GNFL Round 7 preview: Top-two clash between Brigades and Railways likely match of the round headliner

Victor TantiGeraldton Guardian
Brigades' Hayden Johnson, right, chases down Railways' Beau Simpson.
Camera IconBrigades' Hayden Johnson, right, chases down Railways' Beau Simpson. Credit: Arctic Moon Photography

They are neck-and-neck on top of the Great Northern Football League ladder and Saturday’s showdown between Brigades and Railways promises to be a mouth-watering feature of round seven.

All GNFL games this round will be held on Saturday, with Brigades and Railways facing off at the Rec.

They share the competition lead but Brigades, which has played five games, are unbeaten, while Railways has played six and lost one.

That defeat was a 10-goal loss to Brigades, but Railways are in form and in last week’s six-goal win over Rovers they outscored them 12 goals to four after quarter-time.

Brigades coach Cory Foot is tipping a tough game and is wary of Railways’ ability to run over teams.

“Railways have improved since we beat them in round one and I’m expecting a really good contest — we know if we’re slightly off our game they will punish us on the scoreboard,” Foot said.

“Jesse Adamini is in great form, Matt Kimberley complements Railways’ midfield well and they have Jack Cocking and Alex Newton up forward, so we have to put time into those players or might have a very long day chasing.”

Brigades are defending premiers after defeating Railways in the 2021 grand final and many predict they will again decide the title this season.

“Last year has been and gone and we are only looking forward to this year but the appetite for success is bigger than ever,” Foot said.

Good news for Brigades is Hayden Johnson may play after it was feared he would be out for weeks with a leg injury. He is a noted big-game player.

“Hayden is a chance, though we’ll have to see how he goes at training but we’ve had a few blokes in the ressies and colts perform, so they’re an option,” Foot said.

One reason the Hawks have won a club record 17 successive games is their young players and Foot says they continue to develop.

“Very happy with our young players — the likes of Graham Sandy, Jordy O’Brien, Izac Ronan, Will Anderson and Llewyn Valli are improving each game,” he said.

In other games of round seven, Rovers return to Greenough to meet Towns. Rovers are coming off a loss and are keen to make amends, while no matter how valiant Towns are they lack the depth to go the distance with the Demons.

Northampton are home at Purcher International Oval against Chapman Valley. Mullewa has the bye. Brigades, Railways and Rovers are sure to play finals but one of Norths, the Valley, Towns and Mullewa will finish fourth and also make the cut.

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