SHARKS HAVE ONE HAND ON CUP
By PADDY GRINDLAY
Point Cook Centrals will go into the Grand Final not only with premiership hopes but with the chance to go through 2022 without a loss after bossing its semi-final at Pennell Reserve.
The Sharks, as they have all season, were far too good in the second semi-final, cruising into the 2022 WRFL Division 2 Grand Final with a 16.9. (105) to 5.11. (41) victory – its 19th of the season.
Aaron Williams has been the man to worry about up forward for much of this season, but on this occasion, it was brother Nathan who did the damage. A season-high tally of five goals was good enough for a near-best on-ground performance, if not for Cale du Plessis’ masterclass in the middle.
The Centrals burst from the blocks, punting 10 majors to one to half time and looked nigh on untouchable. With Haidyn Shade and Kurt Mayne as sturdy as ever, the Magpies were unable to mount even the semblance of a comeback, despite a pair of goals to Jy Lambley.
Jackson Lesko’s singular goal typified a dour Parkside outing, who have much to do should they meet the Sharks again when September comes calling.
For Point Cook, it is a coronation of sorts, with a week off to recuperate and prepare for a final challenger. In a season where the premiership cup has looked bound for Shark Park, there was little on Saturday that worked to displace that theory.
One such challenger could be North Footscray, after the Devils thwarted an early Wyndhamvale challenge to win through to the preliminary final against the Magpies.
As the clear third wheel to Parkside and Point Cook Centrals, the Devils have always seemed somewhat vulnerable to the chasing pack, a perceived weakness that the Falcons had made their focus in an impressive opening half-hour.
Trailing by 17 points at the quarter time break, North Footscray refused to fold however, stiffening its collective jaw, and going to work. Five goals to none in the second term confirmed a 31-point turnaround, from which the Falcons never recovered.
Samuel Kater’s dominant season continued, but it was a Declan Wakefield clinic that saw the Devils extend their advantage at every subsequent break, running out 13.18 (96) to 10.8 (68) victors. Ruckman Jordan Eitler and Adam Petridis booted three apiece, while Cameron Fowler ran hot for his two goals.
For the Falcons, it may have simply been one game too many, with such a stressful ride into the post-season. Mathiang Kak booted two goals but couldn’t repeat his heroics from last week. Jesse Shell, with three goals to his name, was simply outstanding, while Alexander Hamilton performed admirably.
It’s season over for Wyndhamvale, but a clash with Parkside looms for the Devils. Waiting for the winner of that contest are the Sharks, with their season just a win away from perfection and premiership glory.
@westernregionfl Sharks are through to the Division 2 Grand Final after a 64-point win over the Magpies. That’s one happy coach #WestIsBest #WRFL #Footy #Finals ♬ original sound – WesternRegionFL