11th heaven as Ryan Le Tessier buries Chapman Valley’s finals hopes in stunning performance

Jake Santa MariaGeraldton Guardian
Ryan Le Tessier was all smiles in an 11-goal haul.
Camera IconRyan Le Tessier was all smiles in an 11-goal haul. Credit: Jake Santa Maria

The top four is all but set with three rounds to go in the Great Northern Football League as Railways smashed Chapman Valley on Saturday to effectively end their chances.

The Blues were dominant across the park but it was all about one man as Ryan Le Tessier kicked a career-high 11 goals in the 21.16 (142) to 7.4 (46) win.

Chapman Valley came into the match with their backs against the wall, effectively needing to win all their remaining matches to have any chance of playing finals this year.

But the Royals could barely get their hands on the ball early as Henry Anderson opened the scoring for the Blues before Jaxon Graham added a second in the opening five minutes.

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Royals forwards were getting sucked up the ground to try to help out their beleaguered defence but that left few options when they finally did get the ball which often led to a quick turnover.

Le Tessier got his first from a set shot about 40m out but few would have predicted at that point what was to come.

The Royals finally got on the board by winning the centre clearance but Le Tessier got a second before Graham added a fifth as they led by 28 points at the first break.

Henry Anderson celebrates the opening goal as the Blues smashed the Royals.
Camera IconHenry Anderson celebrates the opening goal as the Blues smashed the Royals. Credit: Jake Santa Maria

The Royals did lift their pressure around the contest and it paid off with Clinton Harrington gifting a goal to the Valley after engaging in a war of words and giving away a 50m penalty.

But it would be the only goal they would get as Le Tessier had five goals by half-time and the Blues were up by 58 points.

With the game effectively over it was all about how many Le Tessier would get with the ex-Swan Districts player enjoying a new-found role up forward.

In his 200 games prior to Saturday Le Tessier had just 26 goals to his name but the Blues without Dion Anthony, Jesse Adamini and Jack Cocking had seen him moved forward and kick three last round against Rovers.

But few would have predicted this haul, as he won multiple one-on-one marking contests and kicked goals from just about anywhere.

He kicked one on the bounce, got some from free kicks, bombed a couple through from around the paint from both sides and was just unstoppable on the day.

In the end he finished with 11, the biggest haul anyone has managed this season with the Blues faithful rising to applaud him off the ground.

At the other end, it was a chastising day for the Royals who showed some spirit but were thoroughly outplayed with a goal from Lockey Hawkins on league debut the only notable highlight.

Jesse Moore may have to front the tribunal after being given a yellow card after getting into a scuffle in the third quarter that saw him and another Blue sent off, but otherwise, it was a near-perfect day for Railways who move into second on the ladder.

The Royals are still a mathematical possibility to make finals but would need to win their last three games and with a poor percentage Rovers would have to lose their last three.

At Mullewa, the Rovers put a couple of poor weeks behind them with a big win over the Saints in a dominant 21.11 (137) to 8.7 (55) win.

A win over the Royals next round will secure them finals.

Brigades won an easy game over Towns with four goals to Kirsterfer Ryder in their 11.17 (83) to 4.4 (28) victory.

The only concern for the Hawks was their accuracy as they managed just 4.13 in a poor second half.

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