Great GSFL grand final moments
On the eve of the 2018 Great Southern Football League grand final, Tim Edmunds looks back at some of his favourite grand final moments.
Palfrey’s seven sinks Kangas
A star was born when Railways teenager Matt Palfrey bobbed up to produce one of the great grand final performances in 2013.
In an epic battle at Collingwood Park, the Tigers through 16-year-old Palfrey’s scintillating seven goals regained the momentum from the home side to win by 22 points and claim back-to-back flags.
I was calling the match for Albany Community Radio and the encounter is easily the most memorable grand final spectacle with momentum swings and a classic solo effort, the highlights.
Kangas ton ends Dollar’s time
North Albany’s ruthless 100-point win over Royals in 2014 was devastating on many fronts.
The effort by the Kangas to bounce back from their 2013 defeat to secure their first flag since 2008 came in the last match for Royals legendary coach Darrell ‘Dollar’ Panizza.
Nobody at the ground knew it would be Panizza’s last game coaching the Lions, leaving the club with a record eight premierships, 12 grand finals and 303 games in charge.
The crowd however did witness the emergence of 17-year-old Declan Mountford who claimed the Alan Barnett Medal and would later be drafted by North Melbourne.
The game however was a fizzer.
The mayor of Denmark
Talk to anyone about the 2010 grand final and they will always mention the enormous crowd.
In front of the largest grand final crowd, Denmark-Walpole ended a 32-year premiership drought at Mclean Park in front of a recorded 3500. In fact many more spectators slipped in to witness the Magpies be revived as a club.
Led by player-coach James McRae coaching against his former club Royals, best on ground captain Brody Hickey and star Dave McDonald, the Magpies capped off a memorable season going from wooden spooners to premiers in a season.
The drought is over
Years of grand final pain for Railways ended in 2012 when they finally broke their premiership drought which had extended to 26 years.|
The Tigers record on the biggest day was disastrous until coaching trio Kim Mayfield, Scott Sedgwick and Tim Alvin guided the Tigers to a long-awaited triumph.
The crowd spilled onto the ground at the final siren in emotional scenes. The celebrations and relief their time in the wilderness was over was the most memorable.
Captain Hall’s comeback
In the space of three weeks North Albany captain Brett Hall rode the emotional finals roller coaster.
After having his cheekbone broken by a callous king-hit in the elimination final, Hall faced missing the rest of his club’s finals series.
The skipper returned from surgery in Perth to win his second Kleemann Medal and then bravely took the field for the grand final against favourites Railways wearing a helmet. Hall was one of his side’s best in the triumph holding the cup aloft after a bruising finals series.
Royals’ six of the best
Royals were the dominant club from the turn of the century, owning grand final day with six straight premierships from 1999 to 2004. The Lions defeated Mt Barker, Railways twice, North Albany, Katanning Wanderers and finally Tambellup with the final five premierships won on home soil at Centennial Oval. Their feat is still a record in the GSFL. Panizza was at the helm for all six and would add another two flags to his collection later. Many of their players had sore necks from six premiership medals.
Tambellup are back
Before Royals began their dominance of the competition, 1998 was a rare season when the Albany-based clubs were confined to sitting out on grand final day.
Up at Quartermain Oval, the home ground of Katanning Wanderers, it was Tambellup who would produce the most memorable of grand final comebacks.
Wanderers appeared destined to romp home after a 10-goal second quarter before a young Demons side featuring stars such as Wayne Wynne and Russell Williams sparked their side to victory in a high-scoring shootout.
The grand final was called by legendary country football commentating duo Jim Hull and Peter Sheridan. Being proud Tambellup locals, the moment was extra special for them.
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