KANGAROOS, MAGPIES & FALCONS OPEN UP THEIR ACCOUNT IN 2023
By DAN WILSON
A Good Friday Derby kicked off the WRFL Senior Division 2 Season, with Sunshine overcoming traditional rivals Albion 16.15. (111) to 12.6. (78) in a fiery clash at a packed J.R Parsons Reserve.
Supporters from both clubs turned out in great numbers, with anticipation and excitement filling the air as footy returned to the West.
The home crowd was treated to an electrifying six-goal first quarter from the Cats, with Albion forward Ben Doll kicking three goals for the term as the home side entered the first break with a 6.1. (37) to 1.6. (12) lead.
Sunshine responded with the first 3 goals of the second quarter, with midfielder Patrick O’Keefe kicking a brilliant goal from the boundary to reduce the margin to one goal.
An exhilarating period of end-to-end football followed, as Albion rallied to maintain a one-point lead into the main break, with the game delicately poised at 8.3. (51) to 7.8. (50).
After a tight start to the second half, Sunshine looked to have kicked away with three straight goals toward the end of the third quarter, but a goal to Albion’s Josh Green on the 3/4-time siren kept the margin at two goals heading into the final term, Sunshine leading 11.9. (75) to 10.3. (63).
A five-goal to two last quarter followed as Sunshine iced the game on the back of a dominant second-half performance, securing a 33-point win to start their 2023 campaign.
Sunshine’s Murray Boyd was named in the best with a powerful display for his new side, with new signing Dylan Payne also contributing three goals.
For Albion, forward Ben Doll kicked a game-high four goals.
Parkside have shown they will be one of the teams to beat in 2023, defeating reigning Division 3 Premiers Braybrook 23. 20. (158) to 2. 3. (15).
The resounding 143-point win stamped the Magpies as contenders, as a brave Braybrook side was unable to contain a magnificent midfield display from the Parkers.
In wet conditions, Magpies midfielder Nathan Montague lead the charge with a best-on-ground performance, overwhelming the opposition at centre clearances, as he and Captain Jackson Barrett dictated terms in the middle of the ground.
Despite the score line, Braybrook competed all game in an admirable showing, with midfielder Aidan O’Rafferty and defender Nathan Spackman the standout performers for the visitors.
Jy Lambley, John Atar, Karl Staudt and Lachlan Langwell each kicked 3 goals for the Parkers, who spread the load with 12 individual goal-kickers for the game.
Wyndhamvale have kicked off their 2023 campaign with an 8.9. (57) to 4.8. (32) win over North Footscray.
The Falcons jumped out of the blocks with a six-goal to one first quarter, taking a 35-point lead into quarter time.
As the rain set in, North Footscray fought hard to wrestle back control of the game, but the buffer proved too great as Wyndhamvale held on for a gutsy 25-point win.
Alex Mackinnon, Connor Yeoell and Jack Tessari were outstanding for the Falcons, with the latter’s three goals proving decisive in the low-scoring affair.
Sam Denby-Blake was terrific in trying conditions for North Footscray, with Cameron Fowler also contributing two goals for the Devils.
Looking forward to Round 2, Newport will host Parkside as the home side kicks off their 2023 campaign after an opening round bye.
Wyndhamvale face fellow Round 1 winner Sunshine in an intriguing clash at Kinder Smith Reserve, as Albion and Braybrook both look to secure their first win of the season when they face off at Pennell Reserve.
North Footscray will have an early season break with a bye.