By OSCAR PERRI
Federals Football Club’s senior men have finished their season strong with a comfortable win over West Football Club at Traeger Park, cementing their second place berth as the finals loom.
The teams last played each other in round 10, when the Federals snuck home by five points in a game that West really should have won.
It was a different story this week, with a clinical first quarter from the Federals putting through six goals straight, three of which came off the boot of Ainsley Walker who seemed unstoppable early in the game.
Though if it wasn’t for the work of West’s Zeron Wayne the damage would have been far greater, the defender doing admirable work to stem the flow.
He was let down by his teammates in the middle of the ground though, especially in the opening blow from Federals, who had complete control of the game between the arcs.
There was no mistaking the thoughts of West coach Shaun Cusack at quarter time, who gave his players an absolute grilling about their efforts, well within earshot of spectators in the grandstand and assumedly the opposition.
It did the job though, West brought a lot more attitude to the game but were never able to recover from their first quarter shambles.
Liam Jurrah worked himself into the game and kicked two goals in the second, looking dangerous whenever the ball made it into West’s forward 50.
This was not just happening nearly enough for him to pull his side back into contention, as Braydon Weily and Robby Bartee dominated in the midfield for the Feds, winning countless clearances and moving the ball forward, though Wayne continued his exceptional work to nullify a lot of these entries.
Feds Forward Henry Impu kicked the first goal of the game, had been quiet through the rest of the first quarter, but started to threaten again, and would go on to kick five as West fell away.
West outscored the Feds in the second quarter but went into half time trailing by 23 points, not an insurmountable deficit but given the way they were being beaten through the middle it did not seem likely they would be able to catch up.
Toshie Kunoth, who’d had a form slump since the middle of the season, found his form for West in the second half through the middle of the ground. He kicked an early third quarter goal that gave his side plenty of encouragement and tackling pressure went up, with West starting to win contests and get the ball moving in a positive direction.
It was short lived though, as the Feds put through two back to back goals that extinguished the fire.
West went limp from that point, and were goal-less in the final term, while the Feds iced the game with three goals in a pretty un-entertaining finish to the season.
Final score: Federals 13.9.87 D West 6.9.45.
Meanwhile at Albrecht Oval, the Pioneers continued their late season run of good form to beat last placed South Alice by 27 points in a high scoring affair.
Finals start next weekend with two games, top two teams Rovers and Federals are playing off to make it through to the grand final, while West and Pioneers will need to go the long way around, the winner of their clash will take on the loser of the first game for the other Grand Final berth.