It was farewell to The Foreshore on Saturday as Neddies hosted Wests in Round 5 of the new Premier Division competition. And what a cracker of a game it was to mark the last home game of the 2018 season.
In last year’s semi-final, things went down to the wire between these two arch rivals before a last minute penalty goal gave Wests the win. And while 80s band Split Enz reckoned history never repeats, the Finn brothers were wrong. Because history bloody well did repeat on Saturday.
In glorious sunny conditions which couldn’t have contrasted more from previous couple of wild weekends, the premier grade team took to the field after wins in reserves and thirds, a forfeit in fourths and a bit of a touch up by Paly over the Neddies women’s team.
It didn’t take long for Neddies to score more points than they did last week in the whole game against Soaks, with centre Ammon Matuauto motoring through for the first try. It was a sign of things to come. By half-time Neddies had jumped out to a handy 26-12 lead after three more tries to Logan Ede, winger Liam Van Der Westhuizen and workhorse loose forward Shane Hemi.
But like last week, a yellow card against Neddies marked a critical momentum shift in the game. Wests stormed back with three consecutive tries to take a 31-26 lead. When Neddies rallied with a late converted try to level things up at 33-33, it looked like the game would end in a draw. But then history repeated itself, with Sully’s boy Walter nailing another last-gasp penalty goal to give Wests a 36-33 victory. Either way, it was a rip-snorter of a game of rugby – and one which gave the club’s flash new scoreboard a real workout.
The bonus point was enough for Neddies to pip Soaks for the minor premiership, setting up a return to Hartfield Park on Saturday for a do-or-die semi-final with Kalamunda in what is the club’s 36thconsecutive premier grade finals appearance.
As has been a feature of the season thus far, there have been plenty of Colts and former Colts doing the business for the premier grade team. And on Saturday it was young prop Noah Harris continuing that trend with a solid performance in the front row. It was also great to see another former Neddies Colt turned premier grade star in Justin “Busty” Webster back at The Foreshore watching proceedings with his young family, still looking fit enough for a canter on the wing.
So on to this weekend when four Neddies teams will be chasing a ticket to the big dance at three different venues (See details below).
You know the drill.
Be there. Be loud. Be proud. Go the Finn brothers. GO NEDDIES!!
Premier Grade: Neddies v Kalamunda @ Hartfield Park 3.30pm
Third Grade: Neddies v Palmyra @ McGillivray Oval 12 noon
Reserves: Neddies v Baysie @ Success 1.30pm
Women’s: Neddies v Kalamunda @ Success 1.45pm (TBC)
Don’t forget about Awards Night on 1st September.