Fortunes Rammed home

Headshot of Peter Sweeney
Peter SweeneyGeraldton Guardian

Was the chalk-written sign saying “The drought has broken” outside a pub referring to drinks flowing? If so, no better case of liquid gold.

Or maybe it was to do with the rain falling in the nearby paddocks? Neither. It’s all about Northampton making the finals in the Great Northern Football League.

Northampton, the tiny town which arguably produces the biggest number of star footballers per head of population, has suffered for 15 years.

That’s how long it has been since the Rams, the footy side whose town is adorned with sheep statues, made the finals in the seven-team competition.

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The Rams downed Towns for the flag in 2004. Footy days were buoyant then for the green-and-gold, but they have they been barren since.

Up until last Saturday, when everything changed.

That’s when Northampton beat their country cousins Chapman Valley by three points in the last game of the regular season to secure fourth spot on the ladder. It means a first-semifinal appointment on Sunday at the Recreation Ground in Geraldton against Brigades, the reigning premiers.

The winner will progress to the preliminary final on Sunday, September 15 — which happens to be the day after the 102nd Northampton Show.

The Rams are planning on putting on a show, and fireworks of a different kind, before then.

And the progress of Northampton in the finals will be closely monitored by many past and present stars of the WAFL, VFL and AFL.

The likes of West Coast Eagle pair Josh Kennedy and Jamie Cripps, Docker champ Paul Hasleby, Geelong’s Harry Taylor, the Lockyers, Andrew and Tarkyn, Hawk and Eagle Daniel Chick, former Kangaroo Liam Anthony and 2019 Brownlow Medal favourite Patrick Cripps hail from Northampton.

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