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Karratha Kats stand tall as North Pilbara Football League’s only undefeated team after three rounds

Sam JonesPilbara News
The South Hedland Swans struggled against league-leaders Karratha Kats.
Camera IconThe South Hedland Swans struggled against league-leaders Karratha Kats. Credit: Cain Andrews

The Karratha Kats are the only remaining undefeated team in the North Pilbara Football League, setting themselves for a strong season with a 90-point victory over the South Hedland Swans in round three.

The Kats were able to dash out to a quick lead in the first quarter, kicking three goals and two behinds while holding the Swans to just one goal before the first drinks break.

The second quarter was the Swans’ strongest, with a few quick goals seeing the lead reduced to single digits before the Kats kicked back into gear and put through another three goals and two points to see the scores end Kats 6.5 (41) to the Swans 3.2 (20) at half-time.

Despite a strong second quarter showing, the Swans couldn’t take flight in the second half, managing just a single goal and two behinds while allowing the Kats to boot a whopping 12 goals to take the scores to 18.11 (119) to 4.5 (29).

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The win puts the Kats well on track to qualify for finals, moving to 12 points as the only three-for-three team in the league, followed by the Dampier Sharks on eight points, who had their own impressive showing against the Karratha Falcons on Friday evening.

Playing at Dampier’s Windy Ridge Oval under the Friday night lights, both the Sharks and the Falcons struggled to asset dominance early with the Sharks enjoying a clear majority of the play but failing to convert in front of goal.

By the end of the first quarter, Falcons were ahead despite having much less of the ball, kicking three goals with just one behind compared to Sharks’ single goal and five behinds.

The Sharks’ poor form in front of goal continued in the second quarter, with the green and gold managing just two goals from seven clear chances.

Karratha Falcons' Lawrence Roberts landed a backflip after scoring a goal.
Camera IconKarratha Falcons' Lawrence Roberts landed a backflip after scoring a goal. Credit: Cain Andrews/Broome Advertiser/Broome Advertiser

But despite the poor accuracy, the Sharks were able to take a one-point lead into their half-time team talk, 3.10 (28) to 4.3 (27).

Whatever was said in the halftime talk, it lit a clear fire in the bellies of the Sharks forwards, who looked a different outfit in front of goal in the third, kicking five goals and two behinds.

While their forwards got going, the Sharks’ backline continued to pile the pressure on the Falcons, allowing just a single goal and two behinds to take the score to 8.12 (60) to 5.5 (35) heading into the final period.

And with blood in the water, the Sharks shifted up a gear, slotting home seven goals and four behinds in the final quarter to seal the win 15.16 (106) to 7.6 (48).

Falcons' Lloyd Hubert.
Camera IconFalcons' Lloyd Hubert. Credit: Cain Andrews/Broome Advertiser/Broome Advertiser

In the final game of round three, the Wickham Wolves celebrated 100 appearances for stalwart Josh Grimm with a hard-fought win over the Port Hedland Rovers.

Wickham looked the clear favourite from the outset, rushing out to a healthy 12-point lead at the end of the first quarter and extended the gap throughout the game to see it end Wolves 13.8 (86) to Rovers 9.6 (60).

The result means the Port Hedland Rovers sit dead last on the ladder without a single win, but players will hope to change this when they face off against a struggling Karratha Falcons outfit in round four.

An exciting match is sure to ensue when first-placed Karratha Kats play second-placed Dampier Sharks in a match-up that could have big ramifications for finals placements.

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