The Great Northern Football League ended its 2023 season with a roller coaster grand final between Northampton and Railways that ended in controversial scenes. The Rams broke their 19-year league premiership drought, but only after scenes of ecstasy turned to agony for the Blues. In bizarre scenes, Railways players started celebrating and fans ran onto the field at the sound of the final siren, with the scoreboard showing they had won by one point, 9.6 (60) to 9.5 (59). But the goal umpires met in the middle of the ground to compare their scorecards and confirmed the scoreboard was incorrect and that the game had actually ended in a tie, 9.6 (60) apiece. Fans had to leave the field and there were two five-minute halves of extra time to play. Northampton dominated, scoring three goals and Railways barely touched the ball in overtime, with the Rams winning 12.6 (78) to 9.6 (60). GNFL president Carrissa Bellottie said the scoreboard error was unfortunate, but officials followed the rules at the end of the game to determine if extra time was needed. For the Rams, retired West Coast champion Josh Kennedy kicked three goals, with two each from Flynn Dillon and Trent Simpson. Jack Cripps, Jaden Polletti, Beau Walker, Harry Taylor and Kingsley Smith kicked one goal each. It was only Kennedy’s third game playing for the Rams since he retired from the AFL at the end of last year. Kennedy and fellow AFL great Taylor had pledged to play together for their junior club Northampton again. Railways’ captain Jesse Adamini kicked three goals, while Henry Anderson and Dion Anthony kicked two each, to go along with one goal from Mitchell Boyle and Jack Connell. The Geraldton Guardian best-on-ground medal was awarded to Dillon, whose around the ground performance helped Northampton get the victory in his first game back since round seven. He capped off a big week, having shared the 2023 JJ Clune Medal a few days before. This is the latest chapter in a storied history for the Northampton Football Club, which has amazed with its ability to produce elite AFL talent despite its small size. As well as Kennedy and Taylor, Brownlow medallist Patrick Cripps, West Coast premiership players Jamie Cripps and Daniel Chick, Fremantle champion Paul Hasleby and former Collingwood player Tarkyn Lockyer are among those to hail from the Mid West footy factory. On social media, Patrick Cripps celebrated the Rams’ big win. “Mooniemia (Indigenous name for Northampton). How good. Up the Rams,” he posted. Meanwhile, his cousin Jamie Cripps posted himself watching the GNFL grand final on his phone while at Crown Perth for West Coast’s John Worsfold Medal. “Northampton priorities,” he wrote. In the other grand finals, Brigades were the women’s champions, Railways won the reserves and Mullewa claimed the colts flag.