held in Gol Gol, was played in very wet conditions with the Willyama team’s skill and class on display. Umpire Tobias Hack was kept on his toes all day having to do his duties alone in the poor conditions.
The first quarter started in a tight struggle with Willyama’s back structure holding up well against the grain-fed big bodies of the West Wyalong Bulldogs.
Willyama got on top with a goal to gun forward Brawley Brennan. His marking ability in the wet demonstrated that he has a big future in the game. Scores were extremely hard to come and the Willyama Desert Peas went in with a six-point lead at quarter time.
In the second quarter coaches Anthony Tidball and Eliza Cummings threw Year 7 Nick Devoy into the midfield to add some grunt at the stoppages. This masterstroke saw the Desert Peas control the quarter in possession and not allow West Wyalong get any momentum.
Through this control Willyama extended their lead to eight points at the main break with Devoy having 12 possessions for the quarter and demonstrating that the Willyama AFL program has some talent coming through.
Also the likes of Logan Berryman, fresh of NSW representative duties, Clancy Payne and big ruckman Cooper Oates all started to dominate around the ground.
The third term started with some fire from West Wyalong who had been frustrated with the Willyama structure that meant they could not get the ball past half way.
To the Desert Peas’ credit, their professionalism and discipline saw them shrug off this distraction off and continue to control the match.
With Berryman and Ward having a forced spell on the bench, Willyama’s coaches had to go to utility Heath Butcher who boosted spirts by clearing three players on the goal line to allow a 40-metre bomb from Aiden Slattery to give the Desert Peas a 14-point lead heading into the last.
The quarter was dominated by acting captain Rogan Turner whose run and strong marking abilities across half back had people saying that he moved and played like a former Willyama graduate now plying his trade at the GWS Giants.
The final term was hard and tough and was made even more difficult when star player Payne was knocked out by a dangerous tackle and needed to be taken from the field.
Tensions almost boiled over but the boys from Willyama stuck true, finishing with one player on the bench to become the champion team of the West and earn themselves an invitation to compete in Wollongong in September.
“A big thank you to all that assisted in getting the students to Gol Gol and to Tobias Hack for umpiring,” said coach Anthony Tidball.
Willyama HS: 3.6- 24 def
West Wyalong: 0.3- 3
Willyama- Goals: Brawley Brennan, Aiden Slattery, Harry Butcher. Best: Nick Devoy, Brawley Brennan, Rogan Turner, Cooper Oates, Aiden Slattery, Isaac Cumming. Hardest Worker Award: Rogan Turner.