Eagles soar to catch flag in thrilling win against Beach
The Looma Eagles wrote the final chapter in their fairytale season on Saturday when they booted a goal after the siren to pinch the 2018 West Kimberley Football League trophy.
The gut-wrenching grand final saw the Eagles get up over minor premiers Cable Beach by six points to win their first flag since 2013.
There was little separating the two sides, who went goal-for-goal for most of the match, right down to the last siren.
Sylvester Rangie kicked the first goal of the game for the Eagles, which drew an enormous reaction from the hundreds of fans at Haynes Oval.
A solid tackle from Beach’s Brandon Skeen prevented another quick one for the Looma side and Harry Taylor soon got Cable on the board.
CJ Oakley took the mark of the match in the midfield but it was not enough to keep the momentum going for his side, as Ashwin Bilgin and Remahli Skeen put two more goals on the board for Looma before quarter-time.
Cable Beach came out with a bang in the second, with Keilan Davey slotting a goal quickly, followed by a big one from Sonny Dann.
In an impressive play that had the crowd on their feet, Jefferson Pindan brought the ball from the Eagles’ back line right down to their forward 50m and kicked it to Vincent Skinner, who scored the side’s first of the quarter.
Ben De Meo’s tremendous first half was rewarded with a goal after a 50m penalty, but again Looma finished the quarter off strongly, with Skinner and Remahli Skeen notching another two to keep a five-point lead at half-time.
Samuel Buck was quick to get the Eagles on the board in the third but massive goals by Dann and Oakley levelled things up once again.
Jordan King nailed a shot from nearly 50m out but Bilgin quickly responded for the Eagles.
Davey booted another one right before the siren to reduce Looma’s lead to one point going into the final term.
Hayden Smith got the important first goal of the fourth quarter for Looma but Joseph Dann quickly levelled things again.
Scores remained dead even until the end and with just 10 seconds left on the clock, Smith took a mark right in front of goal. Fans stormed the field in celebration before Smith took his kick, knowing even a point would bring the trophy to the remote community. But Smith did not miss and emotions ran high as the Eagles revelled in the glory of their win.
Remahli Skeen was named man of the match for his stand-out midfield performance, topped off by two critical goals. Coach Winston Pindan congratulated his side, as well as the opposition, for the game.
“This was a hard season for us but you grew as a team and kept working hard and you deserve this win,” he told his side.
“Up the Looma Eagles.”
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