NCFL end of season review

GRAND OLD FLAG: Wycheproof-Narraport avenged last year's grand final loss by winning the 2017 premiership last weekend. Picture: NONI HYETT
GRAND OLD FLAG: Wycheproof-Narraport avenged last year's grand final loss by winning the 2017 premiership last weekend. Picture: NONI HYETT

ALL THE 2017 SENIOR RESULTS

CLUB by club review of the 2017 North Central league season.

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1st – WYCHEPROOF-

NARRAPORT

Record – 16-2-1, 207%

Avg. for/against – 108/52

Attack: 1st Defence: 1st

Players used – 30

Comparison to last year – 

Same wins, +25 points improvement per game

(attack: +10 defence: +15)

Club best top tallies:

George Turner – 57

Ricky Allan – 47

Corey Jones – 43

Based on weekly best players: 6 points for best, 5 for second best and so on.

Top goalkickers:

Corey Jones – 71

Andrew Mead-

Harding – 55

Matt Riordan – 34

The Demons were the benchmark side throughout the home and away season and unlike last year were able to convert their dominance into their first premiership since 2010.

Only lost two games for the year, but were made to work hard for the flag by Birchip-Watchem after trailing by 13 points at three quarter-time in the grand final.

Won the premiership averaging just 23.3 player points per game, which is what the system is all about – play local talent and maintain a high retention rate of recruits.

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2nd – BIRCHIP-

WATCHEM

Record – 12-6, 146%

Avg. for/against – 80/55

Attack: 3rd Defence: 2nd

Players used – 31

Comparison to last year – 

+2 wins, +20 points 

(attack: +3, defence: +17)

BULLS CHARGE: Birchip-Watchem's Nathan Gordon and coach Tom Carland during last Saturday's grand final against Wycheproof-Narraport. Picture: NONI HYETT

BULLS CHARGE: Birchip-Watchem's Nathan Gordon and coach Tom Carland during last Saturday's grand final against Wycheproof-Narraport. Picture: NONI HYETT

Club best top tallies:

Lochlan Sirett – 64

Nathan Gordon – 63

Charlie Hallam – 56

Top goalkickers:

Stephen Paulke – 69

Nathan Gordon – 37

Lachlan Foott – 31

Gave it their all in last week’s grand final with a gritty performance against the Demons, but their first premiership since 2001 eluded the Bulls.

Recruits Stephen Paulke and Nathan Gordon made an impact in the forward half, but it was down the other end where the Bulls made their biggest improvement as they became a much harder team to score against.

A preliminary final then grand final appearance the past two years shows that elusive flag is within sight of the Bulls if their upwards trend continues next year.

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3rd – SEA LAKE

NANDALY TIGERS

Record – 12-6, 126%

Avg. for/against – 92/73

Attack: 2nd Defence: 5th

Players used – 36

Comparison to last year – 

+7 wins, +23 points 

(attack: +14, defence: +9)

Club best top tallies:

Ryan O’Sullivan – 70

Luke Martin – 52

Brad Collins – 44

Top goalkickers:

Jordan Doering – 45

Brad Collins – 31

Billy McInnes – 31

Were the big movers this year, winning seven more games than their debut season in 2016 and climbing from sixth to third.

Loomed as a side to be reckoned with when they won six in a row between rounds 10 and 15, but couldn’t get over the hurdle of Wycheproof-Narraport, who they lost three times to, including the preliminary final by 21 points.

Ruckman Ryan O’Sullivan’s dominant season was highlighted by not only winning the Feeny Medal, but doing so with the most votes since 1952 with 33.

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4th – BOORT

Record – 10-6-1, 98%

Avg. for/against – 65/66

Attack: 6th Defence: 3rd

Players used – 32

Comparison to last year – 

+3 wins, +13 points 

(attack: -4, defence: +17)

Club best top tallies:

Corey Gregg – 59

Keiren Wilson – 56

Ben Gregg – 37

Top goalkickers:

Richard Tibbett – 29

Cameron Chalmers – 19

Rohan Nolan – 17

Made the finals for the first time since 2011, but were blown off the park by 80 points by Sea Lake Nandaly Tigers in the first semi.

Laid the foundation for their top four finish by winning five of their first six games, which included being the only team to beat Wycheproof-Narraport during the home and away season.

Had some of the wind knocked out of their sails late in the season with the knee injury to ruckman James Orr.

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5th – DONALD

Record – 9-7, 94%

Avg. for/against – 69/73

Attack: 4th Defence: 4th

Players used – 32

Comparison to last year – 

-2 wins, -24 points 

(attack: -16, defence: -8)

Club best top tallies:

Darcy Harrison – 60

Bryan Beckham – 36

Brody Haddow – 34

Top goalkickers:

Seamus Young – 39

Brody Haddow – 15

Anthony Raso – 15

The Royals were set up for a third-straight finals appearance when they sat in third position after 10 rounds with a 7-3 record.

However, they faded late, winning only two of their last six games to finish sixth – six points outside the top four.

Were at their best between rounds six and 10 when they won five games in a row.

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6th – WEDDERBURN

Record – 4-12, 64%

Avg. for/against – 58/91

Attack: 8th Defence: 6th

Players used – 35

Comparison to last year – 

+3 wins, +3 points 

(attack: +1, defence:+2)

Club best top tallies:

Adam Postle – 34

Nathan Holt – 32

Ben DeAraugo – 30

Top goalkickers:

Marc Reiffel – 17

Nathan Holt – 15

Robert Tonkin – 10

Missed the finals for the third year in a row following the last of their four premierships in succession in 2014.

Positive, though, is the Redbacks won three more games than last year and continued to see development in their strong contingent of young local players.

Didn’t help their cause with some poor conversion at goal. Of their 16 games, only three times did they score more goals than behinds.

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7th – CHARLTON

Record – 3-13, 64%

Avg. for/against – 60/93

Attack: 7th Defence: 7th

Players used – 34

Comparison to last year – 

-11 wins, -55 points 

(attack: -32, defence: -23)

Club best top tallies:

Dean McKay – 40

Anthony Judd – 37

Aaron Walklate – 35

Top goalkickers:

Thomas Finlay – 20

Matt Giri – 19

Anthony Judd – 19

After winning the flag last season the Navies slid down the ladder to second-last following a hefty player turnover.

It was clear the Navies were going to be in for a challenging year after they were held goalless in the first game of their premiership defence against Wycheproof.

A highlight throughout the season was Danny Wright reaching 200 senior games following two serious health setbacks earlier in his career.

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8th – ST ARNAUD

Record – 1-15, 59%

Avg. for/against – 66/112

Attack: 5th Defence: 8th

Players used – 43

Comparison to last year – 

-2 wins, -9 points 

(attack: -5, defence: -4)

Club best top tallies:

Daniel London – 42

Jacob Tillig – 40

Caleb Bloomer – 32

Top goalkickers:

Nick Coghlan – 49

Daniel Hargraves – 12

Bailey Durward, Daniel

London, Justin Monaco

– 10

The wooden-spooners, with their only win of the season coming against Charlton by nine points.

However, it was a significant year for the Saints in terms of development, playing 17 teenagers, 12 of which made their senior debuts, including six from their under-16s.

Junior strength was highlighted by both their under-16 and under-13 teams winning flags.