Round 3 of the Great Southern Football League certainly won’t go down in the history books as a classic.
The closest margin came from Denmark-Walpole’s 40-point win over North Albany at McLean Oval, while Royals showed Sharks whose still boss with a 76-point victory at Centennial Stadium (not entirely sure when we will have to start calling it Retravision Stadium).
Meanwhile, Railways were far too good for Mt Barker, running out 52-point winners in wet and slippery conditions at Tigerland.
There’s arguably no greater sporting spectacle than watching a nail-bitting game of Aussie Rules.
But in a pretty dull start to the GSFL season, close contests have been few and far between.
The average winning margin is a touch over 41 points across the nine fixtures.
Thank god Sharks have finally come good this year and provided a point of interest.
A 5.7(37) to 16.17(113) loss to Royals looks bad on paper, but in seasons gone by these kinds of games were blowing out beyond 100 points by half-time.
After finishing the first term without a goal, Sharks kicked two majors in the second quarter to keep the margin at a respectable 16 points at the main break.
Royals three-peat on track
Like a big brother out to squash their younger sibling’s hopes and dreams, Royals took control of the contest in the third and fourth term – piling on 12 goals to three in a dominant second half.
Michael McGlade was everywhere through the midfield for Royals in a best-on-ground performance, while David and Brayden Parker were unrivalled in their attack on the footy.
Former Fremantle Docker Brett Peake finished the afternoon with two majors as the Sharks’ only multiple goalkicker, while Robert Lee racked up plenty of the ball.
Despite the thumping defeat, no doubt Sharks will take heart from matching the Lions in the second quarter.
While there’s only been three rounds of fixtures played this year, you can probably already pencil Royals in for another grand final appearance.
Tigers mounting a challenge
At the minute, Railways look like the only side capable of stopping a Lions three-peat.
Coming off a shock preliminary finals exit last season to Denmark-Walpole, the Tigers look hungry for premiership success in their 75th anniversary year.
Matt Palfrey’s move to the engine room is already paying dividends for new coach Mark Bayliss, with the former Claremont forward doing his best Dustin Martin impersonation in a mid-forward role.
Palfrey won a bunch of contested ball in the Tigers’ 11.10(76) to 2.12(24) victory, as well as kicking two goals.
At the other end of the spectrum, North Albany appear in for a tough season after going winless across their first three games.
Down by 13 points at half-time, the Kangaroos were well and truly in the fight thanks to some accurate shooting in front of goal.
But the Magpies snatched control of the contest after the main break, with Dionne Woods bagging six goals as the home team ran out 11.12(78) to 6.2(38) winners.
It doesn’t get any easier for North this weekend, up against Royals at Centennial Stadium.
Balancing a competition like the GSFL is no mean feat, but for everyone’s sake, let’s hope there aren’t too many more blowouts in round 4 and beyond.