Boulder trio Michael Wood, Albert Dean and Brett Blair combined for 10 goals as the Tigers produced a clinical second half that paved the way for a 61-point victory, 13.9 (87) to 4.2 (26), over Kalgoorlie on Saturday to launch round nine of the Goldfields Football League.
All three are among a provisional 47-man GFL squad preparing for the upcoming country titles in Perth, with Wood leading the Tigers’ charge at Sir Richard Moore Sports Centre with four goals.
Teammate Alex Paech was judged best-on-ground as part of the league’s annual Men’s Wellbeing/Talk To A Mate Round.
Boulder managed just four behinds to quarter-time and waited until six minutes into the second term before Dean finally opened the side’s account.
Kalgoorlie kicked the opening three goals but gave up the lead midway through the second quarter as Wood hit a purple patch.
It had been tough going to that point for Boulder, turning the ball over regularly in attack as giant opposition ruckman Alex Stewart dropped back to take a series of saving marks.
The Roos, however, were barely hanging on and never regained the lead after Wood slotted two goals just moments apart.
Wood had a chance for a third in a busy few minutes.
His set-shot sailed out of bounds on the full, but the errant kick-in allowed Blair to intercept and slot the simplest of goals.
It was the beginning of the end for Kalgoorlie, who didn’t score in the quarter.
The slow burn for Roos coach Michael Worthington continued throughout the second half when his group added just 1.2.
It was a contrasting display by Boulder, whose wasteful 4.5 was turned completely around with 9.4 after half-time as the black and golds’ host of reliable ball winners took control.
Dean and Blair emerged with three goals and Corey Dempster was a reliable option with two.
Boulder assistant coach Simon Edwards said the early arm wrestle was expected, especially in the windy conditions, while reserving special praise for Wood.
“That wind was pretty hard to gauge, given how flukey and tricky it was, so we just persisted in our systems and how we wanted to go about it,” Edwards said.
“Fortunately, it worked out for us and we were pretty happy with that second half, that’s for sure.
“He (Wood) is sensational — very good in the air, hits the ground like a cat and is pretty accurate.
“Outside him and Alex (Paech), Logan Hughes was terrific for us and it was good to see those other forwards get some reward for effort, too.
“Our backline held up well, so it was pretty much a team effort.”
Kalgoorlie have two wins and barely resemble the side that won last year’s flag, with players injured, unavailable or on representative duty in Lake Grace with the GFL’s colts.
Kayle Kirby was serving a one-match ban and Ryan Macdonald will miss the rest of 2022 as he awaits knee surgery.
Rhys Palmer is holidaying overseas, Ricky Whitehead, Mark Wallace and Jye County were sidelined with niggling injuries and teenager Tyzreise Clark is testing his wares in Perth.
Worthington said Saturday’s performance was the continuation of a trend.
“To be fair, it’s a common theme at the moment — that we’re only stringing together a couple of consistent quarters in games,” Worthington said.
“The difference between our best and worst is just too far apart at the moment.
“We can’t seem to stop those momentum shifts when they happen and once the heads are dropped, it gets a bit hard to rein it back in .”