The West Australian sports reporter Jackson Barrett takes a look at what’s happening in the country and amateur leagues around WA in his weekly column.
The Eaton Boomers’ fleeting finals hopes by a former Fremantle Docker who guided them to heart-stopping three-point win.
Joel Houghton kicked five goals in the Boomers’ 10.15 (75) to 11.6 (72) win over Carey Park on Saturday which leaves them a game and a half back from fifth-spot, currently held by Harley Bennell’s Harvey Bulls and sixth-placed Donnybrook.
It means the Boomers will likely need to win both of their final two games, against finals-bound Busselton on Saturday night and stragglers Harvey-Brunswick-Leschenault the following week.
Houghton spent two seasons on Fremantle’s list after being taken at the 2009 draft — the same pool as Nat Fyfe — and is the brother of former Docker and now Port Adelaide key forward Gemma.
His handful of goals against Carey Park took his total to 24 from 15 games this year after making the switch from Collie in the summer.
Eaton haven’t played finals since 2020.
In the aftermath of the win, Boomers coach, former Perth Demon Darren Rigby, announced his resignation effective at season’s end.
Augusta-Margaret River’s two-goal win over South Bunbury meant they went level with the Tigers at the top of the ladder with a fortnight to go.
Subiaco premiership player Simon Moore and East Perth best-and-fairest winner Steven Payne starred for the Hawks and former West Coast-listed player Tom Gorter was among the best for the Tigers.
One-time draft hopeful Jed Kemp kicked four goals in Busselton’s 118-point thumping of the struggling Collie Eagles and a fast-finishing Donnybrook gave Bunbury a huge scare, on the back of former Essendon and Port Adelaide great Ben Howlett’s three goals.
Hunter back home
West Coast premiership player Adam Hunter has again returned to his original club.
Hunter has spent the past two weeks playing for South Bunbury’s reserves side, after a three-game stint in the middle of the season with Central Wheatbelt Football League club Beacon.
He kicked a goal in his return game against Donnybrook but couldn’t help his side to a win against AMR’s stacked reserves side on Saturday.
The 2006 grand final hero will need to play both of the club’s final two reserves games against cross-town rivals Bunbury and newcomers Dunsborough to qualify for finals, with his team currently sitting third.
A true all-rounder
Melbourne stars all-rounder Clint Hinchliffe won’t win the final award, but has had his stellar Perth Football League season recognised, sitting in the top three of the best-and-fairest count for A-Grade before polling went in camera.
Votes for the first nine rounds were revealed this week, with Hinchliffe’s nine votes at one a game for West Coast placing him third behind North Beach’s Kyle Cranley and Trinity Aquinas’ Christian Eyres.
Hinchliffe played 27 games of colts footy for West Perth and was in the State’s under 18’s squad in 2015, a team which also included future Eagles Samo Petrevski-Seton, Jake Waterman, Josh Rotham and Greg Clark, who captained the side.
But the West Coast amateur star has missed a large chunk of the finals rounds having been called away on duties for the Stars’ academy side.
The leg-spinning all-rounder has taken eight wickets in three games against a Renegades academy side, Northern Territory and Papua New Guinea.
Also in the mix for the A-Grade best-and-fairest is South Fremantle premiership ruckman Brock Higgins, who has starred for the dominant Curtin Uni Wesley team in his first season out of the Bulldogs, former Peel Thunder player Brayden Lawler and fellow ex-WAFL stalwart George Hampson.
Former Eagles pair Chris Masten and Sharrod Wellingham sit ninth and 10th respectively after the first nine rounds of their debut season at SNESA in C2.
Not to be outdone…
The brother of likely Fremantle Dockers recruit Luke Jackson looms as a massive player in the Great Southern Football League finals after another bag of six goals in a big final round display.
Zach Jackson’s Mount Barker side marched to an 18.13 (121) to 11.13 (79) win over North Albany to confirm their second-place finish, with the Melbourne ruckman’s brother kicking half-a-dozen.
It takes Jackson’s season tally to 63 and sealed him the league’s goal-kicking award from former Fremantle and St Kilda player Brett Peake (55 goals) and ex-Claremont forward Matthew Palfrey (53 goals).
His next assignment is a qualifying final against Palfrey’s Railways, with direct entry to a grand final on the line.
Peake and former Port Adelaide-listed marksman Matt Martin have taken the Albany Sharks to just the second finals appearance in their history.
The Sharks finished fifth and face Royals in an away elimination final, 12 months after their maiden finals appearance which came in their 14th season.
The footy factory
The country football club which produced West Coast’s Samo Petrevski-Seton, Gold Coast young gun Jy Farrar and break-out Collingwood forward Ash Johnson has won its grand final by a whopping 90 points.
Halls Creek’s 20.11 (131) to 6.5 (41) win of the Kururrungku Roos comes after their suffered an agonising one-point defeat in last year’s decider.
The Hawks beat Yiyili Powers and the Yardgee Dockers on their way to the premiership after finishing in second-spot behind the Dockers.
The Port Wyndham Crocs team featuring Irving Mosquito and Leno Thomas were dumped in the first round of the finals by the Roos.
Got a country or amateur footy story worth telling? Email firstname.lastname@example.org