Heavy downpours failed to dampen South Mandurah’s spirits as they claimed their fourth straight win in a game cut short against Halls Head at Elite Air-Conditioning Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The game came to a close in the early minutes of the fourth quarter after Halls Head’s Chae Lally suffered a horrific ankle injury requiring an ambulance.
A lengthy delay resulted in officials ending the match.
League rules state that if a game is called off after the half time interval, the score stands, which allowed South Mandurah to take a 7.6 (48) to 11.9 (75) win.
The Falcons opened the game with the hot hand in what turned out to be a decisive first quarter.
Healthy contributions from Jack Shanahan and Luke Shepherd helped South Mandurah wrestle the early momentum, booting five goals to the Lightning’s one in the opening term.
The competition’s leading scorer Brad Holmes finished the day with six goals to his name, and was a force up forward for the Falcons early with three in the first period.
But Halls Head seemed to relish in the rain, and were able to claw their way back into the contest with some strong play around the packs.
The Lightning evened the ledger as both sides booted three goals in the second term, with the Falcons up 27 at the half time break.
There was no love lost between the two sides in the fourth term, with tempers flaring in a number of spot fires around the ground.
It was Halls Head who were able to harness the energy into scoreboard results in the quarter, trimming South Mandurah’s lead to 20 at the final break.
A comeback win for the Lightning became less likely when South Mandurah’s Andrew Haydon slotted the first goal of the quarter, and then became impossible when Lally’s unfortunate injury led to the game ending prematurely.
It was the first league game Lally had played in with his two brothers, Jake and Kade.
South Mandurah coach Daniel Haines praised his side’s ability to get off to what eventuated to be a match-winning start.
“A month ago we let Rockingham kick 11 goals on us in the first quarter, so getting off to a good start is definitely something we’ve focused on in recent weeks,” he said.
“It was pleasing to have that four-goal buffer when the rain came which kept us pretty comfortable even though Halls Head threw a fair bit at us.”
Haines’ side now holds a 4-2 record after losing their opening two matches.
“I was always confident we had the makings of a good team,” he said.
“We’ve got another tough test against Waroona coming up this weekend so we’ll have our hands full again.”