Katanning lift late to win at Wagin

Andrew PritchardNarrogin Observer
Az-Hamirul Azni kicks a first term goal for Wanderers.
Camera IconAz-Hamirul Azni kicks a first term goal for Wanderers. Credit: Michael Traill

Katanning Wanderers kept their finals hopes alive with an 18-point win over Wagin at Matera Oval on Sunday.

Katanning’s 13.3 (81) to 8.15 (63) victory puts them within one game of fourth-placed Narrogin with two rounds to play.

After a promising start to the season, Wagin and Williams still have a mathematical chance of making the four but would need other results to go their way.

In an entertaining game played in ideal conditions, Katanning withstood a spirited last-quarter fightback from Wagin.

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Inaccuracy in front of goal cost the home side dearly, with Wagin 4.12 (36) trailing Katanning’s 8.1 (49) at half-time.

However, many of those behinds were forced, with great spoiling tactics employed by Josh Bootsma and Ryan Pontillo, creating minor scores.

Wagin had the first goal on the board through Paul South, one of his five, for the game. Billy Collier, who overcame a foot injury to play, snapped truly for Wanderers first. Wanderers built pressure and added four more, through Ricky Marris, in an unfamiliar forward role, Corey Eades, Hamiul Azni, in his league debut & Mitchell Banks, his first of three goals, Wanderers lead 5.1 to 1.5, by 20 points.

The second quarter was goal for goal, with both sides adding three goals. One from a great chase and tackle by Wanderers’ Marris and one from Josh Kirk, on debut for Wagin. Wagin played a possession game, with many short kicks to players unattended but turnovers were costly, when kicks went astray. At half time Katanning lead 8.1 to 4.12 by 13 points.

The Wanderers extended their lead early in the third quarter through a great snap from Rowan Nicholson, but Wagin fought back with two goals from Paul South.

Wagin then hit the front through Riley Polker and with the home crowd urging them on, a win looked probable.

But for the second week in a row, Wanderers lifted with Bootsma taking telling marks in defence and Mitchell Banks kicking accurately in attack.

Katanning added the last three goals through Banks and Braden Crosby, to run out deserving winners.

Bootsma, Nicholson, James Laurino, Billy Collier and ruckman Khallon Zilm were the Wanderers’ best.

For Wagin, Lachlan Hall, South (five goals), John Murray, Campbell Putland, Andrew Vawser and Paul Duffield all played well.

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