Lake Grace-Pingrup start new season on winning note but lose prized recruit to hamstring injury
The return of former AFL forward Mitch Morton helped Lake Grace-Pingrup begin the new Ongerup Football Association with a victory, as they downed Jerramungup in a tight contest on Saturday.
In a hard-fought contest at Pingrup, the Bombers came out on top after a five-goal haul from Jackson Callope helped them prevail by 17 points at the final siren.
Morton kicked 116 goals in 83 AFL games spanning across West Coast, Richmond and Sydney, and his time at the top level was highlighted by an AFL premiership with the Swans in 2012. Now 34, Morton has returned to his junior club Lake-Grace Pingrup for the 2021 season and booted four goals in a strong first appearance back.
But his comeback was soured by a hamstring injury, which is expected to sideline him for a fortnight.
Nine goals between Callope and Morton were enough for the Bombers to get a round-one victory as they downed the Eagles 15.9 (99) to 11.16 (82).
Darcy Townsend and ruckman Reuben Smith were influential for the winners, while Kane Pinney and Jack Carruthers also won plenty of the ball.
The visitors were left to rue their inaccuracy in front of goal but were well served by Wade Brown, Michael Lester (three goals) and Jackson Brown.
Reigning premiers Gnowangerup made the perfect start to their title defence with a commanding victory away from home.
The Bulldogs were far too strong for Newdegate as Timm House booted four majors and prized recruit Elliot Jaeschke kicked three goals in the 66-point result.
Jack Batchelor, Scott Anderson and Jaeschke all starred in their respective roles as the Bulldogs won 16.17 (113) to 7.5 (47).
The Lions were best served by Nelson Kent, Arron Russell (four goals) and Kim Newman.
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