A Royal heartbreak as Joshua Simpson sinks Chapman Valley to book GNFL finals

Jake Santa MariaGeraldton Guardian
Joshua Simpson kicked a goal after the siren to steal the win for Rovers.
Camera IconJoshua Simpson kicked a goal after the siren to steal the win for Rovers. Credit: DK Photography

There was drama everywhere you looked across the Great Northern Football League at the weekend as Joshua Simpson ended Chapman Valley’s season on the siren.

Realistically, Chapman Valley’s season was over after last round’s thrashing at the hands of Railways, but a win over the inconsistent Rovers could have extended their hopes for another week.

But having led for most of the afternoon, former Fremantle Dockers player Simpson sunk their hearts and final hopes with a goal after the siren to claim a stunning 11.10 (76) to 10.11 (71) victory.

The Royals have been off the pace with just one win in their last five games but the Rovers have been hard to judge this year turning in some poor performances against fellow finals contenders.

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Chapman Valley looked primed for an upset with a four-goal opening term as the Royals were able to win the battle in the midfield.

But Rovers were able to flip the script with a four-goal term to claim a five-point lead at half-time.

With the loss of Shannon Cox the Rovers have rarely had a genuine tall forward option, often relying on their lauded midfield to push up to help out and they were getting the job done with Christopher Scott and Simpson both finding the scoreboard.

There was nothing to separate the two sides in the third quarter with both sides kicking 2.3 to keep the gap at five points.

The trend continued into the fourth quarter where both sides traded goals but the Royals managed to grab back the lead late.

But in the dying moments, Simpson grabbed a mark around 45m out directly in front as the siren sounded.

The Royals flooded the line but it didn’t matter as Simpson kicked truly.

It was a bitter result for the Royals who sunk to the turf as the Rovers piled on Simpson with the finals positions now sewn up.

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