The South West Football League is in the box seat to claim a grand final berth after two stunning wins on day one of the 2018 Landmark Country Football Championships at Mandurah’s Bendigo Bank Stadium.
Regional Districts aren’t far behind the perennial powerhouse South West with their own 2-0 record after wins over Northern Suns and Great Southern, while the Peel Cavaliers sit in third after a win and a loss on their opening day.
Catch up on all there is to know from an action-packed day one below.
Game one: Regional Districts 7.4 (46) defeat Northern Suns 6.6 (42)
Talk about opening with a bang – the two played out a stunning clash, with a three-goal run to start the second quarter giving Regionals all the space they needed to fend off the Suns.
Only two points separated the teams at half time with the Suns having their noses in front, but Nathan Spooner, Jacob West and Sam Van Dieman piled on some quick goals to see Regionals to some breathing space.
The Suns stormed home with a pair of Leon Galby goals but it wasn’t enough to start their campaign with a win.
R. Edwards 2, S. Van Diemen 2, N. Spooner, J. West, J. Gillespie
L. Galby 2, O. McClelland 2, X. Stone, G. McKenna
J. West, J. Salmeri, J. East, G. Wessels, B. Fairhead
L. Hutchins, T. Collins, J. Scidone, J. Stacey, L. Galby
Game two: South West 10.8 (68) defeat Great Southern 4.2 (26)
The South West wasted no time in stamping their authority as the team to beat with a seven-goal thumping of Great Southern Storm.
Eli Hill and Malek Wallam both had a pair of goals for the South West in the opening half, while Jed Montgomerie dominated around the contest.
The reigning premiers led by 21 points at half time and piled a further 21 onto their lead in the next half, cantering away with the win.
M. Wallam 3, E. Hill 3, T. Anderson 2, C. Bradshaw, L. Reuben
N. Kent 2, J. Long Farquharson, J. Scott
J. Montgomerie, M. Wallam, J. Crossman, H. Golding, T. Anderson
Q. Shandley, T. Williams, Z. Bin Busu, N. Kent
Game three: Peel Cavaliers 7.5 (47) defeat Northern Suns 5.5 (35)
Peel opened their campaign with a tough victory against a pesky Northern Suns outfit, and they probably would have liked a bigger margin for their percentage.
Last year’s grand finalists looked ready to dominate when James Fenton’s drive netted goals to Josh Hill and Cody O’Donnell, but the Suns refused to go away for most of the game.
In the end a goal to Hill sealed the result, but Peel would have liked to press more dominance in their opener.
J. Hill 3, C. O''Donnell 2, K. Donaldson, M. Bennell
L. Galby 2, K. Dann, L. Papertalk, K. Ryder
Z. Moody, J. Fenton, H. Mead, T. Sexton, C. Milward
T. Kenny, G. McKenna, C. Yarran, K. Dann, L. Galby
Game four: Regional Districts 10.5 (65) defeat Great Southern 3.5 (23)
Not much could stop Regional Districts from dealing Great Southern their second consecutive 42-point loss, as the red and white jerseys cruised to their second win of the day in this one.
Nathan Spooner booted four goals to take his tally for the day to five, while Reece Edwards put in an outstanding performance.
Codey Baxter was Great Southern’s best, while Joe Alvin also shone in a dour day for the team.
N. Spooner 4, S. Van Diemen 2, J. East, R. Edwards, B. McGlinn, L. Hodgkin
T. Williams, C. Baxter, C. Redshaw
R. Edwards, J. Salmeri, J. Armstrong, J. Namnik, N. Spooner
C. Baxter, J. Alvin, Z. Bin Busu, T. Batchelor
Game five: South West 6.4 (40) defeat Peel Cavaliers 2.5 (17)
This is where the South West really asserted their dominance, with a big victory over one of their main contenders.
Malek Wallam and Taine piled on the first two goals in the South West’s favour, but the hometown Peel boys had their chances to peg the lead back with a run of play late in the first half.
Wayward shots on goal were their undoing, and Eli Hill made matters worse for the Cavs when he converted late in the opening half.
James Fenton and Matthew Bennell booted Peel's only goals, but they looked outmatched against a rampant South West.
T. Williams 2, M. Wallam 2, E. Hill , D. Parker
M. Bennell, J. Fenton
L. Reuben, L. Creighton, J. Crossman, J. Kendle, J. Oliver
J. Willis, J. Fenton, T. Sexton, H. Mead, J. Cullen
The wash up
So far it’s the South West’s carnival to lose, and they’re doing a pretty good job of defending their crown.
Their dominance over Great Southern was somewhat to be expected, but to outclass Peel showed they are seriously in the driver’s seat.
Regional Districts also impressed but against the two sides that are yet to win a game, we will know more about the Regionals boys when they square off with both Peel and the South West tomorrow.
Malek Wallam has booted goals in both of the South West’s matches and has looked very good doing so, while Liam Reuben and Jay Crossman shone for the ladder leaders.
Reece Edwards has far and above been Regional Districts’ best player earning top votes in both of their games, while Zac Moody, James Fenton and Jaydon Cullen have been difference makers for Peel.