The West Australian sports reporter Jordan McArdle takes a look at what’s happening in the country and amateur leagues around WA in his weekly column.
Tunbridge returns to Railways
Luckless former West Coast midfielder Simon Tunbridge made a successful return to his junior club Railways in the Great Northern league on Sunday.
The 26-year-old booted three majors in the Blues’ against the winless Chapman Valley.
“I had a ball, loved it playing with those fellas. Kicked a few (goals) too, which made it better,” Tunbridge said.
A fly-in, fly-out worker, Tunbridge always wanted to return to Railways, where he played under-16s, before his footy days finished.
Tunbridge took last year off “resting the body” after he was delisted by West Coast with following 10 AFL appearances in five seasons.
“It mightn’t have needed it because of the footy, but it did because of all the hospital visits,” Tunbridge told the Geraldton Guardian.
“I will play as often as I can, driving up and down from Perth.
“Obviously, I will have to miss some matches because of work, but will play as much as possible.”
Elliot Delaney (five goals), Flynn Dillon, Owen Delaney, Angus Wood and former East Fremantle player Mitchell Boyle (two apiece) were also among the goals Railways.
Jarrod Rodney, Dillon Battistessa, Matthew Kimberley and Dillon Prater also had an impact for the Blues, while Clifford Campbell (four goals), Tyrone Papertalk, Gerard McKenna, Jack Carroll, Leighton Bilgin and Len Papertalk worked hard for Chapman Valley.
Rovers continued their winning ways, moving to 3-0 with a 78-point thrashing of Brigades.
Blake Sims, Dwayne Nevill (four goals) Raymond Taylor, Edward Curley, Anthony Kyanga (three), Beau Simpson, Clayton Dann and Chris Scott (two) did the damage on the scoreboard, while Jaimon Alone was also among the best.
Kristerfer Ryder (seven) and Dale Williamson (four) kicked the bulk of the Hawks’ 13 goals, with Richard Hamlett, Ethan Paholski, Leith Teakle and Erinn McCartney also good.
In the final game of the round, Towns edged out Mullewa by 27 points thanks to the efforts of Owen Dann (three goals), Thomas Collins, Dylan Bennett-Surtees, William Faithfull and William Thorne.
The Saints were well serviced by Leon Galby, Morris Comeagain (three goals), Kristian Papertalk, Brentley Comeagain, Leedham Papertalk and Thomas Rowe.
Duffield’s Dogs cause monumental upset
Paul Duffield celebrated the biggest win of his coaching career as last season’s wooden-spooners Wagin stunned arch-rivals Williams by 53 points.
The former Docker booted a game-high three majors in the 13.14 (92) to 5.9 (39) result, the Bulldogs’ first win since round 11 last year.
Wagin booted eight-goals-to-one third term proved to be the difference, with Brendan Adams, Jesse Stephens, Lachlan Hall, Lachlan Bennett and Riley Pokler having a huge say in the match.
James Medlen (two goals) was the Cats’ only multiple goal-kicker, with captain Simon Panizza, Robert Rose, Ryan Pearce, Brett Lavender, Ben Battley and Edward Aitken also among the best.
A Leroy-Jetta inspired Brookton-Pingelly have continued their resurgence, recording their second win in three matches to start the season.
The Panthers smashed last year’s grand finalists Katanning by 71 points, with former Bomber Jetta starring with five majors, all in the third term, to take his season tally 13.
But the two-time Peel premiership forward injured his left calf, which was already heavily strapped, and didn’t re-appear after three-quarter time.
On the scoreboard it was the Kirk and Jetta show with 15 of the 18 goals kicked by them. The Jetta cousins — Leroy and Cameron — kicked eight goals, while the Kirk brothers — Luke and Dylan — booted seven.
Tyson Kirk, Bailey Parsons, Callan Eddy and Bronson Gledhill also impressed.
Joshua Pinney (three goals), Caleb Keley, Mitchell Banks, debutant Charlie Tonkin, Tyson Pinney and James Laurino were the injury-hit Wanderers’ best.
Reigning premiers Boddington were the big winners of the round, belting Kukerin-Dumbleyung to the tune of 83 points.
