A superb first quarter has helped the Great Southern Storm finish third at the annual Great Southern Colts Carnival which wrapped up this afternoon in Kulin.
The Storm were chasing an eighth successive grand final appearances at the carnival but after losing their opening match on Saturday, rebounded strongly to win their final two matches and will head to the upcoming Landmark Country Football Championships with confidence.
In today’s playoff for third and fourth position the Storm proved far too strong for Goldfields in the end with a five goal to nil opening quarter setting up the 36-point triumph.
After winning the toss and kicking with the aid of a strong breeze the Storm started brilliantly with full forward Rivah Bocian and the dynamic Nelson Kent feeding on their teammates strong work in the midfield.
Bocian led strongly and kicked truly to have three goals but quarter time while Kent and speedster Zainel Bin Busu also found the big sticks as Storm raced out to a 33-point lead.
Kent kicked Storm further clear with the first goal of the second term into the tough breeze and their defence was resolute, led by Marcus Mellon and Kohen Lemin, as Goldfields managed only two goals at the other end to trail at the main break.
Again it was Kent who gave the Storm another spark, snapping brilliantly over his shoulder in traffic to nail a third before a defensive error gave Chayse Grabe-Paparone the easiest of goals for Goldfields to pull the deficit back to 24 points.
After wasting numerous chances in the third term, Bocian booted his fourth late in the piece to ensure his side took a 33-point buffer into the all-important last stanza.
Bronson Bishop gave Goldfields some hope with an early major but they were again repelled by a determined Storm defence while the likes of Alex Pearce, Tom Wolfe, Jack Steel and Fraser Eaton were able to win plenty of midfield ball.
Taj Williams kicked the final goal to seal the 9.14 (68) to 4.8 (32) result, which capped another strong carnival for the Storm.
Bocian and Kent were terrific focal points up front while Steel’s leadership through half back and midfield was terrific.
Midfield bull Jayden Scott was outstanding in the win while Bin Busu, Lemin, Eaton and Mellon joined him in the Storm’s best players.
At the conclusion of the carnival Eaton, Scott and Bocian were all named in the Great Southern 20 side.
Earlier today Ongerup wrapped up their campaign with a hard-fought 15-point win over Eastern Districts to finish seventh overall.
A four-goal first term helped Ongerup skip ahead before Eastern Districts hit the front in the second quarter.
Ongerup were able to hold their opponents scoreless in the third as they snatched the advantage back before adding two more goals in the last on their way to victory, 9.8 (62) to 6.11 (47).
Bailey McGlinn was outstanding when they game needed to be won while Todd Retallack, Hayden Richter and Luke Henderson (three goals) were also strong contributors.
Richter was also named in the Great Southern 20.
Peel Cavaliers, who knocked off the Storm yesterday, went on to win the carnival as they stormed home over the top of Lower South West to win the grand final by 19 points after kicking five goals to nil in the final quarter.
LSW ball magnet Jacob West won the Clem Bray Medal as best on ground in the decider.
Meanwhile in the other playoff for fifth and sixth position, Upper Great Southern prevailed against Esperance by 64 points.
A full wrap, results and pictures from the Great Southern Colts Carnival will be published in Tuesday’s Albany Advertiser.