Gascoyne Football Association ends more than 20-year drought with win against Onshore Cup
The Gascoyne Football Association has ended a lengthy drought as they picked up their first win at the Nutrien Ag Country Championship in more than two decades.
The GFA sent a team last year for the first time in more than 25 years but left the 2022 competition without a win from their four games.
However, they got on the winners’ board at the first time of asking this year after they defeated Onshore, who were competing in their first tournament since 2005, 8.6 (54) to 2.0 (12).
After applying plenty of pressure early Jett Forbes finally got them rolling nine minutes with a close-range finish after the GFA has squandered early chances.
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They won the ball straight out of the centre bounce as Jordan Hayward kicked a second before Brandon Fassom added a third from just inside 50.
Fraser Daly added another goal early in the second half as they began to run away with the match. They ended up with eight individual goal kickers with Blake Schlensog providing the highlight by launching a bomb from 50m off just a couple of steps.
Next up was Esperance and despite a spirited effort they went down 6.5 (41) to 2.2 (14).
Gascoyne were within two goals with six minutes to go but Esperance kicked away late to maintain their unbeaten start to the competition.
A chastising game against Hills followed where they were outclassed 7.6 (48) to 1.3 (9) to end any finals hopes for the GFA.
Unlike the Esperance game they were never in this as the ball lived in the Hills forward line, kicking four unanswered goals in the first half.
Geoffrey Boddington finally got their first goal after a strong pack mark but Hills ran away with the last three goals of the game.
Ben Field, from the Exmouth Eagles, who pulled a hamstring in their opening match, said he was proud of the side’s efforts given the enormous logistical challenges involved.
“It’s a pretty close-knit group being a only three-team comp, unfortunately, some injuries early didn’t help our cause but we never gave up,” he said.
“We don’t have as big of a comp to choose from but this side has shown plenty of talent.”
Their final game was against eventual champions North Pilbara, who were too strong for the GFA, winning 7.4 (48) to 1.2 (8).
Oliver Walton was the stand-out for the side with four best-player nominations for working hard up and down the ground.
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