Roosters grab glory

Crystal Brook coach Shane Arbon and captain Luke Kapitola pleased to reclaim the NAFA A Grade shield.
Crystal Brook coach Shane Arbon and captain Luke Kapitola pleased to reclaim the NAFA A Grade shield.

​Crystal Brook culminated a perfect year with a seven-goal season-deciding victory over Broughton Mundoora in the 2017 Northern Areas Football Association A grade grand final.

The contest was an interesting encounter, with a number of subplots being a game of two starkly contrasting halves.

The Eagles, on home soil on a immaculately prepared Port Broughton oval, kicked two early goals to have a first quarter ascendancy over the over the Roosters.

Through more midfield control in the second The Brook started to get on top and by half-time there was only one point separating the two sides.

The third quarter has often been called the premiership quarter and that prove to be the case in this game.

With Daniel Hill as a dominant target in attack getting plenty of supply from the on-ball brigade, Crystal Brook kicked six goals and three behinds in the quarter while the Eagles could only manage 1.1, stamping their authority.

By three quarter time the Roosters had the shield in their keeping and their unbeaten campaign would culminate in the 2017 NAFA premiership.

Crystal Brook kicked a further four goals to in the last quarter to run out comfortable victors and spark celebrations among the faithful.

The Brook won the flag 15.9 (99) to Broughton Mundoora 8.9 (57)

Key position player Ben Arbon collected the best on ground honours, just in front of full forward Daniel Hill and the hard-running Luke Seymour.

Veteran and journeyman Shayne Biasci was composed all game while captain Luke Kapitola was creative with his handball game, bringing team-mates into the contest.

Now a dual Mail medalist, Campbell Combe worked hard around the contest all day giving the Roosters plenty of grunt at the coalface.

Along with Hills haul of eight goals, Joel Millard kicked three, while man of the match Ben Arbon and Scott Atkinson both finished with two majors.

For Broughton Mundoora their better players included hard work local club man James Cant and, especially in the first half, recruit Maddy Hayes. 

Playing coach Rian Crane kept working hard all day as did Tommy Button on his wing.

Blake Stringer and Tommy Wheelan were both serviceable as well.

Crystal Brook has won four of the past seven A grade premierships in the Northern Areas competition and has dominated over the last three year period, winning upwards of 95 per cent of their games (52 wins from 54 games).

Victorious Crystal Brook coach Shane Arbon said:

“It was a very satisfying – I couldn’t ask for much more from this group.

“In the first half didn’t have it all our own way.

“Broughton brought the pressure early hit the ground running.

“There was confidence in the change rooms at half time new could get the job done.

“Nathan Lambert, across half back was a little unheralded but we were super impressed with his effort.

“Ben’s (Arbon) first half was outstanding, while Hilly finished with 8.2.

“Both the Kapitola boys, Luke and Shaun were important.

“We also mark Campbell (Combe) hard and he could have been in our best three or four.

Reserves

Crystal Brook won its second consecutive reserves flag in a game that had some similarities to the senior match.

Underdogs Southern Flinders were out of the blocks early and had three goals on the board in the first quarter before the Roosters started to edge their way back in the game.

Both teams kicked a single goal in the second quarter, but Crystal Brook looked like they were getting the upper hand.

In this grand final the second half was all one-way sailing as the Roosters kicked 8.6 while the Tigers only managed 1.1.

The Brook dominated the contest in the third quarter kicking four goals for and restricting their opponents to just one point.

 Their 16-point three quarter time advantage would move out to a comfortable six-goal victory in the end.

Tall wingman Matthew Weckert won best on ground honours while others too impressed, include teenage half-forward Nathan Hooper and Stewart Irrgang.

On his half back flank Dan Nicholson was excellent and evergreen veteran Shane Arbon was creative and effective with his handball.

The trio of Hooper, Matthew Gale and Weckert all kick two goals for the victors in this strong win.

For the Tigers medalist Brett Ballantyne was the standout, while Quinton Janz, Andrew Henderson and Dylan Hanson all had their moments.

Michael O'Brien kicked three of Southern Flinders five goals for the game while Dale Tenney and Dylan Amey also were serviceable for the vanquished.

History will record that Crystal Brook won the game 10.10 (70) to Southern Flinders 5.4 (34).

Senior colts

Broughton Mundoora came from 19 points down at quarter time to defeat BMW in an intriguing senior colts grand final in which they acquired their first premiership at this level in 24 years.

 The Lions had control early and quickly impacted on the scoreboard.

By quarter time they had kicked four goals while Broughton Mundoora had only managed one.

The Eagles edged their way back into the contest in the second term and by three quarter time the game was on a knife edge with only one point separating the two top teams in the 2017 campaign.

Broughton was stronger in the last quarter coming home with four straight goals to win the title by 16 points, sparking emotional celebrations by the Eagles.

The final score was Broughton Mundoora 11.9 (75) defeating BMW Lions 9.5 (59)

Nash MacFarlane was outstanding for the Eagles as was Blake Burt at centre half-forward, while Kallis Freer ran hard all day and created consistently.

Damian Rhodes was tough around the contested ball while Brodie Caden, Josh May also had a significant role to play.

MacFarlane, Burt and Cody Rann all kicked two goals each for the victors,.

One of the more impressive individual efforts in the game came from BMW Talent Cooper Woolford who was clearly their best player and kicked five goals when across half-forward.

In a losing side he rivaled McPharlane for best on ground honours.

Lachlan Koch, Barney Watkinson and Paul Webb were others to stand up for the Lions.

Thomas Pole and Lucas Hombsch also kicked a couple of goals in this excellent high class contest.

Junior colts

The talented Roos outfit collected the NAFA junior colts flag by kicking four unanswered goals in the final quarter, but the game was up for grabs until that point. 

Crystal Brook was within one point at three quarter time after Josh Clements kicked a goal after the siren.

The 2017 medalist, Orroroo’s Oliver Dignan, who was still in doubt on Friday night to even to run out onto the field, let alone have an impact. 

On one leg and with severely restricted movement,  playing out of the goal square at full forward, Dignan kicked six goals in a match-winning performance.

Dignan’s strong marking and ability to find the ball even though he was obviously injured was impressive.

Team-mate Will Bowman won the best on ground award while other good players for the Roos included Bailey Clark cross half-forward, while Angus Stone read the ball well from back.

Other strong contributors included Hudson Davies Jed Dignan, Henry Slade and Joshua Hilder.

Among the standout players for Crystal Brook included co-captain Hugh Jackson, Nick Wilsdon and  Max Crouch.

Cooper Promnitz and Andrew Horace both had an influence as well for the Red and White.

                             – PETER ARGENT