Cougars dig deep for first flag

Canning Vale Cougars celebrate their win.
Canning Vale Cougars celebrate their win.

The Cougars finished second on the ladder and defeated Quinns District and top-placed Swan View to advance to the grand final.

The Bassendean Swans had done it much harder. Finishing fifth, they had to defeat Warnbro, Quinns District and Swan View to make it through, putting them in red hot form. Coach David Hicks and the Cougars knew they would be in for a really tough game down at the neutral venue.

In miserable conditions, the Cougars came out firing. The young cubs put on the first four goals of the game through Reece Williams, Jayden Bartels, Jacob Sands and Cody Nelson.

But Bassendean rallied to kick the final two of the quarter to bridge the gap. At the first change the Cougars held a 4.2 – 2.0 lead.

The second quarter was played in the worst weather conditions of the season as the heavens opened up, even unleashing some hail stones.

Bassendean made the most of the scrappy conditions to kick the first two goals.

Joel Holmes from Canning Vale was able to kick a steadier, then Nelson slotted his second of the game.

Bassendean kept on coming to snare the last two goals of the term to bridge the gap to just four points at the main change, 6.4 – 6.0, with dominant Bassendean forward Chris Yarran kicking five majors.

In the third term, Cougars coach shifted Camden Taylor on to the dangerous Yarran. With support from Ayden Wood-Stribley, his job was to curtail the massive influence Yarran was having on the game.

With the weather conditions easing, the young Cougars made the most of the premiership quarter keeping the Swans to just two behinds for the term. Jason McGovern had a huge influence and his clean skills in trying conditions really was the stand out. Nelson managed to slot two goals in the term, taking his tally to four with one quarter to go. The scoreboard showed 8.9 – 6.2.

At the final break, Hicks urged his troops to keep running, to keep their foot on the pedal and not let the game slip as premierships don’t come around often.

Early in the last term, Sands, a late inclusion, kicked his second major of the day.

The majority of the final term was an arm wrestle. Bassendean tried to get back in the game and the young Cougars absorbed the forward pressure allowing the dangerous Yarran to kick just the one goal to take his tally to six.

In the dying stages, Nelson kicked his fifth goal to seal the win and take home Canning Vale’s first colts premiership. Jason McGovern was awared best on ground by the umpires. He was ably supported by Cody Nelson, Camden Taylor and Josh Higginson.