Football year in review 2018: Pinjarra dominate as inaugural PFNL women’s league a success

The year that was 2018 in Peel region football well and truly belonged to the Pinjarra Tigers.

The Peel Football and Netball League continued to make history and the Tigers were right there to pick off the fruits, winning three of a possible four senior level grand finals in a landslide year for the club.

Spearheading that new history for the PFNL was the inaugural season of their first ever women’s league.

Pinjarra, Baldivis, South Mandurah and Dwellingup battled it out across 12 weeks before finals kicked off, with the Falcons the first to book their spot in the big dance with a win over the Tigers in the semi finals.

But Pinjarra extracted the sweetest revenge when they bounced back to topple Souths in the grand final just weeks later, inking themselves down as the first-ever women’s premiers.

The yellow and black also tasted success once again at the top level, going back-to-back in the league flag on the back of Rory O’Brien’s stunning grand final game against Mundijong.

The Tigers were able to hoist the cup for a league-record seventh time, toppling Centrals (who beat them in the semi final a fortnight before) 14.12 (96) to 8.7 (55).

Putting the cherry on top of the three-flag season for the club was their colts, who broke a 22-year drought when they took down what was an undefeated Rockingham side with a resounding effort.

Nixon Purser was awarded best-on-ground while Craig Milward nailed four goals as the Tigers pipped the Rams 13.18 (96) to 8.8 (56).

Rounding out the remainder of the PFNL premierships was South Mandurah’s reserves, who were absolutely untouchable in their demolition of Rockingham.

Making up for their aberration in 2017, the Falcons’ reserves dominated the clash from start to finish to romp to a 14.13 (97) to 5.7 (37) victory.

The year capped-off what was a massive one in the PFNL, one that saw some outstanding individual performances alongside that team success.

Rockingham’s Mitchell Curnow was head and shoulders above the rest of the league on his way to claiming a maiden Ross Elliott Medal.

The gun midfielder led the Rams back to the finals for the first time in almost a decade, and was subsequently honoured as the PFNL’s best and fairest.

Meanwhile South Mandurah’s Brad Holmes finished agonisingly close to a century of goals with 99, and would certainly have got there had he not missed a game through state-level responsibilities.

Pinjarra teammates Kate Beswick and Jesse Salter were crowned joint winners of the women’s first-ever best and fairest.

The PFNL plans to take on even more in 2019, with the introduction of new divisions in both their football and netball sectors bringing new clubs and faces to the competition.