Great Southern Storm are the only unbeaten side in this year’s colts division at the Landmark Country Football Championships after a breakthrough day at David Grays Arena in Mandurah.
The Storm started well in their opening fixture against Regional Districts and, although it wasn’t a convincing performance, they emerged with a 10-point win.
However what followed was a rare victory against the might of the South West Football League, believed to be only the second triumph in the past decade, as the Storm powered to the top of standings.
Captain Alex Pearce led from the front, dominant ruckman Kalin Lane continues to remind onlookers of his talent and a forward line that has two big targets and a fleet of small pressure players conjured two winning scores.
South West won their opening game of the carnival and led by a single point at half time of the clash with the Storm.
The Storm were shaky in front of goal with four behinds to start the last half before goals to Brody Ogle and hard-working forward Coen Jackman put them nine points up.
South West kicked three of the last four goals of the game, including back-to-back majors inside the final seven minutes but the Storm hung on bravely, 5.6 (36) to 5.2 (32).
Pearce and Poch Amores were terrific feeding off Lane’s dominance while Shane Buss and Hamish McMorran produced resolute defensive performances.
Ogle finished with two majors and Pearce was also a multiple goal kicker, his running major in the first half proving very important.
Joe Alvin and Aidin Williss played vital roles as well in the narrow win as the Storm set themselves for a big second day.
Earlier the Storm had to hold off a strong fightback from Regional Districts to start the championships on the right note.
After kicking five goals to three in the opening half, the Storm appeared set to run away with the game when Cody Kerr booted the first goal of the second half.
Regional Districts dug deep though and goals from Jevan Tholstrup and then Jesse Heywood trimmed the margin to 10 points with 16 minutes elapsed.
Malachi Bolton, who already had two majors, missed a shot from the top of the goal square in the dying minutes and his side were unable to reel in the Storm, going down 5.2 (32) to 6.6 (42).
Williss, Jackman, Broome midfielder Sean Williams and Lane were the Storm’s best players against Regional Districts and Ogle booted two goals.
The Storm coaching staff elected to have only 22 suit up in each game, rotating their players through and a win in either of tomorrow’s two fixtures will secure a grand final berth.
They face the Peel Cavaliers at 11.20am tomorrow followed by an encounter with the Northern Suns at 1pm.