On Friday 1 June, the annual WA Amateur Football League v WA Country Football league match was held at Lightning Park, Noranda.
The best under 23-year-old players from across the WAAFL competition came up against the best open side from the WACFL.
As soon as the sun went down the temperature continued to drop throughout the night reaching a low of 9.6 degrees to mark the first day of winter.
It was a closely contested match during the first quarter with the WACFL kicking the first goal more than twelve minutes into the match. The WAAFL responded well with goals to Ryan Ekert and Lucas Francis. A goal to Jayden Brooks from the country side in the dying seconds of the quarter gave them a four-point lead at quarter time.
The second quarter was dominated by the WACFL which saw them kick six goals straight to two behinds in a quarter which ultimately decided the match and blew the margin out to thirty-eight points at half time.
After the main break the WAAFL responded well with a goal to Ryan Ekert in the first minute of the third quarter. The WAAFL held the country side goalless in the third term with just three behinds. The WACFL were good in defence but struggled to find a target up forward.
The final quarter saw the WAAFL with opportunities to score but they couldn’t get the points on the scoreboard. A fifty-metre penalty for Cameron Yukich gave the WAAFL their only goal for the final term as they held the WACFL goalless until the 17-minute mark of the final term.
WAAFL U23’s 2.3 2.5 3.6 4.7 (31)
WACFL Open 3.1 9.1 9.4 10.5 (65)
WAAFL: Ryan Ekert 2, Lewis Francis, Cameron Yukich
Best on Ground
WAAFL: Matthew Ah Siu (Bullcreek Leeming)
WACFL: Zane Marwick (Railways)
Earlier in the night the WAAFL Colts took on the WACFL Colts. It was a fast start from the WAAFL with early inside fifty’s. Their structures also held up well with the ball rebounding into the forward line on several occasions. They managed just the two goals despite controlling most of the play.
The second quarter was closely contested with the WACFL coming out and kicking two goals within the first ten minutes to even up the score. The WAAFL fought back in the last half of the quarter to dominate play with Cooper Caimanos kicking the only WAAFL goal for the quarter.
The match remained even throughout the second half however the WAAFL were rewarded for their first half efforts by putting more pressure on the scoreboard. The WAAFL kicked a further three goals in the third quarter and five goals in the fourth quarter, holding the WACFL to just three goals for the entire half.
The WAAFL Colts running out thirty-seven-point winners, claiming the Neil Judge Shield for the first time since 2013.
WAAFL Colts 2.3 3.4 6.6 11.7 (73)
WACFL Colts 0.1 2.1 3.5 5.6 (36)
WAAFL: Drew Blurton 3, Anthony Manera 2, Cooper Caimanos 2, Jackson Bowen, Joseph Eardley, Jacob Oostdam, Maitland Ugle.
Best on Ground
WAAFL: Zachary Raykos (Wanneroo)
WACFL: Nathan Spooner (Wagin)