FALCONS PREVAIL IN A THRILLER
By DANIEL WILSON
Wyndhamvale have held on for a thrilling 11.11. (77) to 11.10. (76) win over Sunshine, in what will go down as one of the great games of the 2023 WRFL Season.
Leading by 14 points with five minutes remaining, the Falcons looked to have secured the game, but the Kangaroos mounted an electrifying comeback to inch within a single point of the visitors, and as Sunshine forward Declan Moloney marked on the siren inside 50, it looked as though the home side would escape with a result.
But as the subsequent set shot sailed toward the goal line, the home crowd was left stunned as Wyndhamvale defender Mackenzie Parker swatted the ball back into play, securing a famous one-point victory for the Falcons.
Capitalising on the perfect conditions, both sides scored heavily in an exhilarating nine goal first term, with a late goal to Wyndhamvale midfielder Ryley McGaw giving the visitors a 5.2. (32) to 4.3. (27) lead at quarter time.
After a tight start to the second quarter, Wyndhamvale forward Jesse Shell kicked back-to-back goals, as the visitors broke out to a 20-point lead.
Sunshine responded late in the quarter, with a goal to forward Austin Rizzardo keeping the home side in touching distance, as they entered the main break trailing 7.7. (49) to 5.5. (35).
The game burst into life in the second half, as Sunshine’s Patrick O’Keefe willed his side back into the contest, kicking two crucial third quarter goals, as the home side wrestled back momentum to take a one point 9.8. (62) to 9.7. (61) lead into the final term.
A thrilling last quarter followed, as Wyndhamvale held on to secure victory by the tightest of margins.
Kyle Bistisi and Joshua Harris were the standout performers for the Falcons, with forward Jesse Shell kicking three goals.
For Sunshine, Patrick O’Keefe kicked three goals and was named best on ground for his side.
Parkside have stormed home to a 14.14. (98) to 9.14. (68) win over Newport, locking in a 2-0 start to their 2023 campaign.
A five-goal final term secured the game for the Magpies, as they remain entrenched at the top of the WRFL Division 2 ladder.
Parkside’s class inside 50 proved the difference, with Magpies forward Jy Lambley kicking five goals in an excellent performance.
Despite the 30-point margin, an impressive Newport side troubled the ladder leaders all game, with only six points separating the teams at three quarter time.
But the home side were unable to resist a last quarter onslaught from the Parkers, who look the team to beat in 2023.
Parkside’s Nathan Montague and captain Jackson Barrett were again influential in the midfield, with Michael Jubb named best in ground for the Magpies.
Albion have secured their first win of the season, defeating Braybrook 26.17. (173) to 3.4. (22) at Pennell Reserve.
The Cats controlled the game from start to finish, with forwards Jack Taylor (seven) and Ben Doll (six) combining for 13 goals in a dominant forward half display.
In what was a tough day for the Brookers, the home side fought bravely in the third quarter, restricting Albion to three goals for the term, and kicking two of their own.
But an exhilarating 11 goal final term from the Cats extended the winning margin to 151 points, as Albion registered what could be a crucial percentage boost as they eye a return to finals football in 2023.
Albion’s Darcy McPherson was named best on ground for the Cats, kicking four goals in a classy performance.
For Braybrook, forward Jake Finn kicked two goals.
Looking forward to Round 3, Newport travel to face Albion in what will be an intriguing clash, as both sides look to cement themselves as finals contenders in 2023.
Parkside host a North Footscray side coming off a week’s rest, as Sunshine look to return to the winners list against Braybrook at Pennell Reserve.
Wyndhamvale will have a week of with the bye.