Newtown-Condi recruit attempting to jump ship to Esperance
It only took one game and highly-prized Lions recruit Chris Yarran has been lured back to play for the Esperance Football Club.
Yarran had played a game for the Bulldogs last year before being cleared to play for Newtown-Condingup and training with the club for the majority of this year’s pre-season. His round one ANZAC Day performance saw him lead the goal scoring for the Lions, kicking two goals.
A clearance was put forward to the league the day after ANZAC Day, it is currently still pending approval.
It is unclear at this stage what prompted the star forward to move across town to the Bulldogs. Spare a thought for Richard Scott who played against Yarran at fullback in the ANZAC Day game, and will come up against him for the second time in two weeks as Gibson take on Esperance in a grand final rematch at Gibson Oval.
Round one of the EDFA season is done and dusted, and the results may have been expected but it was the manner of how each game panned out which was surprising for spectators and local footy people alike.
Reigning Premiers outmuscle a tired Newtown-Condi
Newtown-Condingup 5.3-37 defeated by Gibson 19.14-128
It’s a special game that Gibson and Newtown-Condingup players, coaches and officials are honoured to be a part of. To honour the ANZAC spirit in an annual spectacle at Condingup Oval, playing our native Aussie game is incredibly special and everyone involved was moved by the stirring service, including the bugle-played Last Post and a rendition of the national anthem.
The occasion promised a fierce beginning, and the crowd were treated to hard contested footy immediately after the opening bounce. The pressure from both sides was high leading to a litany of skill errors and turnovers. The home side kicked the first goal, after a Gibson point and a couple free-kicks put the ball in Chris Yarran’s hands, who finished off dead in front. Yarran is playing at the Lions after beginning his Esperance career at the Bulldogs last year, and would finish the match with two majors.
The reigning premiers would have been convinced that they had a tough game on their hands as Newtown-Condi drew to level at two goals apiece late in the first quarter, but a burst of brilliance from newly found forward Travis Stewart gave the away side momentum heading into the first break.
And that momentum would prove testing for the home side.
Gibson went on to dominate the next two quarters, kicking four unanswered in the second and five in the next without Newtown-Condi putting away a major. In that time the captain Patch Jannings was outstanding. He kicked a second goal in the second quarter after being clothes-lined in the pocket by an errant Lion’s defender. He compose and snap coolly, much to the delight of the Gibson faithful.
Gibson were particularly good around the ball, the skipper, new recruit Aegon McCallion and ruckman Ben Liddlelow dominated the stoppages, and they were aided by the outside run of Staunton and Curry who were instrumental in driving the team forward. Down back ‘Feathers’ Fetherstonhaugh and Murray Bowman provided ample rebound from turnovers and Gibson debutant Scott blanket Yarran well for the majority of the game. Younger players Rogers and Quinlivan were impressive with their immaculate skills and hard running.
For the home side, the team could be forgiven for an emotional week following the amazing job the club did accommodating the funeral of the late Peter ‘Windy’ Gale. Captain Jake Oversby stood out physically and with his strong performance, working tirelessly in the middle and forward. Ash McDonald was very important for the Lions and debutant Sam Bowen was busy. Sadly, it seemed the pressure from Gibson was telling as too many mistakes moving forward cost Newtown Condi.
Best on Ground was probably shared by the Captain, Patch Jannings who is the epitome of ANZAC spirit, although a forward masterclass by Travis Stewart, who ended the game with four goals, raised a few eyebrows around the competition.
A Hepburn Medalist Masterclass propels the Dogs over a hungry Ports side
Ports 6.4-40 defeated by Esperance 11.11-77
Gate prices were waved on a warm Saturday that would test the players, but the crowd would have been delighted by the high intensity and fascinating contest that unfolded at Ports oval against Ports and the Esperance Football Club.
Matthew 'Fingers' Thornton played in the game and gave a first hand account of what happened on the Sean for Breakfast Show. Check out 4 minutes at the audio below.
Ports, who had been disappointing last year, came out of the blocks eager to prove a point and to physically pressure their red and white opponents. They did so successfully and forced the Dogs defenders down the line into the likeable hands of Nigel Johnston and Sam Curnow, who were able to use the ball and trouble their opponents moving forward.
After a tight first quarter the home side kicked away with four goals to one. Isaac Puna was terrific kicking two to inspire his teammates and the Ports unit were sniffing an unlikely victory.
That was until new Esperance coach Darren Hassell swung the changes at halftime and demanded a tougher and more composed display in the second half. And that he received.
Brendon White, last year’s Hepburn Medalist, was the difference kicking three goals in the third term as the Dogs piled on seven unanswered goals. That was enough to win the game, with both teams sharing majors in the last quarter with Esperance finishing the game 37 points ahead.
Brayden Wood had minor leather poisoning across the game and Roy McPhee was hard and tough all day. Young Bulldog Kahn Wyatt went down with a collar bone injury and will unfortunately miss a couple months of footy.
For Ports there was plenty to like, with players from last year their best contributors, ‘Barnesy’ Adams, Johnston, Liddlelow and Buckley toiled all day and the Ports faithful should be impressed with the workload of the team.