Almanac Country Footy – Mullewa v Northampton: Last minute

by Peter Sweeney

FOR much of this year, Mullewa skipper Leedham Papertalk had carried his side in the Geraldton-based Great Northern Football League.

Week in, week out, Papertalk had been his hapless side’s best player. Just when he was looking likely to enjoy a moment in the sun last Saturday, Papertalk did a hammie.

Off on half-time, Papertalk could only watch from the sidelines as his team did something they hadn’t done in 2016 – win.

Mullewa couldn’t have left it any longer – it was their 14th, and last, match of the season.

Stats show the indigenous club had 1947 points booted against it, while kicking just 945.

For the partying team on Saturday night, those figures mattered little. More important was the four points it had just pocketed.
Next month, surviving members of Mullewa’s inaugural GNFL premiership in 1966, will recall and reflect on their efforts at a reunion. Pre-season 2016, the plan was to win the flag 50 years later. However, even well-laid plans often go astray.

As the season grew older, the plan was changed: just win a game.

Northampton, a similar sized town of 700/800 people and arguably the “best breeding barn” of Aussie Rules players in any area of the country, were the last round opponents.

Nicknamed The Rams, Northampton didn’t win a game last year. On Saturday, it was eyeing its fifth win of this year. And when it was 10 points up – 8.15 to 8.5 at the last change – it appeared on track.

But early game inaccuracy, and a five goal quarter last term from the Saints, derailed them. “Why couldn’t we have played like that from the start of the year?” a Mullewa player inquired as his team-mates triumphantly headed from the field.

“Don’t worry, we will do it next year, we will be all over the ground like wildflowers,” came one reply.

This weekend, the sports centre where Mullewa players get their kicks, will host the annual Agricultural Show and Wildflower Show.

Mullewa is one of the top locations in the Mid West of WA where caravanners and campers base themselves to discover wildflowers.

Good winter rains have assured an abundant growth of wildflowers – and the arrival of many travellers from the eastern states.

Mullewa may have had many ‘travellers’ in its football side this year, but are already planning on reigning supreme in ’17.

(Northampton is the home of the likes of Josh Kennedy, Harry Taylor, Paul Haselby, Daniel Chick, the Lockyers and the Cripps).

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  1. Matt Zurbo says

    Love these stories! Good one! Would have been great to be there.

  2. Neat work from both Mullewa and Peter Sweeney. A good yarn. And I’m putting a century on Mullewa for season ’17.

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