Koonibba wins 2017 Far West premiership

Far West football

KOONIBBA had reclaimed its spot on top of Far West football after defeating Western United by 21-points in the grand final at Penong on Saturday.

Those who watched the windmills in the background would notice there was a strong breeze to contend with and whoever was kicking to the northern end would have an advantage.

Koonibba won the toss and elected to kick into the wind in the first quarter but showed good attacking pressure with four goals for the quarter.

Westies impressed themselves with four of their own to trail by just two points at the first break.

The Roosters showed what they could do with the wind in their favour and two quick goals got them going.

Koonibba utilised long kicks with the wind while having the numbers around the contests to secure the ball with a loose player wide to make a run down the wing.

Waylon Johncock was in the contests at every opportunity and helped to drive many of Koonibba’s runs to the 50 while Lawrence Benbolt and Jerome Newchurch were hard to catch.

On top of this Western United had to be accurate with their kicks against the wind and Koonibba had the defensive pressure to make this even more difficult.

When it was inside Koonibba’s 50 anyone wearing red and white was able to swoop in for the footy and kick brilliantly for a goal.

However the Tigers did have some standouts, Jarden Stoetzer was a reliable mark up forward as was Tom Woods with goals coming from Rohan Scott and Todd Hoffrichter.

Six goals for the quarter helped the Roosters to a 28-point lead at half time.

Coming out after the main break Westies looked determined and although Koonibba came out of the gates fast, the Tigers used the breeze to their advantage.

There was some hard tackling from both teams as they fought for every possession.

However Western United capitalised on a couple of free kicks to score the first two goals of the quarter.

One more goal from Woods saw Western United peg the lead back to 10 points at the final break, giving the hometown supporters some hope.

Soon it was down to just three points as Westies were hitting their targets well, but Koonibba recovered and were back to setting up inside 50s with long kicks and loose players around the contests.

Johncock brought the lead back to nine then set up Barry Coleman who goal to bring it back to 15 as Koonibba smelled blood.

Johncock and captain Lionel Wilson were active in setting up inside 50s and while Western United continued to move the ball down the ground, the Koonibba defence prevented shots on goal and the wind prevented any shots turning into majors.

Koonibba were the superior team on the day, as they had been throughout the season, as they went on to win 13.10 (88) to Western United 10.7 (67), Waylon Johncock was named best on ground.

Earlier it was heartache for Koonibba in the reserves grand final as the Blues won in a thrilling game by four points.

Both teams fought for possessions with very scrambly play throughout, after a close first quarter Koonibba had the edge in the second to lead by 11 points at half time.

Blues then fought back to kick three goals to none in the third quarter then tried to hold Koonibba off in the final quarter.

It was an even quarter with more scrambly play with one goal each but then came down to a free kick to Koonibba after the siren for the win.

However delight turned to sorrow as Koonibba only scored a behind to give Blues a four point win, with Mitchell Sampson named best on ground.

In the under 17 grand final Western United had a great showing in the first half before Thevenard took over after half time.

Western United hwere kept to just one goal for the second half while Thevenard scored four second half goals to win by 18 points, Beau Halbert was named best on ground.

The opening final saw Blues finish an undefeated season in under 14s defeating Western United by 26 points, Dion Paues was named best on ground.