GNFL Round 11 wrap: Stacked Chapman Valley side down Railways as Rovers dominate Northampton

Derek GoforthGeraldton Guardian
Matt Priddis starred as Royals brought in elite talent.
Camera IconMatt Priddis starred as Royals brought in elite talent. Credit: Justine Rowe Around the Traps

Another round, another shake-up of the GNFL ladder as stunning results opened up the race for top four as Rovers put away Northampton while Chapman Valley crushed Railways.

Nabawa’s Chapman Valley on Saturday welcomed a big crowd including former West Coast Eagles stars Matt Priddis and Lewis Jetta to the Mazuchelli Clark oval, the Royals holding the third annual Big Freeze Fund raiser to raise funds for MND research.

The Valley took on Railways in what turned out to be a contender for game of the season with Chapman Valley coming out on top in a highly charged and entertaining match, 15.7 (97) to Railways’ 8.10 (58).

Priddis, Jetta and returning Subiaco player Richard Bartlett were all instrumental in the Royals’ convincing and compelling victory. Bartlett showing his improved skills and fitness since training and playing with the Perth side.

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Railways were in buoyant mood before the game with head coach Mathew Powell hoping to “respond to last week’s performance,” but was coming against some serious talent. Powell said he believed they would be up to the challenge, saying “we have depth which is a great thing at this stage of the season.”

Chapman Valley got off to a perfect start. The first goal from Jay O’Brian coming within seconds of the siren, the quickest goal for the Royals this season.

Jack Cocking is back in the Railways side after playing three games for the East Fremantle colts, levelling the score on the three-minute mark. Cocking followed it up with a goal, pouncing on a poaching opportunity right in front of the posts.

Jetta and Priddis were in the thick of things from the start for Chapman Valley with Jetta getting an early minor from distance.

Richard Bartlett got Valley’s third, taking a calm and controlled mark in front of goal, Bartlett liking up in style with both Jetta and Priddis.

An intense and entertaining first quarter saw Chapman Valley go in to the first break confident leaders 4.1 (25) to Railways 3.2 (20).

In-form Cocking gave the Blues a reprieve, taking it to a four-point game within seconds of the second term, adding to the intensity of the match which had a real ‘finals’ feel about it, which saw spectators continue to arrive well into the game.

Both teams put on a fine performance, with neither side getting more than a goal in front during the first half but Chapman Valley were showing better fitness and intensity in front of the enthusiastic crowd.

Bartlett taking a break from playing for Subiaco was on fire for the Royals, scoring goals and setting up multiple opportunities for his teammates scoring back-to-back goals in the final minutes of the second half.

Half-time saw Chapman Valley go in with an extended lead 8.2 (50) to Railways 4.4 (28).

Subiaco’s other returning player, Brett Robinson got the Royals off to the perfect start for the second half with a wonderful goal 20m out, with Priddis again instrumental in setting up the play.

Railways threw everything but the kitchen sink at Chapman Valley but the Royals kicked six goals unanswered, an impressive feat for any team, to win easily.

It was Chapman Valley’s first win over Railways since 2015 and the loss meant Brigades have moved into first place despite not even playing a game this round following Railways’ hefty percentage hit.

Cocking, Riley Zimmermann, Jesse Adamini, Matthew Kimberley and Mitchell Boyle all ran hard for Railways but the talent the Royals brought in was just too much.

At Northampton the Rams went into the round on a high having won four in a row and coming against a Rovers side that lost to Mullewa last Sunday.

However, it was the Demons who came out the victors claiming a dominant 12.13 (85) to 5.13 (43) win to get a grip back on third place.

It was a disappointing performance for the Rams with the Royals now just a game behind them following their win although the side that beat Railways is not representative of the team they usually put out.

At Mullewa the Saints won two in a row against a battling Towns 9.11 (65) to 6.6 (42).

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