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GNFL final home-and-away round: Rovers and Brigades get big win in finals tune-up

Headshot of Jake Santa Maria
Jake Santa MariaMidwest Times
Brigades’ Kim Schofield and Dale Williamson and Northampton’s Aidan Bartolo
Camera IconBrigades’ Kim Schofield and Dale Williamson and Northampton’s Aidan Bartolo Credit: Arctic Moon Photgraphy

The GNFL season came to a close as Brigades and Rovers got big wins in a perfect warm-up for their finals campaign.

For Rovers, the prospect of a home final was on the line as they faced Mullewa at home sitting only a couple percentage points behind the Rams in third.

A big win against the Saints would likely see the Rovers jump into third regardless of the result in the Rams match.

They got the job done, jumping out of the blocks before controlling the game to easing to a 17.15 (117) to 10.7 (67) victory.

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While the Saints were victorious in their previous meeting, the Rovers have been playing their best footy recently after getting their full-strength side back on the park.

It showed as the Rovers kicked five goals to two in the first quarter to open a 23 point lead at the first break.

It could have been more were it not for some wayward goal-kicking which saw them kick seven behinds as the Demons were on top.

After getting trounced last week at the hands of the Blues, Mullewa were in danger of being blown off the park again, but they raised their level in the second quarter as both teams kicked four goals as the Saints managed to reduce the margin slightly 9.8 (62) to 6.5 (41).

They had Troy Simpson to thank who was moved up forward and kicked his first goal of the season before grabbing five more to end up with six for the afternoon.

But he needed more support as the Rovers outscored them eight goals to four in the second half led well by Justin Crudeli with four. Shannon Cox returned with a three-goal haul and Gabriel Parfitt was again one of the Rovers best as they ran out comfortable winners by 50 points.

In the end they didn’t need a big margin as the Brigades punished a poor Rams outfit to grab some important momentum before their semifinal against Railways.

The Brigades had the toughest run home of any team with their last three games against top four sides. After suffering back-to-back losses to Railways and Rovers a third loss would have seriously dented their confidence before the finals series.

But after a tight opening quarter, the Hawks dominated the match as Dale Williamson kicked four to seal the leading goal-kicker award in another outstanding season in a career full of them.

The Hawks won 14.10 (94) to Northampton’s 4.8 (32) as the Rams managed just three behinds in the second half in a poor end to their regular season.

They will have to rebound quickly as they will now travel to face Rovers in the elimination finals next weekend. Brigades and Railways will lock horns once again in the first semifinal.

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