Railways still unbeaten in the GFL after cruising to 10th win
An effective blueprint for defeating Railways continues to elude Goldfields Football League rivals after the premiership favourites dismantled Boulder on Saturday by 46 points, 13.10 (88) to 6.6 (42).
The clash at the Sir Richard Moore Sports Centre showcased the league’s top two teams but it fell short of expectations on the back of another clinical display by the red-and-blacks on their home ground.
It represented a 10th consecutive win for Railways, who seized control from the start.
The match was barely 10 minutes old when Railways led by 21 points and the 15-point margin at quarter time could have been more but the competition leaders misfired for 3.4.
It included Jacob Oakes’ poster after he enjoyed a dynamic start along similar lines to a week earlier when kicking three first-quarter goals.
Oakes was an effective target inside the Panthers’ 50m arc alongside Chris Yarran and Shannon Nelson as their midfield surged.
Boulder needed a spark but several promising forward entries early in the second term were twice foiled by poor finishing.
There were shortcomings punished at the other end by Yarran and captain Kyle Russell, who flashed sublime crumbing skills to kick a brilliant running goal through traffic.
Yarran, who no longer has to carry Railways’ forward line in the manner he did last season, emerged from the half with three goals.
Nelson, re-acquired before the June 30 clearance deadline from Karratha, contributed two first-half goals in a 23-point lead.
It left Boulder desperately in need of the opening goal of the third term.
Jai Rout obliged but the 17-point margin was the closest the Tigers would get as Railways rallied for six goals after half time.
By three-quarter-time, Boulder trailed by 30 points and were held to a goal in the run home as the Panthers added 3.4.
The victory, however, was soured by a sickening head clash between Daniel Leach and Cody Chester in the last quarter.
Chester sustained concussion and Oakes was another late casualty with a badly cut eye that forced him from the ground.
Yarran was Railways’ top forward with four goals and Nelson contributed three among eight players who hit the scoreboard for the winners.
Rout’s two goals led Boulder’s forwards.
Railways coach Rhett Pettit, who watched the game from the sidelines on a two-game suspension after being red-carded a week earlier for umpire abuse, rated the win among the group’s best.
“I thought the opening 20 minutes was some of the best football we’ve played this year,” Pettit said.
“Our pressure was elite, although we didn’t convert as well as we should have on the scoreboard.
“But it was probably the most complete four-quarter game we’ve played.
‘We didn’t really blow them away at any stage but we had that two goal advantage that we were able to continue building on as the game wore on.
“It was very good to sit and watch.”
Pettit said it did the squad no harm to have different people calling the shots.
“Leachy and Braden Faithfull did all the coaching,” he said.
“It meant they (the players) had a different voice and a different approach pre-game and through the warm-ups that was no doubt quite refreshing.
“That’s the way we looked at it anyway and it seemed to work.”
A general bye applies in the GFL this weekend due to the annual country championships in Perth.
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