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11 straight for high flying Hawks as Railways steam through undermanned Royals in second half

Jake Santa MariaGeraldton Guardian
Tayah Palmer had her best game but the Blues ran past the Royals in the second half.
Camera IconTayah Palmer had her best game but the Blues ran past the Royals in the second half. Credit: Jake Santa Maria

Saturday felt like the changing of the guard for the GNWFL as the Chapman Valley Royals are in real danger of missing out on finals for the first time in their history.

The Royals were one of the founding four clubs of the GNWFL and have appeared in every finals series and all but one grand final since.

However, they now sit outside the top four with three games to go as Railways overran the Royals 10.5 (65) to 6.4 (40) to leave their finals hopes in the balance.

The two sides were separated by just two points coming into the weekend but the Royals were without several key players.

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They were missing captain Taylah Broadhurst and sister Madi, midfielder Samantha Williamson, Sahara Clarke and Georgia Ross to name a few which besides the talent drain also left them skinny on interchanges.

But they did still have Tayah Palmer and though she has been a far rarer sight this season with just four games, she kept her side in it early with three goals.

Railways held a five-point advantage at the first break which grew to 11 but the Royals kicked three in a row to hit the lead with Lexi Chapman impressing with her one-on-one work.

Railways got one back right on the stroke of half-time to stop the momentum as just one point separated the teams.

But the lack of numbers hurt the Royals in the second half as the Blues began to outwork their opponents with Jasmine Johansen leading the charge again while Raine Jeffery had the best game of her career with four goals.

The Royals kicked just one goal in the second half which went to Palmer late in the contest but the Royals just ran out of gas leaving their finals hopes on a knife edge.

At the other end of the spectrum Brigades had no troubles at Towns as they made it to 11 straight wins for the season with a 5.11 (41) to 1.1 (7) over the Bulldogs.

Towns held a slender one-point lead at quarter-time but would not score again as the Hawks kicked the next four goals led by Gabrielle McLaren with three

Jessica Guidice-Nairn and Breeanna Hamlett were once again impressive as was Jorja Bevan who made it five straight best-player nominations as the Hawks look unstoppable this season.

Mullewa got their first win of the season with a 10.9 (69) to 0 trouncing of the Rovers.

The Demons got their first-ever win against the Saints in round six but Mullewa was in no mood to go down on their home deck as Martika Barona, Dainira Papertalk and Panaia Simpson starred with three goals each.

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