Willetton’s come from behind grand final victory

Willetton’s come from behind grand final victory

Willetton Football Club are the Integrated All Abilities Champions. Photograph – Richard Polden

The Integrated All Abilities Football competition wrapped up its season on Saturday with two spectacular Grand Finals, seeing Willetton and Curtin Uni Wesley soar to victory.

Willetton ended a three-year drought in the A-division on Saturday, taking down the reigning premiers in a dramatic Grand Final victory.

The final match was hosted by Kelmscott Bulldogs Football club at John Dunn Oval, ending Kelmscott’s first year in the Integrated All Abilities competition.

Willetton went into the game as favourites after an unbeaten season, and came away with the win against last year’s premiers Coolbinia, 6.9 (45) to 4.2 (26).

Willetton Club President Perry Kleppe said Willetton dominated from the start in trying conditions.

“The game could have been iced at half time with Willetton kicking 3.8 to 1.2 by the main break.

“When the second half got underway, Willetton were quickly overrun by Coolbinia who piled on three more goals in the third term.”

A shell-shocked Willetton went into the final break staring at a third consecutive Grand Final defeat to Coolbinia.

Kleppe said the shift of Best-on-Ground medal winner Tyson Worthington to centre half back brought the team to glory as he cut off forward thrusts by the opposition and drove the ball back into Willetton’s attacking zone.

Another best on ground candidate, Liam Arbuckle scored a final magnificent long-range running goal and followed it up by skidding on the ground with arms outstretched to celebrations from the grandstand audience.

It was the first win for Coach Mogan Jenyns, who confirmed her nomination for a third year in the coaching position for season 2022.

Meanwhile, another hard-fought final saw Curtin Uni Wesley bring home the B-division Premiership against Kingsway.

The Integrated All Abilities competition was formed as a way to allow more people living with disability or difficulty to participate in AFL, with positions available on and off the field.

Minister for Sports and Member for Armadale, Dr Tony Buti says the Integrated Football grand finals last weekend will go down as two of the best.

“Sport is at its best when it brings people from all backgrounds, abilities and ages together, which is what Integrated Football is all about.

“I look forward to the next Integrated football season being even bigger and better in 2022.”

Photographs by Richard Polden