Big forward Harrison Ellis continued to cause headaches for opposition defenders, kicking nine goals to go with seven the week before, with Jake Wilson (five), Andrew Moody (three) and Lewis Gillespie (two) also chiming in.
Ellis should consider himself a touch unlucky to not be named among the best alongside Wilson, Gillespie, Josh Commisso, Alek Oliver and former Peel Thunder player Michael Humble.
Wickepin defeated Narrogin by 45 points in the final game of the round.
Luke Crouch (seven goals) dominated in the Warriors’ forward line, with Caen Taylor, Fraser Wittwer, Trent O’Brien and big man Jayden Brooks also prominent.
Mason Hill kicked four goals for the Hawks, while Jack Walsh, Nicholas Miller, Matthew Abraham, Kyle Mead, Ryan Gray and veteran ruckman Perrin Quartermaine among the team’s best.
– with Michael Traill
Kangas continue winning ways in the Goldfields
Kalgoorlie City remained undefeated in the Goldfields with a hard-fought 19-point win over a fast-finishing Kambalda on Saturday night.
Ex-East Fremantle big man Cameron Symonds continued his brilliant form up forward, booting a game-high seven majors to take his season tally to 23 from four matches and move ahead of Diorites livewire Bevan Bennell (19) to lead the GFL goal-kicking standings.
Matthew Farac, Jack Varian, Bryce Sheppard and Subiaco reserves premiership forward Dylan Clarke were also impressive as the ladder-leading Kangas survived a late scare to go 5-0.
Former Bruce Rock sharpshooter Cody Nelson and Steven Simpson (three goals apiece) led Kambalda’s attack, with help up field from Lewis Fisher, Jon Meadmore, Jack Quinn, Sheldon Cooper and Jake Turner.
The improving Eagles gave it everything in the final quarter, restricting their opponents to just two behinds.
Reigning champs Mines Rovers beat rivals Boulder City in a re-match of last season’s grand final.
Bennell continued his prolific goal-kicking form, adding another two to go with 11 last week, with Sasha Kernutt (three) and former West Perth champion Dion Fleay (two) also among the goals.
Midfielder Jordan Delbridge was awarded the Mal Hodson Medal as best-afield, with William Mapleson, Delson Trott and Nicholas Reghenzani also among the stand-outs around the ground.
Despite losing several premiership stars including ex-Docker Greg Broughton (retired) and speedster Jordan Wythes (Baldivis), the Diorites are ticking along nicely in second spot.
Jake Littlewood, Mitch Graham, Matt Braham, Declan Murison and Daniel Ashwin were also missing in the 15-point win.
Rory Muller (two goals), Logan Hughes, Jorden Hooks, Corey Dempster and Jed Morton were among Boulder’s best, with Tyson Hodge (three) and Jack Martin (two) lively up forward.
– with Rory Coleman-Heard
‘Fossil’ keeps delivering in the EDFL
Former West Coast rookie Simon Duckworth is still kicking bags well into his 40s.
The Kulin-Kondinin big man booted a game-high seven majors to take his season tally to 15.
He won the Eastern District Football League’s leading goal-kicker award last season to be a big part of his team’s premiership success.
Former West Perth forward Marc Crisp (four) and Andrew Repacholi (three) also starred up forward in the 39-point win over Southern Cross, Sam Browning, Lachie Biglin, Toby Browning and Jarrad West having an impact.
Last season’s grand finalists Bruce Rock’s struggled have continued, with the winless Magpies going goalless against Hyden-Karlgarin.
The Saints piled on 37.22 to the Magpies’ two behinds in the 242-point win, with Cameron James (eight), Troy Edwards, Lincoln Meeking (seven), Matthew Ehlers (five), Chevi Hughes, Baylee James (three) and Lachlan Mouritz dominating.
Narembeen beat Burracoppin to the tune of 87 points with Ben Hunter booting 10 goals and James Kennedy adding six.
In the closest game of the round, Corrigin prevailed over Nukarni by 20 points with Josh Cusworth (four goals) best on ground.
If your club or league has a local footy story worth telling, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.